A new era begins – consider this “DOCTOR OF THE DEAD 2.0” – and right here on the 49th anniversary of the release of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD! Join Arnold, the Doctor of the Dead himself, along with new co-host and Accidental Hellraiser Scholar, Natalie B. Litofsky, as they briefly look back at the legacy of Father of the Modern Zombie, George A. Romero, and talk about the time-jumping Season 4 premiere of Z NATION, “Warren’s Dream!” Also: Whither Woodard? They’ll explain!
It is with heavy hearts that we join the rest of the zombie, horror, and genre entertainment community in saying farewell to a true legend, the Father of the Modern Zombie himself – George A. Romero, 77. From the 1968 classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD through five further films and a remake of NIGHT, Romero helped to shape the modern conception of the zombie, establishing a storytelling framework that enabled him and countless other creators that followed him to use the zombie as a versatile figure for exploring the human condition. His other films, such as THE CRAZIES, MARTIN, CREEPSHOW, and THE DARK HALF added to his horror legacy, but it is with the zombie genre that Romero will forever be associated. Although the man has left us, his name and work will remain, triumphantly undead and eternally meaningful.
We discussed Romero’s legacy on four episodes of the DOCTOR OF THE DEAD podcast so far, and we invite everyone to join us in revisiting those conversations as a fitting tribute to a man that so successfully blended horror with sociopolitical and cultural commentary, opening our eyes to the true nature of our fellow human beings and, regardless of budgetary or other limitations, aiming always for our heads.
The original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is an indisputable classic, the beginning of the modern zombie genre and a deeply meaningful film on many levels. In a past episode, Arnold and Scott delved into that movie’s rich history and legacy, but this time around it’s time to talk about the often maligned but still very intriguing 1990 remake helmed by none other than special effects guru Tom Savini! So settle in, you yo-yos, and listen as the guys chat about the atmospheric and thematically fascinating NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1990! After all, you came back…you…came back…
By popular demand! At long last (and just in time for their 85th episode), Arnold and Scott turn their attention to one of the most apocalyptic achievements of horror cinema, the conclusion of George Romero’s first immortal trilogy of zombie mayhem, DAY OF THE DEAD (1985)! In this special tribute installment, the guys chat about favorite moments from such an oft-viewed classic, themes that resonate as powerfully in 2016 as they did in 1985, and some of the reasons why the zombies of DAY represent the apex of effects mastery by Tom Savini and his dedicated team. Head down into the salt mines (and get ready to do a lot of yelling), tell Bub to say hello to his Aunt Alicia, and have yourself one truly horrific day!
…But wait, that’s not all! After all, 1985 was “The Year of the Zombie,” so Arnold and Scott also talk about other unforgettable zombie milestones like THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, RE-ANIMATOR, LIFEFORCE, WARNING SIGN, and a number of others you might not even remember!
But that was the second part of the day. First, we traveled to a deceptively quiet street and a distinctively decorated store front to meet with Kevin Kriess of the Living Dead Museum, a veritable treasure trove of information, artifacts, and memorabilia related to NIGHT, DAWN OF THE DEAD, DAY OF THE DEAD, and many other aspects of zombie genre history dating both before and after Romero’s immortal trilogy.
Formerly based in the Monroeville Mall, site of DAWN, the museum is now just minutes away from the aforementioned Evans City Cemetery. In the second installment of this series, we covered the beginning of the museum visit. Now it’s time to finish this photo-essay review of a one-of-a-kind zombie destination!
It was a fantastic visit, and I hope I find myself back there soon. I hope you all enjoyed seeing this sojourn into the past too! “It’s hard for us here to be reporting this to you, but it does seem to be a fact…”