The still from George A. Romero’s new movie that’s up at USA Today is a completely uninspiring glimpse of a zombie extra with blood on her face and matted hair. But in the accompanying article, Romero makes the new film, which IMDb has labeled as “Island of the Dead” though USA Today maintains it’s untitled, sound like “Survivor: Zombie Edition”: “It’s about tribalism… There are two factions. It’s the idea that even when faced with a crisis, tribal concerns about power control people’s motives.”
Romero also continues to affirm that the animated undead are the perfect gore-smeared slate on which to inscribe social commentary: “It’s this whole idea of tribalism, that we can’t pull it together. News reports about the presidential race still bring up religious topics or racism. That’s pretty much the central theme.”
Over at Out, Michael Martin talks to Bruce LaBruce about his new film “Otto; or Up with Dead People,” “the world’s first gay zombie movie”:
Inspired by conversations with kids on MySpace who told LaBruce they “felt dead inside” as well as by LaBruce’s then-boyfriend, who drew connections between his Shi’a Muslim religious beliefs and his obsession with death, the director says he wanted to make a zombie movie that responded to the homophobic and misogynist elements in current horror films. “They really love to see women being tortured. They always have this bizarre scene where someone is confronted with this homosexual scenario being foisted on them,” says LaBruce. “So I wanted to make a movie that drew an audience in on the premise of a zombie gore movie and ends up torturing them with a gay love story.”
And Simon Pegg pops up over at the Guardian to address the eternal issue of the fast zombie:
As monsters from the id, zombies win out over vampires and werewolves when it comes to the title of Most Potent Metaphorical Monster. Where their pointy-toothed cousins are all about sex and bestial savagery, the zombie trumps all by personifying our deepest fear: death. Zombies are our destiny writ large. Slow and steady in their approach, weak, clumsy, often absurd, the zombie relentlessly closes in, unstoppable, intractable.
[Photo: “Island of the Dead,” Artfire Films, 2009]