TWO DEAD VETERANS TALK
The zombies that ate Pittsburgh are going back for seconds again, with others clamoring for leftovers. While George Romero?s DEAD RECKONING has yet to get the green light (one source reports that it?s the best script Romero has ever written), two other DEAD veterans are finding more ghoulish work. Tom Savini tells Fango that the remakers of DAWN OF THE DEAD, which begins shooting at Toronto?s Eaton Center in June, has been asked to participate.
?They called me a few times about an acting role in DAWN OF THE DEAD,? Savini reveals. ?I?m not doing any effects; they?ll be handled by David Anderson [an Oscar winner for his NUTTY PROFESSOR and MEN IN BLACK work with Rick Baker]. These days, I?m pretty much sticking with the acting roles and sharing my effects knowledge with the actors at my school [in Pittsburgh].?
Regarding Universal?s controversial new take on the classic DAWN, Savini says that detractors should take a wait-and-see attitude. ?The fans shouldn?t be too upset,? he notes. ?The [James Gunn] script is not a close remake of George?s film. The whole movie isn?t even set at the mall. It?s very different.?
Meanwhile, NIGHT co-scripter John Russo has similar horrors in his future: He?s actively prepping his fifth variation on the theme, the quasi-sequel ESCAPE FROM THE LIVING DEAD. ?[DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN?s] Sam Sherman and I are teaming to produce the movie,? Russo tells FANGORIA. ?I will write and direct, with Russ Streiner on as line producer. I want Debbie Rochon to star; she?s the Sigourney Weaver of zombie films.? Rochon previously worked for Russo on both the 30th Anniversary Edition of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and his new mob comedy SALOONATICS.
?We?ve had offers of $5 to $10 million to make the movie,? Russo claims. ?Everybody wants a zombie film right now. As crazy as this sounds, our sales agent says we?ve already gotten interest from Jeff Goldblum, who?s from Pittsburgh, Patrick Swayze, Dennis Hopper and even Jim Carrey about being in the movie! Carrey?s a big LIVING DEAD fan and asked to wear a NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD T-shirt in his new movie, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND.?
Like CHILDREN OF THE LIVING DEAD, which he co-produced and now disowns, ESCAPE is a loose sequel to the original NOTLD. Russo outlines his screenplay: ?The movie opens with military people breaking into a medical compound. The place houses zombies that are being experimented on by a scientist to determine why they don?t die. The zombies escape in a van and into a rural area, where they come up against Debbie and her family. The story doesn?t stay there, however, because I didn?t want this to be like the first film. Besides zombies, there?s a sheriff and his deputy trying to figure out what?s going on, and some neo-Nazis who get mixed up in the action. There are a lot of twists and turns to the story, plus our heroine on horseback, motorcycles and zombies slipping on soap! It?s one thing after another. ESCAPE FROM THE LIVING DEAD is full of nutty surprises.?
Russo expects to begin shooting ESCAPE in late summer/early fall.
Courtesy of Fangoria