Zombie master Romero's film targets discrimination

Wed Sep 9, 2009 8:31am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

VENICE (Reuters) - Zombie master George A. Romero had no particular conflict in mind when making "Survival of the Dead," the sixth installment in his long-running horror franchise, but rather discrimination in general.

More than 40 years after "Night of the Living Dead" launched Romero's career in 1968, the 69-year-old American is back to his independent movie making roots with a picture in competition at the Venice film festival.

The self-financed Survival of the Dead tells the story of a band of soldiers lured to an island that promises to be the one place on earth where they can escape from the living dead, who feed on human flesh and appear as if from nowhere.

But they become embroiled in a generations-old dispute between two families who have radically different ideas on how to contain the zombies.

Patrick O'Flynn wants to put a bullet through the head of every zombie he can find, while his arch rival, Shamus Muldoon, wants to keep the "dead" alive in the hope of finding a cure.

"I wasn't looking at Iraq and saying, well, lets make a movie about Iraq," Romero told reporters on Wednesday.

"It's much more about man's underlying inability to forget enmity, forget their enemies even long after they've forgotten what started the conflict in the first place.

"I think that part of the problem is that nobody looks at both sides of any issue, it's automatically: I'm on this side or I'm on that side."   Continued...

<p>Director George A. Romero smiles at a special screening of Universal Pictures' "Land of the Dead" in the Westwood area of Los Angeles June 20, 2005. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>