Yesterday I sat down with George Romero himself, one of the granddaddies not only of modern horror but modern independent filmmaking, and we talked about his new film, Survival of the Dead. I like Survival quite a bit because it’s a very different kind of zombie film; Romero has taken the standard zombie tropes and dropped them right into the middle of William Wyler’s The Big Country. He’s ended up with a widescreen, vista-fueled western… with the flesh-eating undead riding the horses! It’s a highly stylized vision, and that’s what’s exciting about it, especially because the fact that going stylized in the setting has given Romero the chance to focus on characters in a way he hasn’t done since Dawn or Day.
He’s not done with the genre mash-ups. ‘I’d love to do a real noir thing but nobody would ever let me shoot it in black and white,’ he said. I reminded him that Frank Darabont had done an incredible black and white version of The Mist. ‘I think that’s about as close as I’d be able to come,’ he agreed. ‘We shot [Survival] with the Red camera and I know that with the information that’s in there you could make a really great looking black and white [version]. So I could do it as an afterthought. Instead of special added footage, it would be the special deleted color!’
In other interviews Romero has talked about the next two hypothetical Dead movies following side characters from Diary, much as Survival does. One group he’s interested in would be the black militia, while there’s a blond woman he wants to spin from Diary. Knowing the genre conventions, I have to imagine that she’s the one this zombie noir would follow.
Look for the complete interview tomorrow.