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Remembering George A. Romero by Jon Condit

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The first time I met George Romero was almost 15 years ago thanks to Chris Roe who I was working with to redo George’s website at the time. It was at Chiller in the bar and I was showing George the new animation I made for the site logo. It was a shambling zombie and as it walked along, revealed his name behind it. George loved it and the way his face lit up when he saw it was incredible to see being that I had literally grown up loving his films.

He bought me a drink and kept talking about how much he loved the animation. It was such a simple thing I thought but to have him tell me how much he enjoyed it was one of the high points of my career. It still makes me smile to think about it, if only with a heavier heart today.

As lame as it might sound I kept the glass. It was too much for me that one of my favorite film makers not only liked my work but wanted to buy me a drink to say thank you. Sadly TSA crushed my bag on the flight home and the cup was broken in two. I still kept it for years and now it’s in a box somewhere with other keepsakes. When one of your heroes buys you a drink that is a good day.

The first film our group of friends (Todd, Buz, Shane, and Steve) would complete together would be Deadhydrated, a short zombie film that we dedicated to George and that dedication still stands more now than possibly ever:

A very special thanks to George Romero for letting us play in his backyard.

He made movies on his own terms. Gary Klar and I once had a long chat about how similar George was to the heroic characters of Any Rand’s fiction. He stood for his art and his vision in a way that few film makers ever do. We spent an hour so so talking about how to make a version of Atlas Shrugged with a film maker instead of an industrialist as the lead character.

I never got to know George as well as my partner Steve Barton did. But through their friendship I got brief glances into who George was as a person not just as the film maker I looked up to. I am lucky to call several of the Living Dead family my friends actually, and they all will tell you the same. George treated everyone like family and was a warm and genuine soul.

I can’t summon the eloquence his memory is due. He inspired so many of us and will be remembered as one of the greatest film makers of our time, or possibly any time for that matter. Anything I can say pales in comparison to what he brought to so many.

Rest in peace George. Thank you more than I can ever say for the years of hard work and sacrifice you endured to share with us your dreams. The only consolation to me is knowing that your work inspired so many and will continue to do so.

– Jon Condit

George A. Romero

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George A. Romero’s Daughter, Tina, Wrote a Script For Queens of the Dead

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The loss last year of director George A. Romero was a huge blow to the horror community, as well as the filmmaking community at large. The passing of the man responsible for creating the modern day zombie and whose work influenced “The Walking Dead”, Dead Alive, 28 Days Later, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out was felt far and wide but we take solace knowing that his work and legacy will live on forever.

Something that brings a smile to my face is hearing that his daughter, Tina, who DJ’s under the name DJ TRx, has written a screenplay for a zombie film that is called Queens of the Dead. And yes, it’s very gay! Romero has not only written the script but also plans on directing the film herself.

Romero tells The Saunder Blog about the film, saying, “Queens of the Dead is a fusion of two huge parts of my world: zombies and Gay nightlife. It’s a tribute to my father as well as my entrée into the genre he grandfathered. I can’t say too much yet, but what I can tell you is that this film will have all the hallmarks of a George A. Romero classic: farce, politics, heroes, assholes, and most importantly, herds of silly and slow moving walkers that you can’t help but love. But I’m doing it Tina-style, and bringing the glitter, choreography, queers & queens.

Romero’s father always brought some sort of social message into his work, so to hear that she will continue that tradition is inspiring, especially since it comes on a topic that is so discussed and topical.

If you want to read more about Romero and her DJ career, click on the link above.

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The Housemaid Haunts a New Trailer

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Here’s the thing… if we had the choice between cleaning up our own house or being haunted by a vengeful spectral servant of sorts, well… just hand us a friggin’ mop, wouldja already? Still, in the case of The Housemaid, it looks like nothing is gonna stop her from sensing shivers! Dig on this new trailer.

Derek Nguyen directs the flick, which stars Kate Nhung, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan, Svitlana Kovalenko, and Rosie Fellner. Look for IFC Midnight’s release of The Housemaid coming to select theaters, VOD, and via Digital platforms in the U.S. on February 16, 2018.

Synopsis:
A forbidden passion awakens vengeful spirits within a haunted mansion in this bloodcurdling, erotic tour-de-force.

Vietnam, 1953: Linh (Nhung Kate), a poor, orphaned young woman, finds employment as a housemaid in a crumbling rubber plantation presided over by the emotionally fragile French officer Sebastien Laurent (Jean-Michel Richaud). Soon, a torrid love affair develops between the two – a taboo romance that rouses the ghost of Laurent’s dead wife, who won’t rest until blood flows.

Submerged in moody Gothic atmosphere, this stylish supernatural saga confronts the dark shadows of Vietnam’s colonial past while delivering heart-stopping scares.

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The Executioners Knock on the Wrong Door! Get Axed!

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Ever since Funny Games I’ve been kind of soured on home invasion flicks. There have been some great ones, but seeing an entire family cower before two white-gloved youths proved a bit too unbelievable for me. I wanted to see the family fight back.

One thing’s for sure: Judging by the cover of The Executioners, someone has picked a feisty group of folks to pick on. Interest piqued.

Directed and written by Giorgio Serafini, the film stars Jemma Dallender, Natalie Burn, Rachel Rosenstein, and Justin Fischer. Look for the flick to be arriving on DVD, Digital, and On Demand March 27th from Lionsgate.

Synopsis:
When four friends go on a retreat to a secluded lakeside cabin, they soon realize they’re not alone. Masked intruders try to take them hostage, but as they fight back, the friends get a taste for something more than the will to survive. Will their fate be as victim or executioner?

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