George A. Romero Talks the Dead and More!
Zombies, zombies, zombies. We’ve been in the midst of a filmic zombie invasion for quite some time now, and with "The Walking Dead" tickling fans’ fancies across the nation, it doesn’t look like the undead will be trying to find more room in Hell any time soon.
As such, it seemed like a good time to catch up with (drumroll) Mr. GEORGE! A.! ROMERO! (APPLAUSE!)
A fan of DC’s own Uncle Creepy, Romero and I broke the ice by chatting about his joint commentary track with my favorite Uncle for the Blu-Ray Survival of the Dead disc. “Oh, it was great fun. I mean, he’s very well-informed, but we couldn’t help but goof around a little bit! He’s a funny guy,” laughs Romero. “I just saw him in Boston or wherever we were there, and we always have a good time together. He’s a good guy.” Awww… I bet it’s fun hanging out with good ol’ Uncle George and Uncle Creepy.
Delving deeper into Survival, Romero shared his thoughts on the film’s reception. “Well, the fans seem to like it a lot. I mean, it took some serious hits from critics, but the fans seem to dig it. Every time I go to these conventions, the fans are buyin’ it and liking it. My films seem to take a while to catch on – they’re different. I think some people want sort of the same thing over and over again, and it’s just no fun for me to do that. I’d much rather try to mix it up a little bit and do something different with each one. So I think sometimes there’s an initial reaction to the films, which is ‘we came to see what we saw last time.’ But that’s just not my style." ”
This writer brings up the fact that Day of the Dead took quite a while to become the treasure among fans that it is today. “Yeah, it seems to take a while! I guess people just say, ‘Well, I’ll give it a try’ finally, and they wind up diggin’ it. It’s interesting because you’d think that real sort of hardcore horror fans wouldn’t pay a lot of attention to mainstream critics but it happens, and there’s an initial knee-jerk sort of reaction. If people read a couple of bad reviews on something, then they stay away from it for a while. So I think part of it is that – finally people try it on for size and decide for themselves whether they like it or not. I’ve also been extremely lucky in that [my fans] in particular want to have the whole collection of films! So my stuff seems to have a really long shelf life. I think probably some people buy ‘em and don’t even look at ‘em for a while [laughs]! It’s actually great – I have no complaints about that. My stuff has had such a long life… When I go to these conventions, I have a line-up of fans – they’re 16 years old and younger, and then there are 70-year-olds who were around when the first film came out, so I sort of stand the decades not only in my life but also in my films! ”