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Dedicated to Romero's Dead Trilogy

NOVEMBER 30TH 2003- THE NEW AND IMPROVED LIVING DEAD!
OK, this year has been a bloody bad one for this site. There have been very few updates and the site still remains unfinished. Of course, something like this can never truly be complete but in this case, several sections still need attention. Well, they're finally gonna see the light of day this Christmas as I am biting the bullet and moving the entire place to its own domain. To celebrate, I am going to bust a lung to finish as many sections as I can and hopefully, provided I can get a copy of Dreamweaver, give the place a brand new look! I will also be adding a new, improved Forum and, wait for it, VIDEO CLIPS! I am going to review the recent Anchor Bay release of Day of the Dead , upgrade every photo (more or less anyway) to DVD standards, update the About Me sections (not that you care, but what the hell!) and possibly intoduce frames, so surfing around will be that much easier.
Phew, sounds like a helluva lot of work, and I'm sure it will be, but I promise I will give it my best. If anyone has any other suggestions with regards to the site, PLEASE let me know. Send 'em to the usual address at thelivingdead@theunknown.com

So, until Christmas my friends..........


APRIL 2ND 2003 - AND NOW A FORMAL APOLOGY
Well, here I am again with my trademark random and sparse updates and although I'd love to promise a huge update this Easter, I'm afraid it just aint gonna happen. I have so much stuff to do now I'm at Uni I hardly ever get chance to do something like this here website. Anyway, that aside, some recent news has gone from the archives section, this due to a fault that happened on those damned crap Uni computers that resulted in quite a few files going missing from The Living Dead. Sorry. So, with that out the way, here's the latest in the Dead Universe!


DAWN FINALLY UNLEASHED IN THE UK WITHOUT ANY CUTS!!! ANCHOR BAY NEWS


BMG have finally managed to get the previous 6 seconds of cuts (Head explosion, bite of black womans arm & shooting of zombie kids) approved by the BBFC. They are releasing this on DVD this week in the above packaging with scene selection, stills gallery and the Savini commentary from the previous (cut) release. This is where our problem lies - how have BMG edited the commentary track???
All will be revealed in the Dawn DVD section...

Meanwhile, the release date of the 2-disc Day Special Edition has been pushed back to August 2003 for reasons unknown. Extras to be seen are two commentaries (one by Romero, one by Roger Avary), 2 making of featurettes, the entire screenplay, interviews and promotional materials such as trailers and poster artwork.
As for the eagerly awaited Dawn release, here is what Anchor Bay have to say:

George Romero's masterpiece is coming back to DVD in a big way. Featuring newly re-mastered widescreen transfers (16x9 enhanced), new DTS & Dolby EX Surround Sound, all-new cast & crew interviews, all-new audio commentary tracks, trailers, poster & still galleries and more! Available separately will be the original Theatrical Version and the Extended (Director's Cut) Version. Also available will be a special multi-disc box set including an exclusive presentation of the ZOMBI version of the film from Europe. Expect more announcements in the coming months, and please note all features at this point are tentative and subject to change. Closed Captioned for the Hearing Impaired.


THE PITTSBURGH COMICON - CANCELLATIONS & UPDATES

Well, I'm pretty glad I couldn't afford this event anyway as neither Romero nor Savini will be there. However, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, David Emge, Michael Gornick and a host of other 'Dead' stars will be there, including the nurse zombie and bald-head zombie from Dawn!!! There will also be a screening of Dawn (shown in a 16mm print) on the Saturday!


DAWN OF THE DEAD REMAKE SCRIPT REVIEW
Found this rather interesting, comes courtesy of Creature-Corner.com:


A Brief Word From Your Devoted Rotten One: In no way, shape, or form do I advocate the idea of a remake to this seminal Romero classic. It's a bad idea.'Nuff said. The following review is an objective look at Gunn's update.Hatred of said re-imagining is set aside. Bitterness filed away in the morgue for another time. But the love and history I've accumulated watching the original over the years was never forgotten.

Desperate as a vagrant anxious to clean your windshield for some measly change, Hollywood is having an arduous time rejuvenating the zombie film. Completely dismissed is the baggage of various social commentaries that accompanied Romero's trilogy and absent is the pure visceral thrill found in the imported flesh-eater fests of the '80s. Studios just don't seem to get what zombie films are all about. Don't believe me? Watch "Resident Evil" again if you are so inclined (while it had some minor zombie mayhem, it completely missed the opportunity to tap the publics' current fears of biochemical weapons). Or, keep scratching your head in bafflement as Romero's fourth entry, "Dead Reckoning" (SCRIPT REVIEW HERE), gets passed on time and time again.

Gunn's take on "Dawn of the Deadâ" doesn't help matters in the slightest. Well, maybe it helps in the sense that it brings a little Peter Jackson, circa "Dead Alive", action to a studio picture. But who really knows what'll survive the transition to film - the MPAA is still as prudent as ever, folks. Beyond the gore factor, the script is an absolute product of the times: littered with forgettable characters and too many unnecessary moments of humor. Never an ounce of seriousness to haunt movie-goers long after they've witnessed this daunting parable. On screen it'll be eye candy. Something to get the gorehounds' rocks off and nothing more - in the end, asking the question, again, why the fuck bother making the film when the original offered the ultimate in brain-splattering pleasure and so much more?

The core of the story remains the same: a colorful band of characters take shelter in a local mall (here, set in the state of Washington) after the world is turned upside down when the dead walk the earth. Not only must they battle the undead menace, but come to grips with personal issues as well. Gunn approaches the subject matter as if this was the very beginning - encapsulating the living-taken-off-guard nature of "Night of the Living Dead" rather than serve as a direct sequel (to the '68 or '90 film) where the world knows what's happening from the get-go and is trying to handle the situation with dire results. Could this approach possibly signal an attempt to kick start a new zombie series? Probably. Why start a new franchise with a remake rather than a fresh concept is beyond me.

What starts as a team of five mall-residing folks - a local drug dealer, his pregnant girlfriend, a nurse, a loner, and a black cop named Ken (hmm...) - turns into an ensemble cast of survivors that makes the script feel more like a Emmerich/Devlin film with Stephen King-like miscreants whose black t-shirts may as well read "scumbag" across their chests. Gunn draws such a sharp bead on his five leads in the first act, it's jarring when he paints a broad canvas with other characters stamped "zombie chow" on their foreheads. Action gets muddled and sympathy for anyone stretches mucho thin. Those familiar with Gunn's novel, "The Toy Collector", will know that he loves to make the misfit of society find some meaning in his life. "Dawn" gives Gunn a chance to explore the lives of three losers - a stoner, a skinhead, and a drug-dealer looking to redeem himself from a certain afterlife in hell - who find some sort of order amongst the chaos that now surrounds them. Unfortunately, you hate the two of the three. Again, too many characters and not enough exploration of the madness that comes with being locked away from society for months on end.

The script begins as a study in human nature in a country gone mad but rapidly morphs into a horror/action picture of survival filled with some pretty ridiculous problem solving. Want an example? Take for instance a moment in which pet store dogs - trained for weeks to follow the lead of the a mutt, Captain Amazing - must race across a zombie-filled parking lot to the gun shop across the street to retrieve ammo. Zombies only dig on the human flesh, so the dogs are safe from the human zombie threat, but there's no safety from zombie dogs... Sheesh, there's some pretty silly stuff here (let's not forget the newborn zombie baby either). Of course, we're talking James Gunn here - Troma vet and author of the box-office smash "Scooby Dooâ" film. I mean, the guy's got some pretty far-out, ideas. There's just no room for them in a remake that was under the scornful eye of hundreds of fans the minute the project was announced.

There isn't exactly any set zombie logic here either. Within the first five pages it's established that once you're bit, you turn within a minute or two. That rule is broken time and again, only called upon to add a little tension to a scene. It's gimmicky and a cheap shot. Zombies are incredibly mobile and intelligent too. We witness some
running alongside a big rig anxious to feed upon the driver. Others push trucks over to climb upon and reach high places. Forgotten is the era of lumbering flesh-eaters whose strength comes in numbers. On the plus side, as I've mentioned before, there's a shitload of the red stuff that'll give any FX house the opportunity to give us some grue. Bodies are decapitated, run over (in a pretty great scene where a character "mows the lawn"), torn in half, and riddled with bullets.

If Romero's film hadn't existed before this script, Gunn's draft would've stood as just another mildly crappy zombie film. It's got a shiny wrapper and on the surface it looks fun...but it's essentially a hollow film. I get the feeling Gunn thought he was taking enormous leaps and bounds by delivering on the gore, when what he really wasn't making emotional risks with the characters and situations. I recall reading a few quotes from Gunn when this project was announced, that he'd find writing this as an opportunity to study consumerism and really exploit it. Somewhere between that quote and the actually writing his mission statement got lost along the way - perhaps it was a project that just became an unstoppable monster for him. Who knows? In any case, the script is an unnecessary mess and missed opportunity.

Oh, and for those curious to know if the script retained the famous line uttered by Ken Foree, "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.", it seems to have been inserted in one scene more out of necessity than for actual morose meaning. The character who utters the line is so jacked-up on painkillers at the time he says it, there doesn't seem to be any conviction in what he's saying. Rather some inane ravings from an already delirious man - it kind of sums up the whole script, really.


DECEMBER 15TH 2002 - ANCHOR BAY SET DATES FOR DAWN AND DAY ON DVD

Anchor Bay have finally disclosed the dates for the Special Editions of Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. Funnily enough, Day has actually been given an earlier release date, I suppose due to the fact that there is only one film version to remaster, as opposed to the three different cuts of Dawn. Anyway, here is the statement from DVDFile.com:

At long last, the third in George Romero's famous zombie trilogy Day of the Dead will finally hit DVD on April 29th, courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. Featuring stomach-churning gore effects by legendary effects wizard Tom Savini, this horror classic comes uncut and uncensored in a feature-packed two disc set. Specs include a brand-new THX-certified 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX and DTS 6.1 ES surround tracks, an audio commentary with Romero, 2 featurettes, still galleries, the complete screenplay, trailers, and a collectible booklet. Retail is $34.95.

With regards to the Dawn set, this will be released in October 2003 as a four-disc set with the film being given the same visual and audio treatment as Day. Extras are the same as initially reported.


A DISAPPOINTING CHRISTMAS ON UK TELEVISION FOR DEAD FANS...

Having browsed through the Christmas edition of the Radio Times , I regret to inform any Britons out there that this Christmas is going to be totally bereft of Romero films! Digital channel Film Four is showing Night of the Living Dead but that's about it I'm afraid. It's a real shame considering the success of the Fear season Channel Four was running last Xmas, with classics such as Night, Day, Argento's Susperia and The Crazies.


NEW NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1990 CD

Numenorean Music are continuing their fine run of releasing rare soundtracks by presenting Tom Savini's remake on compact disc for the first time. The CD retails for $19.95.


PITTSBURGH COMICON 2003 DETAILS

The official dates for next years Comicon are the 25th, 26th and 27th of April. Ticket prices are $17 per day or $45 for the full 3 day pass. May I just take this point to ask for your help: I am going to the Comicon on my own and am therefore looking for a friend to share the cost of a hotel room over the three days. I am based in North and South England (University and home) so am very flexible with regards to the possibility of meeting someone at an airport, for example. Let me know if you are interested anyway!


SEPTEMBER 11TH 2002 - DEAD RECKONING PROGRESS AND DVD INFO!

On a more positive note, there has been a lot of progress in the world of the zombies which you will no doubt be aware of anyway. First up is that Fox Entertainment have been in negotiations with Romero with regards to the funding of his fourth living dead flick, Dead Reckoning. Fox have proposed a budget of $10 million for the film which would make it the most expensive, and hopefully, the most ambitious dead film yet. The likelyhood is that Fox will cut out a lot of the gore to get a more lucrative R-rating for the film's theatrical release, whereas the DVD will be released in its unedited form. Romero has spoken before about his love for DVD so I'm sure he will not only deliver a great film, but also a very special 'Special Edition' of Dead Reckoning.
Also new is the Trilogy of the Dead boxset from Anchor Bay in the UK. Retailing at around 25, this certainly offers value for money for anyone hoping to by the trilogy on DVD for the first time but in terms of extras, it really aint worth it for the diehard fan.


Disc one features the much-loathed 30th anniversary edition with all of its 'Special Features'. Yes, you too can be amazed by the wonderful scene presented from Bill Hinzman's 'Flesheater' and really boogie on down to the 'Dance of the Dead' music video.
Disc 2 is Dawn, with all of the features found on the identical Directors cut disc. Disc 3 is Day and this too is identical to the recently released widescreen version of the film. Disc 4 is the bonus disc and includes the 25th Anniversary documentary of Night, Document of the Dead and a new photo gallery. All is presented in a nice digipack but if you ask me, wait until next year for the definitive versions...


MARCH 25th 2002 - DAY OF THE DEAD CD & NIGHT S.E

For the first time ever, the Day of the Dead soundtrack has been released on Compact Disc, although numbers are very limited. More information will be found in the Day section when it is opened shortly. Also, the new release of Night from Elite hit stores in the US earlier this month and initial feedback from fans suggests that it is the best version ever! See more in the Night section.

This marks the return to regular updates again as I've finally managed to sort things out at Angelfire, for the time-being anyway. I can get back to work on the Day section and perhaps introduce a few new things around the place!
Good to be back guys & gals!


FEBRUARY 15th 2002 - DEAD TRILOGY BOXSET


Laser Paradise have released a four-disc boxset of the trilogy called, originally, The Trilogy of Dead. Included will be the 156 minute, final cut of Dawn and Document of the Dead on the fourth disc. I don't know whether the set will have the original English language tracks (let's hope so), but if it does I'll let you know.


FEBRUARY 15th 2002 - ZOMBIE ON DVD


OK, so it aint related to Romero but I thought I'd point this out anyway. Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE is being re-released this week by Anchor Bay on DVD. It contains all of the extras that were found on the previous release - Commentary, Trailer, TV spots - and also has a new cover. Available from Amazon.com.


FEBRUARY 9th 2002 - DEAD 4 TITLE ANNOUNCED!

GoreZone.net announced today that Dead 4 seems that little bit closer to reality. In a statement from Anchor Bay:
George A. Romero's fourth Living Dead film!!: After the Fango show, Micheal from Anchor Bay told me all about the fourth dead film, Anchor Bay is producing it. The movie is called DEAD RECKONING and takes place 30 years after NOTLD. The story goes something like this, the dead have taken over the world and humans only survive in large gated communities, the story is about one community and the fact they they get to comfortable with their safety inside the community. The script was finished at one point but afer 9/11 Romero decided to rewrite it a bit to reflect his own feelings after the event.

So, there you have it! Although nothing is definate, it seems that everything has been sorted. R7, webmaster of GAR.com confirmed that Dead Reckoning is indeed the title and that the above statement is true. I'll keep you posted on this topic as soon as I get more info!


JANUARY 24th 2002 - DAWN 3-DISC SET SOONER THAN YOU THINK

Anchor Bay have finally got their asses into gear and have officially stated that they will be releasing a DVD with all three main edits of the film in the fall of 2002. It is not known which country will get it first but it seems that the UK will have the edge, as most American's have been told that copies will hit their shelves in 2003. Extras wise, there will be a selection of trailers, the Romero/Savini commentary lifted from the US laserdisc and (possibly) a new commentary track with all four main cast members. AB is also trying to get the licensing for Document of the Dead. Expect some deluxe packaging and a hefty price tag!

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