While the weather in Chicago was pretty horrendous on Halloween, the following day was an entirely different story. In fact, it was almost sunny enough to offset the whole “Halloween is over” depression many of us horror/monster fans go through every November 1st. The weekend, however, wasn’t over yet…
Just the week before I’d been up in Elgin, Illinois to celebrate their amazing Nightmare on Chicago Street event. While I was there, I’d been alerted to more upcoming festivals taking place and reminded why it’s fast becoming my favorite city! One is Krampuslauf taking place in December which recreates a Northern European festival celebrating Krampus; a more sinister version of Santa Claus. Continue reading
The Daves would like to welcome Brandon Engel to our website with his wonderful entry on George Romero!
In the periphery of mainstream filmmaking, George Romero has been churning out controversial movies for nearly 50 years, starting with his pioneering film, Night of the Living Dead, in 1968.
And even though it was shot in black and white and on a meager budget, Night knocked the socks off the viewing public. It received mixed reviews (with notable critics like Roger Ebert publicly expressing their distaste for the film, however effective it was) and it wound up essentially establishing the framework for the zombie film as we know it today. The film vividly depicted cannibalistic zombie feasts, and not only did Romero have the audacity to have his lead character played by a black actor (Duane Jones), but he also had the nerve to kill him off in the film’s screen. Not bad for a guy who launched his show-biz career on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Shout! Factory has done it again with their latest blu-ray offering, the 1985 George Romero classic DAY OF THE DEAD. I have always been a fan of Romero’s Dead Trilogy, and to be honest, this is my favorite of the three and I was very excited to hear that it was finally getting its long-overdue blu-ray release. Of the three films this one, in my opinion, is the darkest and why it works so well.
Most of the film takes place underground in an abandoned missile silo where a group of military personnel and scientists have gathered together to try and figure out what is going on above. The characters are perfectly cast and this film is interesting to watch as the group breaks down and collapses; much like the world on the outside did. You really get a sense of how bad things are in this movie whereas, in the two previous films, there seems to be actual hope. This is evident right from the beginning when a visit is made to Florida in search of survivors. The streets are empty and it’s obvious it has been this way for quite some time. The only signs of life are animals such as alligators and tarantulas who have now moved into the once-populated areas.
If you’re a mask collector like me then you have probably been burned on at least one occasion. You ordered a mask or bust out of a catalog or off of a website only to find that when it arrived it looked nothing like the picture you based your mask-buying decision on! The paintjob may be horrible, the hairwork can be falling out or in some cases, the piece was folded up so that it could be put in a smaller box to save on shipping (so that it now has permanent creases across the face). There is nothing worse than spending your hard-earned money, especially in this economy, only to open a box of something you ordered and your only reaction is “What the f**k?” Thankfully most companies, like Morris Costumes, will take a return, but oftentimes, when dealing with an artist directly they get all offended at what your complaint is, making for a very uncomfortable and disasterous situation. Thankfully we have companies like BUMP IN THE NIGHT FX (formerly BUMP IN THE NIGHT PRODUCTIONS).
I have always been a fan of George Romero…ever since I was old enough to see his zombie masterpiece, DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979). After viewing both NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) and DAWN on videocassette I actively sought out other movies by the master of horror. Films like MARTIN (1976), THE CRAZIES (1975) and of course CREEPSHOW (1982) and DAY OF THE DEAD (1985) were always a lot of fun to me.
Last March, I attended my first (but definitely not last) Horrorhound Convention. As mentioned in my previous post, Horrorhound Magazine definitely ranks as one of my favorites. Like FANGORIA, they sponsor their own conventions too – attracting some very impressive guests! For the past few years, Horrorhound has done two conventions annually; one in Indianapolis (March) and another in Cincinnati (November).