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Remembering George A. Romero by Brian Keene

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I first met George Romero in August or September of 2004. The Rising had been out in paperback for a few months (and in hardcover for a year at that point), and had started to generate quite a bit of buzz.

We were at a Horrorfind convention in Baltimore, and there was a private party for a bunch of horror professionals. Greg Nicotero (still a decade away from “The Walking Dead” at that point) asked me if I’d like to meet George. I think I responded with, “Gulp.

I had a paperback copy of The Rising with me, and I decided I would give it to George. He had kind of positioned himself in the corner of the room, and Greg took me over to him. I’ve seen and been through a lot of bad shit in my life, but I don’t ever recall being as nervous as I was at that moment. Greg introduced the two of us and I was about to present him with my copy of The Rising, but before I could, he pulled out a copy he had purchased himself, and asked me to sign it for him. So, I did. I wrote this long-ass heartfelt thing, thanking him for Dawn of the Dead and telling him what it meant to me as a kid, and it’s impact on me and the book. Basically, I wrote a novel inside the margins of that novel. Definitely the longest inscription I’ve ever put in a book.

Keene Romero

Photo by: Chad Savage

I handed it back to George, and then he playfully growled at me for about 10 minutes about fast zombies, and how slow zombies were better. Then he told me about the forthcoming Land of the Dead and explained that the plot was about the last survivors of humanity gathered together in a megalomaniac’s impregnable skyscraper while the slow zombie hordes muster outside. When he politely asked what was next for me, and I told him about the sequel to THE RISING that I was working on (City of the Dead) which was about the last survivors of humanity gathered together in a megalomaniac’s impregnable skyscraper while the fast zombie hordes muster outside.
We had a good laugh about that.

This photo is from that meeting. The young bald guy in the very green shirt is me. George is of course George. That’s Greg between us, and (I think?) author Michael Arnzen over my shoulder. And that’s George’s copy of The Rising tucked under George’s arm.

The next time I saw him at a convention, he had a shirt that said Fast Zombies Suck and we had a good laugh over that, as well. All weekend long, he sent people over to my signing table to tell me that fast zombies sucked, and I sent people over to his signing table to pantomime slow zombies. That was where I got the idea for the short story (later adapted into a short film) FAST ZOMBIES SUCK.

Earlier this year, I got a chance to play in George’s universe, with the Nights of the Living Dead anthology that he and Jonathan Maberry edited. I’ve done my share of media tie-in stuff over the years — Aliens, Hellboy, “The X-Files,” and “Doctor Who.” But I’ve never been prouder to participate in any of them as I was this. It was an honor.

George Romero was very kind to a then young and nervous Brian Keene, and I never forgot it, and I’ve tried very hard to pay that forward when young writers approach me now and tell me about the impact my books had on them. Fuck anyone who tells you “Don’t meet your heroes.” I’ve met mine, and he was gracious and kind and gentle and sweet…even if I still disagree with him about fast zombies.

Rest in peace, George…

– Brian Keene

George A. Romero

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PG-13 or R? The Strangers: Prey at Night Gets Official MPAA Rating

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Earlier this week we let you guys know that there is a killer The Strangers: Prey at Night fan art competition going on and you can read all the details on that right HERE.

But today we have some cool (if expected) news that The Strangers: Prey At Night hs officially received an R-rating from the MPAA.

The sequel has been rated R for “horror violence and terror throughout, and for language” and I think that makes about as much sense as we could have expected.

For those who are interested in such bits of trivia, the original The Strangers was rated R for “violence/terror and language” so there you go! Impress your friends with MPAA trivia.

Would The Strangers: Prey at Night getting a PG-13 have affected your enthusiasm for the upcoming film? Let us know below!

The Stranger: Prey at Night is directed by Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) from a script by Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai. It stars Martin Henderson, Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, and Lewis Pullman.

The film hits March 9, 2018.

Synopsis:
A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive. Johannes Roberts directs this horror film inspired by the 2008 smash hit The Strangers.

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Artist Reimagines Superheroes as Tim Burton Illustrations

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The world of Tim Burton has always been full of imagination and wonder built on a surreal and often horrific foundation. Films like Beetlejuice and Sleepy Hollow capture the imagination with stunning visuals, all based on the mind of the visionary director. Burton’s artwork was also featured in his illustrated poetry book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories.

Burton’s work has not only amazed viewers for over three decades, it’s also been an inspiration to countless artists and creators. Enter Los Angeles-by-way-of-Russia artist and animator Andrew Tarusov, whose work has been used by companies such as Cosmopolitan, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Maxim, and more. In a series he simply calls “Tim Burton’s Superheros”, Tarusov took 10 of the biggest comic book characters and gave them a dark twist that is 100% befitting of Burton’s style.

You can see a gallery of these images below. To see more of Tarusov’s work, head on over to his official website.

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New Alien First-Person Shooter Video Game in the Works

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“Game over, man. Game over!”

I’m not one for playing video games but even I will have to check out this new first-person shooter set in the Alien universe currently in the works at FoxNext Games.

This new and untitled game is the first original Alien-inspired game since “Alien: Isolation” and Cold Iron Studios is developing the game after recently being acquired by Fox (and now Disney).

“Cold Iron Studios has amazing design, craftsmanship, and development talent that we are excited to welcome at FoxNext Games as we pursue our goal to build a multi-platform, multi-genre portfolio of great games,” said FoxNext Games president Aaron Loeb. “I am a personal fan of Cold Iron’s previous work and all of us at FoxNext Games are thrilled to be working with them as they create an action-packed persistent world, steeped in the mysteries of this beloved Alien universe.”

“We believe in FoxNext’s vision and we are thrilled about the opportunity to explore an amazing and rich universe,” said Cold Iron CEO Craig Zinkievich. “Our background in building online worlds and taking established franchises to the next level in interactive entertainment is a precise fit with our product roadmap ahead.”

How excited are you for a new Alien game? Let us know below!

A release date hasn’t been announced yet but we’ll let you know when we hear more!

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