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  1. #76
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    Wasn't expecting this - was still tinkering on what to write next.

    Then this happens.



    Actor Joseph Pilato has died, he was seventy.

    March 16th, 1949 - March 24th, 2019

    He died peacefully in his sleep like director, George A. Romero; cause of death is (currently) unknown.

    News of his demise was announced by actor Marty Schiff on his Facebook page...

    It is with great sadness that I inform you that actor and old friend Joseph 'Joe' Pilato passed away quietly in his sleep last night. Rest in Peace, Joe.
    - posted on March 25th

    Schiff by the way played "Motorcycle Raider" in "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978). That was Pilato very first movie.



    Pilato had a bit part as "Skipper" in the '78 film. His appearance is mostly edited out of the theatrical cut (only in a single long shot) and deleted entirely from the Dario Argento version - "Zombi". It only (officially) exist in the Extended Cut, a.k.a. the Cannes Film Festival version.

    I say 'officially' since his role, all of it can be seen the bootleg endeavor, "Extended Mall Hours" cut which combined Argento and Cannes cuts (theatrical was edited from the Cannes version).

    There is an sub entry for that - for more info, click here.

    By the way, that extra gun was pointed at Stephen "Flyboy" Andrews (David Emge), not Pilato's character; a bit off camera.

    The actor had for the most part retired, but did do the horror convention circuit. When he was acting, Pilato had done several genre features; "Knightriders", "Alienator", "The Demolitionist", "Wishmaster", "Empire Of The Dark" and "Effects".

    While researching for this post, discovered at one time the actor wanted to be a lawyer in the 1970s. And something hit me.

    In strange coincidence, he would begin and end his career within the Romero undead universe.



    As mentioned above, "Dawn" was his first feature. His last movie was as a voice actor in the 3D animated feature, "Night Of The Living Dead: Darkest Dawn" as Harry Cooper, the role done by Karl Hardman in the original 1968 film.

    "Darkest Dawn" was a previous Retrospective entry; click here for Part I, Part II and Part III.

    His '78 film credit isn't Skipper, but "Officer At Police Dock".

    It is his death scene in "George A. Romeo's Day Of The Dead" (1985) as Captain Henry Rhodes which became legendary for its gore (practical effects), replicated to various degrees in zombie flicks around the world. Still in the imagination of fans to this day.

    The other bit - epiphany?



    While doing the image work (somewhat of a rush job; found out hours ago). It occurred to me that actor Joe Keery (from "Stranger Things" as Steve Harrington) kinda looks like a younger version of Pilato.

    Yeah, we lost another horror icon. Rest in peace.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 03-31-2019 at 04:49 AM.

  2. #77
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    PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - S

    Heat is tangible, the image before you is distorted; simmers, curls and bakes. If you had an egg, you could cook it on the asphalt. It's that damn hot and this is only June. This would be the time to migrate to cooler locales. You need some wheels, hell even a bicycle will do.

    Few trees line on the side of the road and no abandoned cars. This is was a scenic route.

    There is a reprieve. In the distance you hear a stream, running water - cool water, magnificent. Homing on the sound after a few minutes you come across the source. A little piece of heaven all to yourself.

    A careful scan of the area show it free of zeds or anyone else. This would make a great time to give your clothes a quick wash and hot enough to dry it rather quick on some low hanging branches.

    You strip nude and give all the particulars a good wash in the creek. You can see dust and dirt coming off your duds. This has been a long time coming.

    A moment later after hanging them, you drop in - neck high in the succulence. This is how you want to spend the afternoon. Just chillin'... literally. Eyes close to let it all in; sounds and crisp smells of the water.

    The smells... smells?

    An odor comes lingering in - faint at first, but quite unmistakable, decaying flesh. And more distinct from the heat wave. But where? You can't see him or her from the vantage of the waters. Is it more than one?

    This could be very bad. Nude, no weapons near you and blind to the threat. The only thing you can do is hope and wait for it to wander away. Silence is your only weapon. Birds have now gone mute. From nearby, dragging feet is heard.

    And that's when it was seen. Across from you on the other side of the creek it comes. From the general appearance this former guy was auto mechanic. It has part of his throat missing (strands of skin still hanging) and long stained overalls. It sees you, but is puzzled? Are you alive, perhaps? It gives out a minor moan, but you remain still. It waddles closer to you. Still not moving.

    The dead man stops, head slightly tilted, like that old RCA dog. Still not moving. Another light moan. Nothing. Maybe it thinks you're a fallen statute or even a printed billboard in the water. Yet again, another minor moan. Another few steps forward.

    Still you remain ridged.

    It pauses for a minute then hears a scurry to its right - a deer who saw the danger, flees. The zombie knows fresh meat and attempts to follow 'living' prey. It waddles again now towards the deer's previous location, tries to satisfy unholy hunger.

    A short moment later - alone once more. Not gonna play this again. You were damn lucky.

    Clothes are mostly dry and put away in your backpack and on your person. You reach in the creek to refill your empty plastic bottles. Time return back to the road. Back to the scorcher. You need portable shade, you need an umbrella.

    It's been awhile since the last post. Too long, but hardly forgotten. It is a never ending quest for stuff about and related to "Night". Getting lost online I find yet another... particular.

    This isn't on the Romero film - at all. But what appears to be an homage for a different purpose.

    I came across the autobiography of Kerry Cohen who's youth was marred by lack of structure and longing for attention - any kind of attention. Sex does not equal love. Considering the nature of the memoir - this could've been a very deliberate cover image - dead on the inside (at the time).



    This is the book, "Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity". Released on May 1st, 2008 from Hyperion (ISBN# 978-1401303495) for $21.95. The hardback is two hundred-ten pages long.

    The dimensions are 6.1 x 9.2 inches. Was later released on paperback.

    For everyone who was that girl. For everyone who knew that girl. For everyone who wondered who that girl was.
    - Cohen

    Dark and honest autobiography about Cohen's youth. Bad decisions, various vices and addictions; including STD scares and more.



    Doesn't that cover look very familiar - even quite iconic? Say a little dead girl who ended up consuming her mom.

    When I first saw the Cohen cover I thought the girl on the cover was dead - her eye milked up. Then again, I saw it in a poor res. Nah, her eyes are closed, head pointed down a bit. For the effect, just look away from that pix. She looks sinister. That image above was cleaned up - even the photos online were crap. Did a good job on what was available. Before you ask...

    I do no own this book or the book on CD set.

    Seven discs; unabridged - read by Cynthia Halloway. Out of print from Tantor; sold for $29.99. Released on June 17th, 2008. 8.5 hours long.



    Digging deeper, discovered the cover girl image was also repurposed for another book; "Raw Blue" by Kiristy Eagar in 2009. The story about a surfer girl, Carly (nineteen) who want to be alone - working just enough to get by. But she can't play forever.

    It's a young adult novel. Also do not own this book.

    As you can see they took some liberties to the picture. A tank top was photoshopped on her, no more just black lacy bra.

    The above was the Australian cover, the author is Australian by the way.



    The cover image was different for the North American release.

    There you go. Not the best of "Night" content, but this will have to do for now. Gotta love the fact that horror movie touched so many people; nearly fifty-one years later and still being felt. Will post again, soon.

  3. #78
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    PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - T

    You had seen it done numerous times in the movies and on TV, hell even on an episode of "Gilligan's Island" - making a raft out of chopped down trees, bound together, not nailed. Doing it was something that was more of an excuse to waste time - like you had better things to do.

    The lake was huge.

    Getting to the other side was like trying to outrun a sunset. Just too big. After making sure to craft the floater with as little noise as possible since you were out in the open - you made this old timey river transport in a couple of days. Took some trial and errors, but after awhile it made sense.

    A extra long shaft was made by binding several times over three thick, semi-straight branches. This will work. Pushing yourself across the mostly still waters across the bottom by the pole.

    Something that wasn't in those features and television examples. Them log rafts are damn heavy and should be crafted NEAR the water. Ended up pulling the wooden non-contraption to the shore and into the lake until it floated. Heavy breathing, exhausted.

    And there you laid on the raft, plumb tired. The day was quite overcast, no real worries about a heat stroke or a sun tan. Just time to rest and admire your efforts. After half an hour of drifting about, you stand up and nearly fell off.

    Attempt number two.

    This time, a better stance, up on both feet with pole. The lake bottom was deep, but not too deep to have a good chunk of the stick above water for pushing. Yeah, this is gonna take some time. Push and move, push and move. Push and move. Push and pulled.

    Pulled?

    Blood turned ice cold. Something you never considered when you make this venture. What if there's something... down there. The stick is pulled again. The best option is to not pull it up. The pole may bring up something other that dripping water.

    A quick glance down though the semi-clear water is the stuff of aquatic nightmares. Dozens of them on the bottom all looking with decaying eyes back at you. Seeing an opportunity, you yank that pole as hard as you can; free and undeadered. The stick is back on the raft.

    Oh damn! White on white, translucence black cape; tattered and waving below the surface. One of them is wearing a friggin' cape! It is quite true - Bela Lugosi's dead.

    After awhile they fail to surface. Something is keeping them down, not really neutral-buoyancy. More like hovering a couple inches off the bottom. This would explain why there was no dead anywhere near the lake, they had dived in. Why?

    Why not just kinda - float back on shore and walk off? Serious questions with no answers. Or answers ever. What to do now? Stuck on it. The only solution, crappy as it is - there is a current, it's pushing you down the lake... which is where you wanted to go anyway, but on the other side. Nothing left to do than just lay down and be super quiet.

    Thoughts drifted about making a break and swimming to shore - either side would do. But it's now a distance away. When you get there, should you not get bitten or infected from scratches - you will be drained. Too tired to now RUN from either those undead under the water who made it back on land or from any zeds from the nearby woods who heard all the ruckus you made getting back on soil.

    No. This isn't happening. What you can do is hope, hope they don't follow you all the way back to terra firma. If they do, maybe they no longer have land-legs; rotted down to the bone.

    Maybe.

    So there you lay - thinking. What if there were piranhas in the lake? If they ate the undead, would they become Zombie-Piranhas? That's a movie starring Tara Reid as Dr. Scientist, before you could give a chuckle...

    You heard a splash. Pardon? Where? Another good question. And once again, splash. Damn, this is turning into a seriously bad day.

    It's been some time since the last entry. I have a small addition and a horror compilation DVD set mentioned. Plus genuine news - a serious update. Sway!



    So what is today's dance? We have a Blu-Ray steelbook from the United Kingdom, out of print - released from the Zavvi's website. It streeted on September 28th, 2015. A limited edition of 2,000 copies for ú26.99.

    It had a single extra, carried over from Genius Products 2008 release of 1968's "40th Anniversary Edition". The excellent documentary, "One For The Fire: The Legacy Of 'Night Of The Living Dead'". That's it.

    The BD is a locked region B title (UPC# 5-055201-829801). And is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio, 2.0 mono.

    Wait for it...

    Wait.

    They made it widescreen. Chopping off the top and bottom to fit and more than likely utilizing pan to scan to make the action centered. *head shakes*



    See that? Even dead are choking from the B.S. (image not from Zavvi release).

    Yeah. So... it's crap. The film was never widescreen, EVER. It was made full screen, the only film stock they could get their hands on. As I understand, this was remastered as it were from a public domain print. And it gets better!

    You notice something above in that cover image?

    That's not some kind of distortion, nope. What is it? Creases, you read right. You see the person(s) who made this cover just downloaded a crease covered poster picture and mod it for the steelbook print.

    Everybody is ticked off by how lazy they were in making the cover. They didn't even bother to create new artwork. The mindset of 'good enough' is good enough. Yup.

    - - -

    Normally I don't include compilation sets. Far, far too many of them. The reason I'm doing is two folded.

    1) This is rather short entry. 2) I like the cover artwork. Yeah, that simple, caught my fancy, basic and gets it done.



    "Box Of Monsters: 11 - Movie Collection" DVD set streeted on June 12th, 2017 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for $23.98. UPC# is 0-43396-51182-8. No slipcover was issued. Can't say if this came with an insert. But I'm gonna say no since the back cover has film synopsises.

    Came in a standard DVD case. The set has more than sixteen hours of horror entertainment. These titles are:

    "Bats" (1999)

    "The Blob" (1989)

    "Chupacabra Terror" (2005)

    "The Dark" (2005)

    "Death Tunnel" (2005)

    "Decoys" (2004)

    "The Devil's Chair" (2007)

    "Frankenfish" (2004)

    "Lake Placid: The Final Chapter" (2012)

    "Loch Ness Terror" (2008)

    "Night Of The Living Dead" (1990)

    As far as I can tell from researching - no extra features are included. These are all Sony owned flicks. A six disc set. No remastering at all; a horror theme compendium - nothing more. I would recommend just buying NOTLD 1990 by itself, that release has bonus features (on the topic of "Night").

    And now the update.

    I have ordered the Sean Abley adaptation of the 1968 public domain film. You may recalled I did the book review for the Christopher Andrews novel back on April 27th, 2017. It was a long write-up.



    Now you're getting the second unofficial novelization... for October. As expected, it will be detailed. And more than likely broken up into parts.

    Like I would allow a Halloween to go by without some classic zombies. *wink*

    See you back here on October 3rd, 2019 for 'Night Of The Living Text' 2.0 or so. Sometimes the mail just is late. Beyond my hands.

  4. #79
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    PART IV: BOOKS - A6 P1

    The raft had drifted for some time. The splashes were very erratic and petty much amounted to noise, not long enough to really pinpoint - as you were laying on your back. Like one or a couple of the dead made an effort to swim or waddle up to the surface, made a minor disturbance - nothing to grab or latch onto and got swallowed back to the depths.

    There was nothing more to do than just ride it out. Hours later, you gave a gentle rise, sitting up trying to make a little noise as possible. It's now becoming sunset. A slow turn behind, you see a dock. Turns out these hours had pushed you along near the other side of the shore.

    The tiny wooden pier was close enough to risk it; daylight is snuffing out. Too much of a danger to go in the dark to unknown parts on water. While highly unlikely... what if there's a waterfall you can't see? Risk it!

    You get proper footing, a solid stance and shove that poll into the water, trying to make it your b!tch. Push and move. Push and move. Push and move. Push and move. Push and move. Push and move. Push and move!

    Faster. The raft is in motion - going where you want. Then once again - push and pulled. They're under you once more. You can't pull the poll up, that will bring deadly baggage. You let go and watch as it gets pulled under. All you have now is the momentum you made. It's coming.

    But not close enough. You have to make a jump, leap onto that pier while the distance is... well, kinda reasonable. Fall down, get hurt - you die; beyond a ton of splinters. No time to think, DO!

    You gave as much of a sprint that was possible, airborne. Legs pulled up as far as they could. Only at this very moment a thought popped in your head, a what if. What if you make it, but break a leg or foot? No real time to consider that.

    Down.

    It was a hard tumble, but your backpack had taken most of the impact. A roll you turned into a run. Running down the dock and into the forrest. After some seconds, you turned around to see the raft being pawed at, still drifting. Now a distance away from the pier. They still think you're on the raft? GOOD.

    You catch your breath and hear a crack in the distance of the forrest, broken branch. Really? From one fire pit to another. And it's getting dark too. Can't go back to the water. To make matters worse, you still have yet to sleep. The only thing to do - be diligent and silent. Another crack is heard. The same zed? Or a second one?

    You're gonna find out soon enough.

    Let me say, this book was received on September 11th of this year (bought off eBay), but was such a chore to finish. That didn't happen until October 11th, 2019. ONE month to read. It was such a pain, felt like I was back in high school having to do a book report on a title I have zero interest in. Read bit here and a bit there - concluded.

    Some stats before we continue.



    "Night Of The Living Dead" by Sean Abley was released on October 10th, 2016 from Dark Blue Things (ISBN# 0-692-77603-6) for $11.99. And is out of print since the company no longer exists. Yeah.

    The softback is one hundred eighty-three pages long. The dimensions are 5.1 x 7.8 inches, but is rather thin.

    The cover image is credited to Abley which was him taking a famous film still, turning it into a negative image, slap on text - done! Probably the mostly lazy cover I've seen in some time. Which pretty much foreshadows the print inside.

    I have a first edition.

    - - -

    NOTES/REVIEW

    Man, this was a waste of time and of my money. There is nothing of any real consequence to be gained from this novel.

    I took a bullet for you guys. Just stay away from it, believe me. Spend money on porn or fast food, you'll get a better joy from it.



    Hey! You want a good novel that expands the universe in the classic 1968 film - seek out and buy the Christopher Andrews adaptation (above). Well worth the effort and greenbacks. He took the writing endeavor as a challenge to fill in blanks and resolve some plot points. NOT just pop in the DVD and type out what's happening on screen - 'I is a writer!'. What the hell?

    You can read my three part review of Andrews' book - starting here.

    It's like Abley's book was written for pretentious hipsters who don't like films, only publications. But don't want to be left out of a "Night" conversation. So this exist for them. Oh joy.

    The book follow the movie and not much else - which is the damn problem.

    We learn one tiny bit on Barbara and Johnny.



    [quote]Years ago, in one of his crueler moments Johnny suggested roots from the tree were probably slowly growing into their father's coffin. The resulting gruesome mental picture - tree roots piercing through the walls of the casket into her father's face - was forever forcing its way into her mind. On cue, the macabre image popped again as she approached the grave, but this time the roots burrowed even farther into her father's corpse, leaving him unrecognizable.[quote]
    That's it? Yup.

    So what background info did we learn?

    Barbara and Johnny, minus the above - just the events in the movie.

    Tom and Judy - just the events in the movie.

    The Coopers, what happened to them and how they ran into Tom and Judy? Movie only info.

    Ben and his experience at Beekman's Diner - the movie.

    What was the point here Abley? The stuff you added was so minor it could be cut out without anybody noticing their absence. And why are these chapters are so tiny, three or two pages long? Some are one and a half pages long.

    So what was added?

    This is in no particular order...



    We learn about the ghouls who approached the farm house, who they were. This chapter is titled "Intermission". He names the nude dead woman as "Jennifer Donahue" who worked at Beekman's, but hadn't been to work in days. The angry manager was about to call the cops on her to find out why she wasn't at work when the apocalypse happened.

    The coroner tag on her wrist, Primrose County Morgue; DOD: 9/14/68; Cause Of Death: Asphyxiation. She die from a suicide??? No further info. But here's the thing, this is known.

    There is a promo image of the nude woman with tag (side view). Her zombie character name is "Carole Smythe", case number "#40916". This isn't hard to find, it's on the net. There is a second picture of her from the front; behind-the-scenes pix. Yes nude, but not an attractive woman - noted for having one of the zombie cast checking her out. Yes dude we see you lookin' at her. Bug eating, undead Marilyn Eastman is in the background in her tattered moo-moo.

    Anyhow, this bothered the hell out of me. The author gives some names and their past lives, but not enough details to be of any value. Like... HOW DID THEY DIE? Did they die from bad luck/fate or at the hand and mouths of the undead? This would be expanding on the story, giving a broader scope of the epidemic. No, not here. Just skimmed the surface as if that's more than enough. No sir, that is not enough. No.

    Then we get into this mess; a massive error in the finale where Abley actually ditched canon. *face palm*

    I'll get into that in a few.

    We get a tiny bit on Barbara - she was concerned that the man at the cemetery had friends at the farmhouse and would try to get her too. No real reason given. She discovers some kind of struggle had happened in the home. At this moment she was quote proactive and cautious to remain silent, then snapped because she was physically and emotionally drained.

    For the rest of the book, Barbara thinks she's the center of the universe. Everybody is trying to murder her - this is no joke, her character her really does believe this.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 10-21-2019 at 05:27 AM.

  5. #80
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    PART IV: BOOKS - A6 P2

    The first zed who entered from the back door; when it was just known as Barbara and Ben - was murdered, had his throat slashed. No more details. Again WTF? Why even bring it up with zero background. One more sentence would've completed the info - 'he was a victim of a mugging.'

    Tom knew the man who pawed through the wood planks in the kitchen, the one who got fingers cut off by the big knife. And both young couple knew the cemetery zed, "Ted Shiner". He was a teacher from the local high school. Two days earlier he was at the cemetery for a funeral and was the last to leave - that's all we get.

    Again, what the hell? You give this set-up for something - and nothing happens at all. How did he die? Couldn't be bothered to write it down?

    As I've been saying, so much filler.

    Helen looking at the catatonic Barbara and wondering if the sights she had seen would be same for Karen. The little girl saw a lot of terrible things that night. Will she be like the woman on the couch, later in life? Now that part did add to the story. Wish there was more actions have consequences thinking.

    Did like the other bit on Helen; when she finds out (to her shock) about the radio upstairs that Harry had closed them to it...

    "Take the boards off that door." She rarely demanded anything from him, but this was not a request.
    Another error is not including the full radio news broadcast. We get parts omitted. Such as this, VITAL piece which has been mentioned in this retrospective...

    The whole ghastly story began developing two days ago with a report of a slaying of a family of seven in their rural home near Gallpark, Louisiana. Since then, reports of senseless killings began snowballing in a reign of terror which has hopscotched in an erratic disconnected pattern throughout much of the eastern and midwestern United States.
    - radio announcer

    That's damn important!

    We get a two page chapter on the ghouls and their former identities at they eat the charred remains of Judy and Tom in the truck. "Intermission II", joy.

    Near the end - when the posse is shooting/cleaning out the dead, there is that single ghoul who got shot in the back of his head and grabbed his face. That part did break continuity. Anyhow, he's presented as "Michael Crane", former maţtre d' at the only good steakhouse in Evans, Pennsylvania.

    You get the picture. Bits of tiny stuff that are pretty much just throwaways.

    So what was the other big error? Ben's death.

    Ben's body on the bonfire. As pointed out in HIS novel, Ben was shot in the head, brains blown. Yet...

    On the pyre as it was catching fire, Ben was resurrecting. I quote Abley...

    The thing had been Ben awoke to a stage that approached consciousness. Something that might have passed for a thought began to form in its brain: So Hungry... Must Feed... But even that primitive thought was obliterated as the intense heat turned Ben's brain into a syrupy liquid that quickly began to boil away.
    This is in the book. Did he NOT see the movie that he transcribed?

    Head shots or a blunt instrument - destroy the brain and they fully die. No getting back up, ever.

    What really sucks, I had been wanting this book since getting and reading the Andrews adaptation. 'I bet this one is gonna be just as good.' No.

    No it's not. Just an overall waste for everybody; characters and the reader too. Could've bought a crappy public domain copy of "Night" and would've gotten the same experience. Man, I wanted to give you guys a cool Halloween entry.

    I'm sorry. In the end - this book review is a warning.

    - - -

    Did I learn anything?

    Yes. Yes I did. Something that didn't register all these decades until that Friday. I know George A. Romero put himself in the movie, a bit part - the aggressive reporter in Washington DC; trying to get quotes about the strange radiation from the Venus Probe - possible connection to the situation.



    He's newsman Don Quinn. That part did make me smile. I'm still learning stuff after all these years. 'Hello Don, I now know you.'

    Above is a behind-the-scenes pix, Romero 'Don' is the one with the mic.

    - - -

    Can't keep them down. Even on the stage.



    Going on right now; from October 4th through November 10th on the main stage of at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood, California. General admission is twenty-five dollars. Seniors and students with ID is twenty. 10900 Burbank Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601.

    There is no intermission on the roughly eighty-five minute production.

    Seek online for show times; there are special performances, matinees and regular performances. Can't say if this is set in '68 or in the present. This was put together by The Group Rep based on a script adaptation by Gus Krieger. Produced by Larry Eisenberg and directed by Drina Durazo.

    In Night of the Living Dead, as a mysterious pandemic emerges and quickly spreads, seven strangers barricade themselves within a Pennsylvania farmhouse, attempting to escape the swarms of bloodthirsty, flesh-eating ghouls now ravaging the countryside. Beset by the walking dead outside, and ever-rising interpersonal tensions within, the group begins their desperate attempt to survive the longest night of their lives. A harrowing new adaptation of the classic film, "Night of the Living Dead" remains an incisive and terrifying exploration of human nature and the demons that plague us both inside and out.
    - press release

    I have a cast list, but not who's playing who, so I won't list them.



    That's it folks for now. There is another book adaptation, but it's a film script published - hoping to get made. "Night Of The Living Dead: 2014 Screenplay" by Jimmy Edmonds released by The Creative Stock Market.

    Barbara and her brother Johnny drive to the countryside to visit the gravestone of their late father when Johnny is brutally murdered by a mindless old man. The murderer then turns to Barbara who manages to hide in a small farmhouse where she meets Joe and a few others who are hiding from what appears to be an attack on the living. The dead keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for human flesh!

    This is a 2014 edition of the original screenplay written by George A. Romero and John A. Russo. It was rewritten, edited, modernized and formatted by Jimmy Edmonds.
    - press release

    Considering how much I loathed Sean Abley's work. I don't know if I want to try again. That screenplay could be crap on a cracker. I suppose it really depends on how much it cost. If it's cheap enough, might bite. Maybe.

    They start in his suggested direction. John is trying to catch up with Barbara.

    John: Why are you walking so fast?

    Barbara: (Looking ahead, trying to spot the gave) Hmmm?

    John: What's the hurry?

    Barbara: You've been bitching the whole way here about how this trip is a waste of time, and now that we're here, you walk like a snail.

    John: Whatever.

    Their jibes at each other are not really in anger, but are the typical of brother-sister annoyance. They walk through the row of gravestones in the growing darkness. Barbara pulls out her iPhone and uses it as a flashlight to read the names on the stones.
    - screenplay excerpt

    Not helping is Edmonds renaming the iconic characters. Ben becomes Joe. Can imagine other names changed. Joy.



    What really needs to happen is the Andrews book re-released with a far better cover. The original image is garbage. I would stay away from a movie still and use artwork. Like the above examples; DVD covers from a public domain print. Terrible looking transfer, but excellent covers. Or even a variant to the official novel, paperback by John Russo, cover art (above, far right). That's a great picture! They want inside to get you.

    Save a safe and fun Halloween. And "Night' on your cue on the 31st; 1968 or 1990 both are equally good. See you later.

  6. #81
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    PART II: THE REMAKES - A10

    No story, just somethings caught on last night's viewing of the 1990 remake.

    As I've said many times over - I've seen the first remake so many times I can't even give a number to it. Even saw it on opening day; October 19th, 1990.

    So it brings me a great smile to see things in it that I never noticed until now.

    While watching it FOUR things caught my attention that I hadn't seen before.

    This was mentioned in the review (Part III) for "Night Of The Living Dead: Darkest Dawn" (2015)...



    Following being introduced, Harry (Tom Towles) grabs a beer from the frig. Can of Stoney's Beer; brewed in Smithton, Pennsylvania - a local ale. Movie takes place near Pittsburgh, PA.
    - me

    This beer shows up later, towards the end as a can being drink and as a tee.

    One of the redneck posse men who found Barbara (Patricia Tallman) after the farmhouse siege is wearing ale apparel.



    It's a Stoney's Beer tee shirt!

    The character's name wasn't said. At least I didn't catch it. But was able to isolate (internet mojo was good this night) - David Butler as Hondo. Very nice touch of continuity most will never notice. This is one.

    Number two happened while working with that image.

    There's a guy in a stretcher the background being helped by paramedics. Was he bitten or injured by some accident; friendly fire, maybe?

    The third is something I had just taken for granted - believing it was just part of the visuals for the end credits. Nope. It's part of the narrative.



    There is a cameraman snapping away at the posse who are celebrating around the bonfire. His pictures are presented as the pixs in the end credits. Woh! Cue in some Duran Duran music. How could I have not seen this until a few hours ago?

    The forth is something in the background of that image - the grain silo. It is after all a farmhouse. Which has gotten me thinking. What if Ben and or gang had silently climbed the ladder and tied themselves to it? As we have seen the undead can't climb.

    They were shown earlier - just before one of the ghouls pulled the power line, they can't climb. Either not enough strength or dexterity or combo. They could go up and see for miles up there. Be quiet and have the dead just pass them by. Have someone on watch making sure none of them try to ascend.

    Granted they can only see from where the ladder is - there could be trouble on the other side of that silo. But from that point they could hang safe and call out for help when help passes by. I'm even thinking how to make a wooden platform with chains for them the rest and sleep.

    While very true... if exposed that silo becomes a death trap. No way down. Anyhow, those were four new things I discovered on my umpteenth viewing.

    I have another entry in the works. Another book review coming in late November or so.

    Happy Halloween folks! Be good... well, good enough not to get hurt or behind bars. *wink*

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    PART IV: BOOKS - A7 P1

    Considering how big this entry is - no story this time out. A four parter!

    Man, I took another bullet for you guys. So screw it! I'm gonna have some fun with this crap - the images.

    Lets begin with stats.



    "Night Of The Living Dead: 2014 Screenplay" by Jimmy Edmonds was released on April 10th, 2014 from The Creative Stock Market (ISBN# 978-0-615-99160-3) for $14.99. A.K.A. "Night Of The Living Dead: 2014 Shooting Script" from page one.

    The softcover is ninety-four pages long. The dimensions are 8 x 10 inches and is rather thin.

    Looking at the book credits, discover this thing is an MOD publication, Manufacture On Demand. Did not know this also happens for books too. How do I know?

    A step back. I paid nearly twenty for this - was the last one at that price, the ones after that goes into the forties. Plus there is NO eBay listing at all. Like it doesn't exist. Buy it now or don't, not paying forty bucks (when you include shipping).

    I'm flipping the pages - reading various infos. On the very last page is the detail. This book was ordered November 2nd, 2019 and arrived on the 4th. Swift delivery from Amazon. The last page reads "Made in the USA... 02 November 2019". The other bit is the county where I live, we have an Amazon distribution center. My jaw dropped.

    So I guess this counts as a first edition? *shake head*



    That cover pix is a stock image - the very same picture was used for another zombie novel, "Days With The Undead: Book One" (softcover) by Julianne Snow from Sirens Call Publications; 2012 for $12.99. Mentioned in a previous Retrospective entry.

    Something I just noticed while writing the stats - the spine is red, but has no text. So if this is in a book shelf - how do you know what this is? YOU DON'T.

    - - -

    NOTES/REVIEW

    Oh man, where to begin?

    Barbara and her brother Johnny drive to the countryside to visit the gravestone of their late father when Johnny is brutally murdered by a mindless old man. The murderer then turns to Barbara who manages to hide in a small farmhouse where she meets Joe and a few others who are hiding from what appears to be an attack on the living. The dead keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for human flesh!

    This is a 2014 edition of the original screenplay written by George A. Romero and John A. Russo. It was rewritten, edited, modernized and formatted by Jimmy Edmonds.
    - official press release

    Sir you failed. You failed in such an epic way, you should go back to writing school or just stop writing all together. You stripped away any heart, characterizations and story particulars to rush towards the ending... as if this wasn't meant as a real screenplay, but some D+ grade, class project that you thought, you could make some money off. You can not be proud of what you wrote.

    Add to that - it's like you're not a horror movie fan since you omitted so many iconic moments and lines from the classic film. Even taking away vital news. One character is axed and another is suppose to be transgender? Wasn't made clear, the same with the undead rules. Just sloppy writing.

    You failed sir. You failed.

    I took down various notes on eight blank index cards as I read this turkey. Just for my sake, gonna do this chronology.

    The stupid part is a lot of the nonessential dialog is lifted direct from the movie. What?! And the things which were important wasn't included.

    The characters:

    Barbara (a mother, twenty-two), John (twenty-six), Joe Holt (no Ben; now a white guy, forty-seven; has tree kids - oldest is fourteen), Tom (not a young person, he's the caretaker at the cemetery and a father of two kids, aged), Harry and Helen Tinsdale with their son/daughter Karen.

    There is no Judy. Let me pause here.



    Judy isn't a fluff character, she has a role - she represents a portion of the audience who would stay put, even if it means dying. Because out of fear, believes everything will be okay, this will be short lived. Don't move.

    Listen. Remember when we had the big flood? Remember how difficult it was for us to convince you that it was right to leave? Remember? Remember we had to go to Willard then? This isn't a passing thing, honey. It... it's not like just a wind passing through. We've got to do something and fast.
    - Tom to Judy about leaving the farmhouse, 1968

    You see this with folks who live in fire danger areas who - every year do not evacuate because think it won't be so bad, just stay put and it'll be okay. She part of that audience. The same with Barbara ('68), she represents the audience who would go catatonic, unable to process what is happening. Like car crash survivors - in a daze; information overload.

    Cutting her out and making Barbara pick up the slack - messes up the story since she's suppose to be out of it. But here goes in and out of lucidity, helping the gang make the molotov cocktails with Helen.

    Then back to stupor. What an ultra convenient plot point.

    In the original film, Barbara kicks the story in and doesn't become active once more until the end. Her role was bookends and consistent.

    *shakes head*



    Same as the movie, Barbara and John are at the cemetery. This takes place in 2014, she has an iPhone. Uses the phone as a light to find the grave and later in the dark farmhouse. John also teases her here.

    "They're coming for you Barb... they're coming... to get you."

    Here Barbara is a Catholic praying at their father's grave with rosary beads. And because of the remote location, no cell signal.

    Daylight saving also happens here and this part...

    We're either gonna have to move mom to Parkville or move the grave Pittsburgh.
    This no longer takes place in Evansville, PA.

    Same to same, ghoul attacks and kills John - not with a broken neck on a tombstone, but he and the attacker fall into an open pit and the ghoul bites his face. He just dies, Barbara's screams get its attention and it goes after her.

    Rules change; the cemetery ghoul scratches Barbara's face, but she's fine. In fact none of the zombie rules are established. They can power walk/stalk and jump. Then... can't, quite inconstant. And also sprint.

    John does not rise - towards the end Sheriff McCelland finds John's remains as he and posse go through the cemetery towards the known farmhouse in the distance. Turns out John was found by others who ate him. Mostly bones remains.

    And that Parkville cemetery is just off the road from the farmhouse, not a distance away.



    Barbara flees from the ghoul in John's car, no keys. Just releasing the emergency breaks, car on hill. No longer daylight, dark. She turns on the headlights to see as she coasts.

    Moments before the dead guy crashes though the passenger window, not by using a rock, but by hard and rapid head butts.

    There is no impact on a tree. She goes down the hill and reaches another hill. The car slows and starts to move backwards. She breaks it and flees on foot, kicking off her shoes since it would slow her. Not running shoes.

    Now - that part I liked. Some thought was done in that area. She wasn't dressed for running. I'll give Edmonds credit for that.

    Now at the house - sees the cemetery ghoul (from a window) going after the locked garage - thinking the girl is inside. Pulls away in silence.

    Now Not-Ben arrives in a low tank car. Joe dispatches zeds with a shotgun he already has. Doing head shots. Now this is fracking important. He knows how to put them down. Did it earlier, but forgets later and keeps shooting in the chest - wasting limited ammo.

    He sees that Barbara is alive and grabs her, taking her to one of the parked cars next to the gas pump - it's here too. Breaking the glass with the butt of his gun. But he is unable to get it started, too many are now coming for them.

    Run back to the house, running out of ammo, single shot left when the door is slammed shut, locked.

    When Joe arrived she had panicked and ran upstairs to find the eaten corpse and then ran out of the house in screams.

    Another smart thing happens here.



    Before boarding up the windows, Joe found some groceries bags in a cupboard and stuff items from the refrigerator in it. In case they have to flee in a hurry, have food to eat while on the run.

    Windows are getting covered, using what is available - having a hard time locating long nails. Most of them are short ones. Joe is the one who gives Barbara the big kitchen knife.

    Gonna take another pause here.

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    PART IV: BOOKS - A7 P2

    Lets talk about the dead. As mentioned earlier, they are quite inconstant. Can jump and sprint, then can't. Some of them are shown not attacking right away, watching them - waiting.

    The process of re-animation isn't explained or even speculated. This would be a vital piece of information. Like how to put them down.



    Edmonds does not call them: ghouls, undead, zombies or even walkers - here he calls them "Creeps". So... "Night Of The Creep"? Wait, that's a different movie from 1986. Not a sugar high.

    Barbara goes in and out of her daze - being enough coherent to help Joe board up the windows.

    Once there is a lull; they exchange information.

    As said, Joe has three kids - kids which are NEVER mentioned again. So much for love. Worse yet with Barbara, nowhere does she even name her child or show concern for their welfare - at all.

    Joe tells her what had happened to him - how he ended up here. Huge omission happens here. There is NO Beekman's Diner story.

    There must have been thousands of them down in Cambria when the word got out... those fuškers came out of nowhere... The sickness got them, made them mindless, heartless and now... good folks turned to monsters, killing everything with a pulse.
    - Joe's conversation with Barbara



    Not kidding, that's all there is.

    The events at Beekman's was something that captured the imagination of viewer for over fifty years! Even the bastard movie cut that was "30th Anniversary" edition had the diner included.

    The 1990 remake also included it.



    So did the 2016 Sean Abley novel adaptation. And the 2009 Christopher Andrews book expanded it, showing what had happened at the ill fated diner. How the hell was this left out by Edmonds?

    At this point Barbara goes full hysterical to get John. Joe has to get her to be quiet, she's gonna attract more of the dead. He doesn't slap her, he punches her. But that doesn't quite work. Ends up slapping her HARD. That turns her off.

    Same to same.

    Lights up the fireplace.

    Finds another shotgun with ammo and shoes in a closet which he puts on her feet.

    Gonna take another pause here and talk about the pointless radio broadcasts.

    ...emergency radio network. Normal broadcast facilities have been temporarily disconnected. Stay tuned to this wave length for emergency information. Your law enforcement agencies urge you to remain in your homes. Keep all doors and windows locked or boarded shut. Use all food, water and medical supplies sparingly. Civil defense forces are attempting to gain control of the situation. Stay near your radio, and remain tuned to this frequency. Stay out of roads. Do not use your vehicle. Remain in your homes. Keep all doors and windows locked... Our live broadcasts will convey information as received from civil defense headquarters. This is your civil defense emergency radio network...
    - repeating looped radio broadcast

    Which by the way is coming from an older radio that has to warm up.

    Then becomes...

    Are we ready? Are we on? (the voice is tried, but the man is able to read his reports unemotionally, with the air of a professional commentator who has been covering a major event for forty-eight hours and is no longer impressed with the latest developments)

    Okay... Up to the minute reports informs us that the siege first documented in the Midwestern section of the country is indeed spread across the nation, and is in fact world-wide. Medical and scientific advisors have been summoned to the White House, and reporters on the scene in Washington inform us that the President is planning to make that conference in an address to the nation over your civil defense emergency network. The strange beings, that have appeared in the most parts of the nation, seem to have certain predictable patterns of behavior. In the few hours following the initial reports of violence and death and apparently deranged attacks on the lives of people taken completely off guard, it has been established that the alien beings are human in many physical and behavioral aspects. Hypotheses as to their origins and their aims have to this point been so varied and so diverse that we must only report these factors to be unknown. Teams of scientist and physicians presently have the corpses of several of the aggressors, and those corpses are being studied for clues that might negate or confirm existing theories. The most overwhelming fact is that these beings are infiltrating through urban and rural areas throughout the nation, in forces of varying numbers, and if they have not yet evidenced themselves in your area, please... take every available precaution. Attacks may come at any time, in any place, without warning. Repeating the important facts form our previous reports. There is an aggressive force, army, of unexplained, unidentified humanoid beings that has appeared in world-wide proportions and these beings are highly aggressive, irrational in their violence. Civil Defense efforts are underway and investigations as to the origins and purpose of the aggressors are being conducted. All citizens are urge to take utmost precautionary measures to defend against the insidious, alien... forces... these beings are weak in physical strength [until they're not], they are easily distinguishable from humans by their deformed appearance. They are usually unarmed but appear capable of handling weapons. They have appeared not led and organized army, not with any apparent reason or plan, indeed, they seem to be driven with the urges of entranced, or... obsessed minds. They appear unthinking... they can... I repeat; they can be stopped by immobilization: that is, by blinding or dismembering. They are, on the average, weaker in strength than an adult human, but their strength is in numbers, in surprise, and in the sheer fact that they are beyond our normal realm of understanding. They appear to be irrational, non-communicative beings... and they are definitely to be considered our enemies in what we must call a...
    And a moment later.

    ...periodic reports, as information reaches this newsroom, as well as survival information and a listing of red cross rescue stations point, where pick-up will be made as often as possible with the equipment and staff presently available...
    See that?

    Big words used to convey jack sh!t. Other than news that the President will address the nation (which didn't happen in the screenplay), not much else was told.

    Want to see it done right with earnest - watch the '68 movie. The newsroom man collating reports into an important broadcast. This crap is mostly pointless. Like trying to fill in dead air with little know details.



    Or watch the DVD/BD of "Dawn Of The Dead" 2004 remake. It has a mock news broadcast covering the rising - "Special Report: We Interrupt This Program!". Jumping in hours showing how bad and how quickly the deadly contagion is spreading. They had a decent budget for the production. This is what it would look like if it happened for real.

    *shake head*

    Almost like the writer is some kid who thinks himself fancy for including a string of grown-up words. I'm being quite serious. Having doubts this was written by an adult, but an adolescent.

    This is idiocy.

    I say - "I was sick, went to the doctor today - was tested and will have the results next week".

    But coming from Edmonds would be - 'The illness grew in intensity making me realized that professional medical inquisitors were a must to return to normalcy. My visit included, but not limited to various probes, visual, electronic and fluid extractions which are to be examined for uncommon traits and possible incursion of unhealthy contaminants. The conclusions of these assessments will be made known to me not in the following day or even days, but rather a week hence where I will learn the source of my indisposition and if this is part of a larger malady.'

    Yeah, exactly like that. As if there was a word count quota - or has autism.

  9. #84
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    PART IV: BOOKS - A7 P3

    Anyhow, when you have such a movie; sci-fi, horror or fantasy. You must have reason, not a conclusive cause, but possibilities. The '68 film mentions a possible link to the detonation of the Venus Probe before it reached Earth due to strange radiation. This was never confirmed. The same with the sequel, "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978); Peter's comment - "When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth". Implying the zombie apocalypse has a supernatural cause.

    NONE of this is here. We get no possible origins - 'just because' isn't good enough and is damn sloppy. How old was Jimmy Edmonds when he wrote this tripe?

    So why the break?

    At this point the cellar rats make themselves known.

    Not the Coopers and our Tom; nu-Tom stops Barbara from trying to run outside.

    The first in-house attack happens. One of them grabs Tom's wrist trying to pull him through the barricade. Joe shoots the dead man, but it doesn't go down.

    Remember?

    Tom is now in shock at what is being seen. They won't go down after being shot in the chest. Another is shot below the pelvis and the thing tries to shift weight to it right side, but collapses still going after the farmhouse.

    Helen by the way is still Helen. As is Sheriff McClelland.

    But we have a big discontinuity with their injured kid...

    She [Helen] wrings out the cloth [from the nearby sink] and takes it to a young boy, their son, lies motionlessly atop a homemade worktable.
    No name is given to their SON until later.

    Then later...

    (getting up, announces) I'm going to the cellar to take care of Karen.
    - Helen

    A moment following...

    As Helen reaches the bottom of the cellar stairs, she looks up, and her face shows a shaken smile... her daughter is sitting up, propped on her elbows, on the workbench table.
    HER DAUGHTER!

    So which is it? A boy or a girl? And how was the kid hurt?

    The next on Karen - she pulls a Roger from "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978), rising up from rest, now undead.

    She starts for her, but stops... there is something strange... her face turns slowly towards her... we see the ghoulish look in her eyes... She is DEAD. She begins to rise slowly, terrifying, her features grotesque... the coat that was her blanket begins to fall away... her eyes stare through Helen... and beyond her... slowly, agonizingly, she raises herself from the table.
    Yup, a Roger.

    No tool, no trowel - Karen just pounces on her mom and we cut to the upstairs. Her death is unseen.

    Man, I must be a glutton for punishment - more transcribing; the TV broadcast.

    ...assign little credibility to the theory that this onslaught is a product of mass hysteria. Authorities advice utmost caution until the menace can be brought under absolute control. Eyewitnesses account have been investigated and documented. Corpses of vanquished aggressors are presently being examined by medical pathologists, but autopsy efforts have been hampered by the mutilated conditions of these corpses. Security measures instituted in metropolitan areas include enforced curfews... and safety patrols by armed personnel. Citizens are urged to remain in their homes. Those who ignore this warning exposed themselves to intense danger from the aggressors themselves, and from armed citizenry... whose impulse may be to shoot first and ask questions later... Rural or otherwise-isolated dwellings have most frequently been the object of frenzied, concerted attacks. Isolated families are in extreme danger. Escape attempts should be made in heavily-armed groups, and by motor vehicle if possible. Appraise your situation carefully before deciding upon an escape tactic. Fire is the most effective weapon. These beings are highly flammable. Escape groups should strike out for the nearest urban community. Manned defense outpost have been established on major arteries leading into all communities. These outposts are equipped to defend refugees and to offer medical and surgical assistance. Police and vigilante groups are in the process of combing remote areas in search and destroy mission against all aggressors. These patrols are attempting to evacuate isolated families. But rescue efforts are proceeding slowly, due to the increased danger of nightfall and the sheer enormity of the task... Rescue, for those in isolated circumstances, in highly undependable. You should not wait for a rescue party unless there is no possibility of escape. If you are few against many, odds are not in your favor. The aggressors are irrational and demented. Their sole urge is the quest for human flesh. Sheriff Conan W. McClelland, of the County Department Of Public Protection, was interviewed minutes after he hand his vigilante patrol had vanquished several of the aggressors. We bring you now the results of that interview.
    So much said that didn't amount to jack!

    That whole thing could be done in three or so sentences. What did he mean by "sole urge is the quest for human flesh"? Since NONE of the radio nor TV broadcasts include people getting eaten.

    Another bad decision; Sheriff McClelland does not say his iconic line. We get this instead...

    Tell 'em to shoot for the eyes... that'll stop these bo jobbers!
    No joke. This is what he says.

    McClelland's first name is indeed Conan, the sheriff of Butler County.



    Sheriff McClelland's right hand man, Vince isn't here - instead we get some guy named George. Same as the original, Joe/Ben is shot dead.

    Originally done by Vince, but here is shot by some random person in the posse.

    By the way, Willard is still seventeen miles from where they're at.

    Back to the drama...



    It is Tom here which has the table leg torch. Helen and Barbara had made the molotov cocktails, Harry throws them down the from the second story window. They run to the gas pumps to fuel one of the trucks there, they HAVE the correct key. This is the only point in the story where Harry is actually enthusiastic - Joe says the plan and Tom comments there's a key in the basement marked "Pumps".

    Harry rushes down to find the key which he does and brings it up. This could very well save them all. But this can only end in disaster.

    Poor Johnny... he's all alone out there... We have to get out of here... maybe we'll find him in Willard... maybe he was able to crawl to the car and get away.
    - Barbara

    Tom is fumbling with the key, can't get it in - too many are coming. No choice, Joe shots off the lock. Still okay. But in the haste, Tom spills gas over all the rear of the pick-up which also sprays his torch - setting the car on fire. Tom gets the car started and drives away.

    Joe is yell at him to get out before it blows. And it does. Tom is dead?

    No.

    Unable to know and getting surrounded, Joe flees back to the farmhouse and is met by Harry who won't let him back in. Joe forces himself in and starts beating on Harry. The door is relocked and everybody is deflated, the news is coming in ten minutes.

    It is at this point watching as the car burns that they discover what happened to Tom. The cemetery caretaker had jumped off before the truck exploded. He made it. But was overtaken by the dead who promptly torn him to pieces and ate him. He had taken the car away from the pumps knowing that if it stayed, the resulting explosion could have taken the house too by setting it on fire from burning debris.

    Waiting for the next TV broadcast, Helen is going down to check on their boy/daughter (whatever). Harry tries to convince her to get Joe's shotgun. Now this is pretty much the only part of Edmonds' story which DID improve the original film.

    That should've been in the Romero film. Harry trying to get Helen to grab Ben's gun to give them the advantage. Here Helen listens to case and walk by Joe, pausing. But decides NOT to take the shotgun - there was serious hesitation. I liked that. That would've happened.

    Their kid kills Helen. Back upstairs, Harry jumps on Joe for the gun. As they battle for the shotgun, Karen appears and attacks Harry, biting into his neck. Joe cocks and pulls the trigger trying to shoot the kid. But misses and hits Tinsdale in the chest, killing him.

    Still in a daze, Joe grabs Barbara to drags her to the cellar. But not before picking up Karen and toss her into a wall. Undead Helen pops up at the top of the cellar stairs. Point blank range - Joe shoots her. She's pretty much blown to pieces. The final thing done before going down is shooting Harry three times as he resurrected, putting him down.

    He bars the door as they descend. The ghouls have broken in and are in the house. Karen is banging on the cellar door and getting others to join in. Unsure if the wooden bar will hold. They can only hope.

    Next morning, both are woken to distance gunfire - McClelland's posse clearing the dead as they advance to the house. No more noises above.

    Barbara... Barb... here, honey. There's men outside... I can hear them... they must be here to rescue us.
    - Joe

    Barbara is still a mess, but he and she go above. Same ending. He's shot in the head. She screams and runs back to the cellar, leaving the door open. I did say she was still a mess.

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    PART IV: BOOKS - A7 P4

    McClelland grabs the rifle from the random guy's hands - they heard the scream too. Lets call him Deputy Doofy. Sheriff goes inside with pistol ready. Sees the open cellar door and goes down. Finds what's left of Barbara in a chair. Is ready to shoot - thinking she's one of them, but see tears. He stops and helps her out.

    End Credits.

    Stinger:

    Joe's body isn't dropped into the bonfire, he's put on a stretcher and into a station wagon. Why? No clue.

    It's a God damn shame... an accident... the only loss we had, the whole night.
    - Conan McClelland

    And that's it.

    Among the many parts which bug me - one somewhat stands out. When we are introduced to Harry he was armed with a metal pipe. Then when they make the gas run; Harry says he has a pitchfork.

    Where did that come from?

    And where did that go? Never seen or mentioned again.

    - - -

    I've made it quite clear - this screenplay is crap on a cracker. So many issues wrong with it. I suppose that Jimmy Edmonds was trying to make this story his own, but failed. Poor characters, weak story, weaker still reason and inconstant foes.

    Granted, this next is both hated and loved, but it highlights how it's done.



    I'm talking about the 2006 remake, "Night Of The Living Dead 3D". This was only made as a cash grab, modest investment - large pay out. The director and producer Jeff Broadstreet gave zero BS, all about quick cash. Then this should've been one huge turkey with no heart or care to story.

    But in that desire - he and filmmakers gave us an original take on the classic. These are flawed people put in an extraordinary situation. Ben is a drug dealer, selling (illegal) pot. Marijuana grown in a hidden way farmhouse owned by the Coopers; Harry and his wife, Hellie - a recovered drug addict. Plus her daughter from a pervious marriage, Karen.

    The main character isn't Ben, it's Barbara trying to get them to call for help - they are reluctant since it could send them to prison if the authorities knew what was going on. And they would loose Karen too. Only when things become a siege do they try, but it's far too late.

    Here Ben dies not from the posse, but from being infected - resurrects, Barbara has to put him down.

    We get Tom and Judy, both are farm hands who were having sex in the barn when found by the dead - eaten. The film was quite original with enough nods to the '68 film for fans. I enjoyed it. Own both the 3D and 2D versions - which have slightly different extras.



    Like I said, this is hated - intensely. Too many changes to the movie with characters, now not so benign. But it did well enough that a sequel was made, "Night Of The Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation" in 2012. Which was a prequel, bring back characters from the first film - who were dead when we met them, most of the cast reprising their roles. We get more on the 'why' this happened. I own this too.

    - - -

    While doing various research on this book came across something huge.

    I have an update once more on Romero's final zombie work.

    "The Living Dead: A New Novel" hardcover has a June 9th, 2020 release from Tor Books with a reported six hundred fifty-six pages. Preorders is now up on Amazon. Written by Romero and Daniel Kraus. ISBN number 978-1250305121.

    New York Times bestselling author Daniel Kraus completes George A. Romero's brand-new masterpiece of zombie horror, the massive novel left unfinished at Romero's death!

    George A. Romero invented the modern zombie with "Night Of The Living Dead", creating a monster that has become a key part of pop culture. Romero often felt hemmed in by the constraints of film-making. To tell the story of the rise of the zombies and the fall of humanity the way it should be told, Romero turned to fiction. Unfortunately, when he died, the story was incomplete.

    Enter Daniel Kraus, co-author, with Guillermo del Toro, of the New York Times bestseller "The Shape Of Water" (based on the Academy Award-winning movie) and "Trollhunters" (which became an Emmy Award-winning series), and author of "The Death And Life Of Zebulon Finch" (an Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Book of the Year). A lifelong Romero fan, Kraus was honored to be asked, by Romero's widow [Christine], to complete "The Living Dead".

    Set in the present day, "The Living Dead" is an entirely new tale, the story of the zombie plague as George A. Romero wanted to tell it.

    It begins with one body.

    A pair of medical examiners find themselves battling a dead man who won’t stay dead.

    It spreads quickly.

    In a Midwestern trailer park, a Black teenage girl and a Muslim immigrant battle newly-risen friends and family. On a US aircraft carrier, living sailors hide from dead ones while a fanatic makes a new religion out of death. At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting while his undead colleagues try to devour him. In DC, an autistic federal employee charts the outbreak, preserving data for a future that may never come.

    Everywhere, people are targeted by both the living and the dead.

    We think we know how this story ends.

    We. Are. Wrong.
    Indeed.

    That early part - "pair of medical examiners find themselves battling a dead man who won’t stay dead", that was published in "Night Of The Living Dead" anthology novel, 2017. The sixth short story - which had no ending, "John Doe". You can read about that short in the Retrospective book review entry.



    Above is the old cover from when the project was first announced, years before his death in the Fall of 2009 when Headline, a United Kingdom publisher make the known, Romero was going to write a novel for them. But it didn't happen. At least not like they hoped.

    Over the years it would pop up. Was suppose to come out in July 2012 from Grand Central Publishing. No. But there were pre-orders from Wal-Mart and even Amazon.

    In San Diego, an autopsy seems routine until the corpse sits up and begins to walk - after all of his organs have been removed. Suddenly, the rules of this world have been rewritten and the dead now walk the earth. In Atlanta, a reporter covers the epidemic, showing viewers glimpses of increasing chaos from across the globe. Nowhere, it seems, is safe. The captain of an aircraft carrier hopes to save his crew from the disease by remaining at sea, but seemingly within moments zombies are wreaking havoc on the ship. THE LIVING DEAD follows different groups of people as they react to the crisis, working together or, for some, using their limited knowledge of zombies to try to survive. But is survival even possible? Or desirable?
    - Headline's book description

    Anyhow, this reboot of the story was going to do what none of the movies had done - give true reason why the dead have risen.



    Here's the new cover for 2020, looks pretty crappy. I blame Doofy. The older cover was better. What is that suppose to be? Dead skin flakes?

    I'm done. Man, this turned into a four part post. Can't say when the next entry will come about or what it'll be on. But I'm sure something will pop up on my radar. Till then.

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