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  1. #91
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    Jul 2015
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    Popping In With Another Update - Part I


    Eight years of false starts, multitude of reschedules and flat out lies. It's here.

    It's here.

    Actually forgot about it until the start of this month and decided to do another check to see what has changed (again). This time it said it was coming out in two days. Did nothing, could be another layer of BS.

    Waited until that afternoon, making sure they had it in stock - for real. The answer is yes.

    The LONG awaited final novel by George A. Romero, completed by Daniel Kraus is out! Released on August 4th for $27.99 from Tor, received my copy on the 11th - I had Amazon free shipping.

    Gonna take my time, the novel is 635 pages with an additional fifteen by Kraus detailing how he got involved and his method for completing Romero's book since he had died before completion. Not going to rush - it is the final rodeo.

    An excerpt was published earlier in the undead anthology, "Nights Of The Living Dead", published by St. Martin's Press in 2017. "John Doe", the sixth short in the book. It stands out since it has no crescendo - it just ends before anything real happens.

    Did a story by story review of the book in late 2018 to early 2019 - here's Part 2 on "John Doe".

    This needs to be made clear since there are some who just can't grasp. This isn't all in the same cinematic universe. These are sequels and reboots - starting at day one, not connected with the films which came before.

    The first iteration was a trilogy which became a quadrilogy. The modern/contemporary zombie concept, now a trope started with...



    "Night Of The Living Dead" (1968); the undead contagion begins. The movie concerns itself with the events through the eyes of (mostly) random strangers who have taken refuge in a now abandoned farmhouse in a rural part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This is day three of the infection, now becoming an epidemic.

    "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978); three weeks have passed since the events of "Night"; the undead crisis is getting out of hand - authorities are overwhelmed. We are witnessing the fabric of civilization coming undone. Now following four survivors who take refuge in a fortified mall in Pittsburgh of their own doing. A sanctuary which becomes their tomb. But gets worse with invaders who want the goods inside.

    "Day Of The Dead" (1985); undetermined number of years have passed since the events in "Dawn". Humanity is facing extinction. As Dr. "Frankenstein" Logan says, "400,000 to 1" (conservative estimate), the ratio of undead to the living. We follow a group of survivors; military and scientists who were gathered in the last minute to find a solution in an underground, repurposed facility. This is where film series originally ended, a bleak conclusion. This entry took place in Florida, not in Pennsylvania.

    "Land Of The Dead" (2005); undetermined number of decades have passed since the events of "Day". People have been born, only knowing the world of the insatiable resurrected. Humanity consolidated itself, retook urban areas, created (mostly) safe zones. Fiddler's Green in Pittsburgh is one of several such places around the planet. We follow a group of city soldiers and mercenaries who were tasked, retrieve a stolen survival tank, Dead Reckoning which will be used against Fiddler's Green by a terrorist. This is where the franchise starting with "Night" '68 concludes.

    but...



    Before his death on July 16th, 2017 - Romero was working on a fourth sequel, "Road Of The Dead". The screenplay was completed and was getting ready to shop it around for investors, then he died. Written by Romero and Matt Birman.

    It's set in a sanctuary city where this fat cat runs a haven for rich folks, and one of the things that he does is stage drag races to entertain them. There's a scientist there doing genetic experiments, trying to make the zombies stop eating us, and he has discovered that with a little tampering, they can recall certain memory skills that enable them to drive in these races. It’s really "The Fast And The Furious" with zombies.
    - Romero

    That quote was made three days before his death. Romero understood he could not keep it up, opted not to direct, but to produce. Birman was going to direct, he was second unit director on "Land".

    "Road" takes place six years after the events in "Land".

    Think a makeshift Roman coliseum with cars and ghouls; taking inspirations from "Ben-Hur" (1959) and the "Fast And The Furious" films. Like with "Survival" it is set on an island, not in Pennsylvania nor Florida.

    We have a Caligula type ruler who unknown to him has among his stolen possessions (a person) - the cure. Zombies can end. It's a race (literal) to make sure he doesn't find out and to take it off the island. Because with the remedy, he could rule the world - his exclusive salvation.

    [Sorry had to break this into two parts since I had too many text characters]

  2. #92
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    Popping In With Another Update - Part II


    The project was dead; there were efforts to make it for the big screen, but all failed. In the Summer of 2018 it was announced that IDW Publishing was going to release an adaptation of the screenplay; a three issues comic book by novelist Jonathan Mayberry with covers by artists Drew Moss and Santiperez.

    Had to do some research since there was no real hype over the mini-series. It indeed did come out and left without much interest. I'm bummed and happy about that. I want a MOVIE, not a comic book.



    Above is the graphic novel collection, ninety-three pages released by IDW on June 11th, 2019 for $15.99. It wasn't received too well, many complained about the artwork inside was poor, the covers had better art.

    Now that I know - it's on my list. I'll pick it up soon and do a write-up, the graphic novel, not the issues.

    - - -

    The first official reboot happened with "Night Of The Living Dead" in 1990.



    The remake could've restarted the Romero undead series. It failed, that's sad. I saw this on opening day and was floored. The remake was just as good as the original, that's an impressive feat. But as you read in my book review of "Night Of The Living Dead '90: The Version You've Never Seen", that awesomeness was accidental. *shakes head*

    The production was plagued with various problems and watered down for an R rating by the MPAA. Then it bombed at the box office; when you count the money spent on promotion - made with a budget of $4,200,000 [estimated]. It grossed over 5.8 million during its U.S. theatrical run.

    In fact it would be years later before director (and effects man) Tom Savini would helm another motion picture - he got so burned.

    This reboot is a stand alone feature, NOT connected to the previous films. As with the original, takes place at the start of the infection, once again - Pittsburgh, PA with a group of mostly random strangers under siege in an isolated farm house.

    - - -

    The second official reboot occurred in 2008 and did well enough to have a single sequel.



    "Diary Of The Dead"; once we are again on Day One. This new series is NOT linked to the Romero undead films that came before. No reason given, the situation is what it is - the dead have risen. Events takes place in Pennsylvania once more.

    "Survival Of The Dead" (2009); this follows the characters which were briefly introduced in "Diary", the AWOL National Guardsmen who robbed our main characters in their Winnebago RV. It is set a few weeks after the last movie and mostly off the coast of Delaware on Plum Island. Where our carpetbaggers encounter two family clans at war with each other - over what to do with the dead menace.

    There was room for a third; there was some talk about following the Tracy Thurman character played by Amy Lalonde. When we last saw her in "Diary", she had taken off alone in the RV - future unknown. She was a fun character what was her off screen adventures?

    - - -



    The third reboot came out this year (2020) with the book, "The Living Dead: A New Novel"; great chunks of it was written by Romero before he died (lung cancer), including outlines of ideas he wanted to use.

    We once again at Day One. None of the films that came before matter, a reboot. Like with 1990 this takes place in the present.

    As the horrors escalate we follow several people trying to survive the madness these random people will converge; Luis Acocella an L.A. assistant medical examiner, teen Greer Morgan, news anchor Chuck Chaplin as well as U.S. Navy helmsman Karl Nishimura and a mysterious woman, Etta Hoffmann.

    The book was written with the intent of answering the main question - how did this all come about? What caused the dead to rise? And the novel is self-contained; beginning, middle and end. No desire for a sequel.



    I've said this a few times. I don't care for the final cover art. The original cover done when this book was first announced was far more better, above - it had atmosphere. The final cover by Jamie Stafford-Hill, looks like cracked paint, it is so damn lazy.

    I'm going to have a new entry later this month on the re-remastered documentary, "Reflections Of The Living Dead" DVD which came out earlier this year. It will get written, have a lot on my plate right now. I've been writing a book, don't know if anything will come from it, but I want to put this to page while I still have passion on it. It's totally different from anything I've posted here, not movie or media based.

    Anyhow, it will get done and I have a story on it - Amazon dropped the ball. See you soon.

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