George A Romero has become known throughout the world as the creator, writer and director of the ground-breaking, seminal horror film, Night of the Living Dead. He is also the creator, writer and director of the four (to date) subsequent …of the Dead films. His …of the Dead films are, in chronological order:
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Day of the Dead (1985)
Land of the Dead (2005)
Diary of the Dead (2007)
Survival of the Dead (2010)
The first of the series, Night of the Living Dead is now recognised as a film classic.
Filmed in black and white in 1968, it has a documentary feel that makes the zombie horrors look very real and very horrifying. Here’s the trailer:
The sequel was Dawn of the Dead.
Dawn of the Dead was filmed in 1978 in a Pittsburg shopping mall and is now seen (quite rightly) as a satire on consumerism. Here’s the trailer:
The next film (in what was becoming a series) was Day of the Dead, which was filmed in 1985.
In many ways, Day of the Dead is the goriest and most violent of the …of the Dead films. It was another critique, this time of the conflict between science and the military. Joseph Pilato’s portrayal of Captain Rhodes is an incredible acting performance. Here’s the trailer:
The next in the series was Land of the Dead.
Fans of the …of the Dead series had to wait until 2005 for its release. Because of its storyline involving class struggle, Land of the Dead is an interesting addition to the …of the Dead canon, although it’s probably the weakest film in the collection. Here’s the trailer:
A recent offering from Romero is the highly-charged, hyper-driven gore-fest, Diary of the Dead.
Diary of the Dead (2007) is billed as a reboot – or a retelling – of Night of the Living Dead. It’s more a side story, but it’s still a powerful and scary film with some very good ideas in it. Students making a horror film encounter the far more horrific zombies, and have to fend for themselves. It contains a number of very wonderful scenes. Here’s the trailer:
Survival of the Dead is the latest in the ...of the Dead series. Rather than provide a plot summery, here’s the trailer:
There is also a very good remake of Night of the Living Dead, scripted by Romero and directed by Tom Savini.
Here’s the trailer:
A lot of people ignore George A Romero’s work because he makes zombie films. However, as with every other film in the world, the characters in the film represent something else; something universal. Romero’s zombies are metaphors – very powerful metaphors. Try watching Dawn of the Dead or Diary of the Dead and you’ll see what I mean.
© R J Dent (2010)