The famed Director talks about the upcoming unrated DVD release, Creepshow and the only film of his he'd like to remake
George A. Romero has got to be one of the most revered directors working in the horror genre today. Beginning his career with the classic Night of the Living Dead, and continuing to challenge viewers with such tales as Dawn of the Dead and most recently Land of the Dead, Romero’s long career still exudes many signs of life. In telling tales that are just as much horror stories as they are social statements, George A. Romero has proved himself to be a director whose work stands the test of time.
What can we expect from this Director’s Cut DVD release of Land of the Dead? What’s different from the theatrical release?
George A. Romero: You know, the intention of the film is still very much the same. The film isn’t that different at all. It’s only about 5 minutes longer. And half of that is a scene that we cut because I didn’t think it worked that well. So we cut it from the theatrical release. Of course, it’s a little harder. It’s got a little more gore. But I think the most fun about this release is the stuff that people came to do. The guy from Shaun of the Dead did a little film, behind the scenes... that’s the most fun. And just the extras that we put in from talking about how things were done, you know, all that. I think that’s really gonna be the most fun. The film itself is not that much longer.
Movie PictureWas there something that you wanted to see from the final cut, that might not have made it in initially that is in now?
George A. Romero: There was nothing that I was restricted from doing. You have to understand, we made this film under a lot of time and money pressure. And I was just thrilled that it came out as well it did. So, the film itself, is what it is. As I say, it’s not that different. I can’t say that there were things I wanted to do that were scripted that I was unable to do, it’s not like that. It’s not like this is my cut and I’m fighting the studio or anything like that. The studio was absolutely unbelieveable about when we made this film. I always heard that Universal was not the place you want to be if you’re a filmmaker. These guys were fabulous! They basically left me alone. If you look at the theatrical release of the film, I just can’t imagine anybody letting me do anything harder, or anything stronger or anything like that. They were great about it. It’s a little different here. I can’t say this was my defiant Director’s Cut, all it has is a few more things I didn’t think would get passed the MPAA.
Since the recent success of Land of the Dead have you been approached to do any big budget horror films?
George A. Romero: Well, I’m getting a lot of scripts. You know it wasn’t hugely, financially successful in the States. I don’t know? I think maybe Americans don’t quite get my joke, or whatever... , but because of the reviews, it got amazing reviews, because of that I’m getting all kinds of scripts and offers and things like that. I generally like to do my own stuff, I’m not sitting here waiting for a job. I generally like to do my own things or work with people that I like, like Stephen King, you know and people like that.
Are we going to see more Dead films? Is that something that you even want to do?
George A. Romero: Yes, I’d love to keep doing them. I’ll do them as long as I’m alive. But I wanna wait and see what happens, because I would prefer to be able to show... what I think of these films are of snapshots, of the decades of when they were made in. And I would rather have something to say than just do one for the hell of doing one.
Have you ever thought about doing another Creepshow?
George A. Romero: Yeah, it’s not in my control. I heard a rumor that somebody was gonna make another Creepshow. I would love to. I loved making Creepshow. I loved making that movie. I loved it, it was just fun. But no, I haven’t been asked... I heard a rumor that there’s something in the works, but nobody’s asked me about it.
They actually are doing Creepshow 3.
George A. Romero: Well, that’s their problem. (Laughs)
With all the zombie films that have come out in recent years, with some of yours being remade, what’s your take on the current “zombie craze” in Hollywood?
George A. Romero: I don’t know if it was a craze..., I mean, I think somebody rediscovered it. You know? It got revitalized somehow. I’m not even quite sure why. I think what happens is a movie goes out, makes some money and then everybody says, “Hey! Lets do another one of those!” And I really think that’s what happened to Land was that..., I have this idea that people just get tired of stuff. You can’t just keep pumping it down the pipeline.
What do you think the chance is that a studio would ask you to direct a remake of one of your own films?
George A. Romero: Well, if anybody would ask there was only one that I would like to remake. Which is a movie I made called Jack’s Wife. It was released as Season of the Witch. That’s the only one that I would like to remake. When we made it initially we ran out of bread, it just, it wasn’t wonderful. I think it might have some pertinence today. So it’s the only one I would really like to do, otherwise I wouldn’t consider it. I know that Paramount is remaking The Crazies but I’m not involved. I have an Executive Producer credit which means all they have to do is show it to me when it’s finished, but I’m not involved in it. I’m not doing it.
Land of the Dead creeps into stores on October 18th, 2005.