Stories about zombies have been around since the beginning of time. ‘Jumbee’ by Henry S. Whitehead, published in 1926, tells the story of zombies through folklore and evil spirits. Michael Jackson’s 13-minute music video ‘Thriller’ in 1983 showed disturbing shots of dancing zombies and created a cult following for the undead. Before ‘Lord of the Rings’ was making a clean sweep at the Oscars, Peter Jackson made the gory ‘Dead Alive’ in 1993.
After reliving the second wave of George Romero’s three-part zombie saga with 2004’s release of ‘Dawn of the Dead,’ the cast and crew reap the benefits of not only creating a new generation of ‘fandom’ in the horror film cult following but also brought a new take on a popular favorite. By embracing such a genre, the producers, particularly Eric Newman, kept true to what he loved growing up.
With award-winning commercial director of cinematography, Zach Snyder, Newman was able to bringing in the zombie movie into the 21st century with a talented cast, a quality script to take the mockery out of the horror genre, and things a Hollywood studio could not offer 25 years ago.
‘I think the great thing about the movie is it really is a make-up effects movie,’ explained Snyder, in referring to the effects of the modern Hollywood studio. ‘It’s not a movie that relies on [computer generated] or cutting edge, state-of-the-art visual effects to render it. There are scenes in the movie with a multitude of zombies that had to be done using the computer. But other than that it was really just sort of using the make-up effects and appliances to kind of go old school with the zombies.’
‘I saw [the movie] with an audience last night and people were in shock,’ said actress Sarah Polley, ‘because they were so used to this kind of ironic, tongue-in-cheek [movie] like we’re all way too sophisticated to actually be scared. I think that era has had its day and I think people actually want to experience real things in theaters again. I think it’s really brave to make a movie that isn’t just making fun of itself the whole time, and it’s funnier, actually, in the end.’
‘The movie can be made fun of but that’s the point of it,’ said Snyder. ‘In a lot of ways we sort of just did what we wanted to do and not care. The one thing about the movie is that you can imagine people were expecting us to take ‘Dawn of the Dead,’ the original
Filed Under: A & E