George A. Romero, director of the legendary Night of the Living Dead, the equally legendary Dawn of the Dead, the not legendary but still good Day of the Dead, and countless other zombie entertainment, is trying something different. Very different. So different it’s a movie where zombies race cars to entertain rich people.
The film is called George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead, and it’s being put together with the help of the Fantasia International Film Festival. Romero directed the last three “Of the Dead” zombie movies, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead, but will only co-write and produce this film. Matt Birman, a long-time Romero collaborator, also co-wrote the film and will direct.
According to Indiewire, “the story is set on an island where zombie prisoners race cars in a modern-day coliseum for the entertainment of wealthy humans. Birman describes the project as Road Warrior meets Rollerball at a NASCAR race, with significant inspiration from Ben-Hur.” This sounds like it could be an excellent mix of political commentary, horror, and sheer craziness.
These days we’ve reached a point with zombies that they’ve kind of lost their bite, pun intended. (They’re about to be Disney stars, for crying out loud.) If it takes zombies driving racecars to breathe some life into the genre (no pun intended), then sure, I’m all for it.
Then again, it’s not like Romero’s last few films were seen by anyone outside of the hardcore horror fan. There’s a fair chance this one will come down the road and then drive off, just as quickly.