Blood-Soaked Nightmares Of A Zombie Holocaust

...An Autopsy Report By Doctor Octagon...

Of all the zombie films ever created upon this twisted Earth, the classic works of George A. Romero stand atop the grisly heap of busted brainpans, savaged human entrails, and mangled corpses. His trilogy of mind-bending zombie horror: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, and DAY OF THE DEAD simply contains some of the most prolific horror epics ever created. Romero's ground-breaking work influenced countless film makers the world over with these three films: from the tidal wave of Italian zombie movies of the late 70s and 80s (led by the incredible work of LUCIO FULCI) to the neo-splatter classic DEAD ALIVE (by New Zealander PETER JACKSON) to the domestic favorites like the RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD series or THE DEAD NEXT DOOR. George A. Romero is the Father of the Modern Zombie Movement in every sense of the word. Now fall to your knees and pay homage to your Daddy!

Romero's vision of the dead rising from their graves to feast upon the flesh of the living in an unspeakable Zombie Holocaust COMPLETELY changed the way that America (and indeed, the world) viewed zombies. Before the infectiously badass NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was released in 1968, zombies were inseperable from their traditional Voodoo roots. Zombies in film were almost always the products of sinister voodoo priests, wicked curses, or other such forms of spellcraft. Romero's foray into the realm of the undead completely seperated the zombie from its religious roots and brought it into its own entirely. Thanks to Romero's work, we were exposed to a completely new "Zombie Mythos". Romero helped develop the conventions of modern zombiedom that so many moviemakers take for granted these days. He defined the zombies as cannibals who constantly sought human flesh to devour. He refined the concept of zombies as long dead corpses (in varying stages of physical decomposition) with little or no individual will or intelligence. He created the notion that the zombie dies once its brain is destroyed (the infamous "zombie headshot") and that someone bitten or otherwise greivously wounded by a zombie will, in turn, become a zombie themselves.

What further cemented Romero's DEAD trilogy into its position of supremacy was the whole "Apocalyptic" angle he took to the dead rising. Romero turned his zombies into a force of nature: the impetus for the blood soaked end of all mankind. This was his vision: the way it would all end...with the dead refusing to go silently into the great beyond, but rather fucking up all of civilization as we know it. Romero created an incredible horror splinter genre this way: the notion of the "Zombie War". The Zombie War, or "Zombie Holocaust Concept" as it is sometimes called by retarded, glue sniffing street mimes put a spin onto the entire trilogy that allowed for classic "siege" situations to arise where small bands of humans must stave off massive onslaughts of hungry undead. Whether the last stands took place in an old farmhouse, a shopping mall, or in an underground military complex: they were all memorable battlegrounds where humanity met its grisly end at the hands of the zombie hordes. His films also developed the unmistakable air of lawlessness and chaos that accompanied the collapse of humanity. With civilization being ravaged by the rise of the dead- everything was suddenly possible. Looting and murder, rape and pillage were all possible now that there were no more laws to restrict or punish you. Gangs of murderous thugs could now roam the earth and prey upon human and zombie indiscriminately. You could walk into a gun store or supermarket and simply steal whatever the hell you wanted: money didn't mean shit any more (zombie holocaust has a way of fucking up economies). Basically, you were on your own. The law of the jungle was in effect and it was up to you to save your own ass.

With these little nuggets of background information in your possession now- you should be primed and ready to experience the eternal classics that Father Romero hath wrought. These movies are ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENTS for ANY horror fan. For those of you who have forsaken these fine flicks and passed them over- you should hang your head in eternal shame. For those of you who have not heard of these flicks in more than just passing reference: now is your time to learn about each of these LORDS OF THE GENRE. Now.... with all of this formality horse shit dispensed with- pull up a chair: you've got ringside seat for THE END OF THE WORLD!

The Romero Dead Trilogy

"They Keep Coming Back For More In A Bloodthirsty Lust For HUMAN FLESH!"

Released: 1968
Also Known As: NIGHT OF THE FLESH EATERS, NIGHT OF ANUBIS (alternate titles) Runtime: 90 minutes
Directed By: George A. Romero
Starring: Judith O'Dea, Russ Streiner, Duane Jones, Karl Hardman

The source of all of this madness. 1968's release of "NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD" grabbed the horror genre by the nutsack and broke its face with a sledgehammer. Nothing audiences had seen in theaters before could possibly prepare them for this. A fantastic film that initiates the Zombie Holocaust that spells disaster for all of mankind. What starts as a strange confrontation in a local cemetary turns out to be the vanguard for THE ARMY OF THE DEAD when Barbara and her brother encounter a lunatic while visiting mum's gravesite. What ensues is a descent into cannibalistic madness when Barbara teams up with a small group of individuals who board themselves up in an old farmhouse in an effort to survive the zombie assault. One by one, the humans begin to fall prey to the undead horde as they struggle to realize how to stop them once and for all. Filmed completely in black & white and sporting a budget smaller than an episode of "WEBSTER" (approximately $150,000 for the entire film) NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of the definitive horror films of all time. It is blood soaked and unbelievably spooky to this day (a fact that the B & W film only enhances, kids)... all the way up to the shockingly grim conclusion! It's an all around bad ass film that MUST be seen by any true horror afficianado. There will be NO EXCUSES- ONLY DEATH.

"When There's No More Room In Hell, The Dead Shall Walk The Earth!"!"

Released: 1978
Also Known As: ZOMBI (alternate title)
Runtime: 126 minutes
Directed By: George A. Romero
Starring: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross
Special Makeup Effects Deity: Tom Savini

The second installment of the DEAD trilogy, and definitely the most ambitious. Weighing in at over TWO HOURS, "DAWN OF THE DEAD" is an amazing journey down the path of human extinction. The film picks up where the first film left off- with corpses rising all across the globe to feed upon their living bretheren. Humanity as a whole simply goes into collective shock as millions are killed in cannibalistic massacres on the first days of the zombie war. Governments buckle and collapse. Society crumbles into absolute chaos. There is panic in the streets. The end has finally come.

But that doesn't mean there aren't some hard asses that refuse to go quietly into the slavering maws of the undead. Special police SWAT units are mobilized in an attempt to control the zombie menace. DAWN OF THE DEAD focuses on such a unit based in Pittsburg, PA. Two members from this unit of zombie killers, Peter and Roger, realize that they are waging a hopeless battle against the zombies after an operation in a Pittsburg housing project goes absolutely apeshit. In the resulting carnage- Peter is forced to murder his racist asshole squad leader- and he and Roger decide to get the fuck out of Dodge. They team up with a local news reporter, her station floor manager, and their trusty helicopter traffic pilot and lift of the top of the WGON-TV tower amidst a tidal wave of zombie massacres.

After a series of aborted landings in rural areas (which are just as heavily populated with skulking zombies), the team realizes that they must find themselves a suitable fortress to hole up in during the worst of the ensuing holocaust. They opt for the best fortress that modern America can offer... the best equipped facility to handle a raging Zombie Armageddon...


The rest of the movie is an absolutely indescribable epic in which the team must secure the entire mall by cleaning out any lingering undead, gather supplies and weapons, fortify their "stronghold" from outside attack, and fend off endless waves of bloodthirsty zombies as well as murderous OUTLAW BIKER GANGS! One by one, the team members fall prey to the spectre of death- whether it comes in the form of a zombie bite to the brain, a bullet in the heart, or otherwise. What results is a hellish last stand as the dwindling survivors are forced back past line after line of defenses as the zombie break through their outer perimeter. Will anybody survive this nightmare at the shopping mall? Will any of our intrepid heroes best the living dead and live to fight again? And if they do...where the fuck do they go now? ZOMBIES COVER THE GLOBE!

DAWN OF THE DEAD is an absolute masterpiece of the horror community. It rivals, if not surpasses its predecessor in its greatness. It lives out the dreams that many of us have (looting a shopping mall for some of us.... fighting off zombie hordes for others) on screen. The zombies (while laughably cheap looking) bring to us some of the coolest fucking gore to be seen in a horror flick in eons. Effects Master TOM SAVINI sure knows how to make his audience cringe: whether its with a zombie instestine feeding frenzy or with shotguns bursting human heads like overripe melons. A fantastic piece of film history...and one that should be rammed down the throat of every man woman and child in this great country of ours.

Another little tidbit of trivia that should tickle your left titty involves the 70s Italian goth-fusion band "GOBLIN", whose original work is used throughout DAWN OF THE DEAD. Nooo.... not the mall "shopping music" dumbass- the other stuff! To the left is the cover of their 1978 "Zombi" album which featured their contributions to the film DAWN OF THE DEAD.

"The Darkest Day of Horror The World Has Ever Known..."

Released: 1985
Runtime: 91 minutes
Directed By: George A. Romero
Starring: Terry Alexander, Lori Cardille, Jarleth Conroy, Anthony Di Leo, Jr.
Special Makeup Effects Demi-Human: Tom Savini

The tagline is suitably ominous when you compare it to its bigger brothers in the trilogy. DAY OF THE DEAD is definitely the lightweight of the bunch despite the fact that it had the biggest budget. Romero's original ideas were radically altered before the final product saw the light of day... and as a result the film is somewhat lacking compared to the two earlier Romero zombie pix. Still, to say that DAY OF THE DEAD is not a fun-filled (and gore-flecked) romp through Zombie Town isn't quite doing it justice. DAY OF THE DEAD is pretty damn entertaining on its own... it's just when you compare it to the megaliths of the genre like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and DAWN OF THE DEAD its weaknesses really stand out.

DAY OF THE DEAD picks up the tale of the Zombie Holocaust approximately 5 YEARS after the events of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD supposedly took place. Mankind has essentially lost its battle with the living dead. Zombie now have dominion over the entire earth and only tiny, isolated pockets of human "resistance fighters" exist. DAY OF THE DEAD focuses on one such group of holocaust survivors: a group of both scientific and military personnel that are hiding in a secret underground command bunker somewhere in Florida. From their base of operations in the bunker, the scientific arm of the team is conducting hideous experiments on captured zombies in an effort to render them harmless to humanity or otherwise eliminate them. However, when their underground holding cells run low on freshly imported zombies from the surface world... the lead scientist turns to using freshly dead military personnel from the bunker as guinea pigs for his hellish experiments. Not suprisingly, when the military personnel find out about this- they go apeshit and decide to "banish" the remaining scientists to the underground caverns where the remaining zombies stalk in eternal darkness. Only one problem... somehow, the outer defenses of the bunker were sabotaged- and now the teeming masses of undead bastards are making their way into the underground complex itself! So now, faced with an unstoppable undead foe- the scientists and soldiers are forced to decide between cooperation and TOTAL EXTINCTION.

While DAY OF THE DEAD might not have a storyline that rivals its predecessors- it has several hundred buckets of blood 'n' guts to tip the scales. Being exceedingly nasty and graphic is many scenes helps DAY OF THE DEAD remain an extremely entertaining... if rather disappointing end to an otherwise flawless series. The characters seem rather weak and uninspired... as is the entire "pacification" surgery angle that the scientists carry out. The idea of "domesticating" the dead through partial lobotomy is pretty fucking lame in my book... and the lone test zombie that we are subjected to over and over (named "BUB"..... Auugh!) does more to hurt Romero's excellent mood of the first two DEAD films more than anything else. this is undoubtedly due to the deep-sixing of Romero's original vision for the film (in which rival military commanders in the complex create personal armies of the undead to wage war against each other in the sprawling underground complex) due to financial woes and the fact he's basically making do with what little funding he can get.

Still, DAY OF THE DEAD is a lot of fun. The blood and guts are here in wild abundance... and you'd be hard pressed to walk more than three feet onstage and not trip over a pile of ripening human innards or zombie carcasses. The film contains some spectacularly memorable scenes where soldiers are literally eaten alive before their own eyes. Absolutely sickening... and that equals FAMILY FUN ! The film also benefits from a dramatic increase in film quality as well (according to who you talk to). Gone is the thick cheapness that permeated everything that hauled its scabby ass out of the 70s... replaced with the glossy neoprene doo doo finish of 80s style horror flicks. For some- this might be a downer, as the 70s flick DAWN OF THE DEAD had an indescribable disco-esque visual appeal to it... but for others it may be a bit of a relief to see the visuals looking more polished than ever before.

Any way you spin it, DAY OF THE DEAD is a bit of a let down when stacked up against its two big brothers- but still a fun filled time at the movies that everyone can appreciate. DAY OF THE DEAD can be equated to the third GODFATHER movie: not exactly a disgrace to the family... but nothing that furthers the glory of the franchise. I still reccomend DAY OF THE DEAD for all horror fans- and for zombie lovers it's a MUST SEE- but I won't exactly creep in your window and drive a railroad spike into your kneecap if you don't see it.

There Are Countless Web SItes Devoted To Romero's "DEAD" Trilogy. Here a just a few of them...

America's favorite necrophile SHINER hosts an absolutely amazing collection of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, and DAY OF THE DEAD material at his PAGE OF THE DEAD site. Tons of authentic photographs, trivia, cast notes, quotes, sounds, and even fuck-ups that occured during the filming of all three DEAD films (four if you include the 1990 remake of NIGHT). Shiner has even included THE ORIGNIAL SCRIPT of DAY OF THE DEAD (in its entirety) on his page! Very professional. Very slick looking. Very bad ass.

An amazingly comprehensive DAWN OF THE DEAD Preservation Page that has exhaustive databanks chock full of images, icons, interviews with GEORGE ROMERO, cast & crew notes, GOBLIN info, and a VIRTUAL MONROEVILLE MALL taken straight from the film itself. Whompin' Stompin' Bad Ass. Truly a paradise for a lover of DAWN OF THE DEAD. Drop on in and tell that zombie loving maniac who runs that site (he's the one the ladies know as Sweet Dick but the Law knows as Norman C. England) that we love him! A visit to the Farm is truly time well spent.