In a story from The Hollywood Reporter, revered horror director George A. Romero discussed his newest zombie film, George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead after it recently screened at the Venice Film Festival.
In the film inhabitants of an isolated island off the North American coast find their relatives rising from the dead to eat their kin. The leaders of the island feud over whether or not to kill their reanimated relatives or preserve them in hopes of finding a cure.
"Zombie films are always a vehicle to talk about something that happens in the present time," Romero stated. He cited events in "Northern Ireland to the Middle East" as influences.
"Discrimination, racial discrimination, religious discrimination and tribalism of any kind," he went on to say. "I wasn't looking at Iraq and saying 'Oh, let's make a movie about that.' "
"It's more about what's underlying man's inability to forget enmity," he continued. "They're enemies even long after they've forgotten what started the conflict in the first place."
Other films in the Dead franchise have commented on the Vietnam War, racism, consumerism, militarism and class differences.
The franchise started in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead. It returned again in 1979 with Dawn Of The Dead. The films took a hiatus and then came back in 2005 with George A. Romero's Land of the Dead. The most recent Dead film was Diary of the Dead.
"I don't know how many more there will be," Romero offered. "It's a practical reality. I think I would prefer it if they were farther apart." It seems that he can mainly obtain funding for these zombie films as long as they make money.
"I think if I were trying to make serious films about some of these topics I wouldn't be able to," he stated in closing. "So it's great to be able to bring the zombies and talk about social issues and have fun at the same time."