Night of the Living Dead (1990) question

Discussion in 'General' started by buck135, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    I'm reading "The Pocket Essential: George A. Romero" by Tom Fallows and Curtis Owen. On page 90, I quote: "Sadly, he (Tom Savini) and Romero would fall out when Savini directed a remake of "Night of the Living Dead" and, though they have since repaired their friendship, the two would never work together as director/FX guru again." Anyone have any more information on this? As a side note, while short, this book is excellent and very well researched (I ordered a used copy from Barnes and Noble for $2.00). I recommend this as well as "The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh", for Romero fans though that's a tad pricier.
     
  2. fceurich39

    fceurich39 Well-Known Member

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    i know savini/romero did two evil eyes but did that come out after or before notld or same time?
     
  3. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Savini worked on Two Evil Eyes before directing NOTLD (1990) according to the book.
     
  4. Dank

    Dank New Member

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    From a great and quite thorough interview w/ Savini on Slasherama.com http://web.archive.org/web/20110716084244/http://www.slasherama.com/features/savini.HTML):

    Slasherama: In 1990, your directorial remake of Night Of The Living Dead hit shelves. I understand it wasn't the finest of experiences for you…
    Savini: "That was the worst experience of my life! George wasn't there. It would have been a blast if George were there. We would've had fun and hashed things out like we always do. He would have been on my side and been supportive. But he had to go to Florida to write The Dark Half and I was stuck with these two idiots, who will remain nameless. People who thought that they were Orson Welles, with big egos. They were assholes. I put the storyboards in my book Grande Illusions 2, because I wanted the world to know what I had intended to do. That movie was 20 or 30 per cent of what I inetneded it to be. I had a whole Lolita ending planned for Harry and Barbara. It was suspenseful stuff. So I told myself that I'd put the stuff I didn't get to do on Night Of The Living Dead in whatever my next project was - even if it was a romantic comedy! So I got to do a pilot for a TV show called The Chill Factor and I did put some stuff in that."

    Slasherama: Did the experience of Night put you off directing?
    Savini: "No, because I had already done three episodes of Tales From The Darkside and those were a joy. I was totally prepared. I shoot stuff on paper first, because it's not costing you any money to make mistakes. I put 800 storyboards of Night Of The Living Dead on the wall of my office. Whenever I had a meeting with someone, whether it was the costumes, set design or George, I could go through the whole movie and say, 'Here's what I intend to do'. When George saw it, he said, 'You've got an eight-week movie on the wall and you only have six weeks to do it. So even he started cutting stuff. He cut the whole bit with Tom catching on fire at the gas pump, before we started shooting. He said we wouldn't have time, but my attitude was: how do you know? That effect was cut in lieu of dialogue, but I feel that you don't go to a movie to see people talk - you go to see stuff happen. Unless it's My Dinner With Andre, or something. So to cut action for dialogue just didn't make sense to me."

    Slasherama: Your Night remake got some bad reviews…
    Savini: "Actually, I didn't see any bad reviews. I was sent reviews from all over the country and they were great. Only one guy picked up on the sign on the house that they were in: I wrote 'M. Celeste' on the name tag. To me, the house was the Marie Celeste: they go in and a cigar's smoking on the ashtray, but nobody's there. I had tons of that stuff planned, but didn't get to do it. As it turned out, it's a straight-laced remake right up until the end when you get a little bit of a sequel. They didn't even want to do the thing at the beginning, with the guy in the suit coming towards Barbara and the whole split with him in the coffin. All those little things that made it different - the thing with the first guy in the cemetery *not* being a zombie, that's me, misdirecting. Using what you expect, because you've seen the original and not giving it to you."

    Slasherama: That's what good remakes do - use your expectations to pull the rug out from under you.
    Savini: "Yeah. That's what I did do in the first five minutes, but then it became a tedious nightmare. People who I thought were my friends were stabbing me in the back. George was lied to constantly on the phone in Florida and would dictate things back that affected me and what I was doing. In fact, I went to his house and told him that he was being lied to. It hurt me that he would believe these people, who he'd just met, instead of someone he'd known for a long time."

    Slasherama: How did it affect your relationship with George?
    Savini: "We didn't speak for years. George and I were totally at the end of the friendship. Years later, I invited George over for Christmas. He was very apologetic and I was apologetic. I said, 'George, there's a letter in my mind I've been meaning to write you' and he said the same thing. So we kinda got together, talking-wise, *because* these DVDs were being released of movies we had worked on, and they wanted both of us on the audio commentary. We would always go to George's house for the commentary. So maybe in a way he was forced to have me in his presence again. But it wasn't as social as it had been. We didn't go to dinner or invite each other to houses. It had a lasting effect. Only recently have we got back to being chummy."
     
  5. BloodMan

    BloodMan Kill Time B4 It Kills You

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    From other stuff I've read, though not directly openly said, Savini has said he had no backing from producers on that remake when it came to defending him on what he was able to film and whatnot... never said Romero specifically but Romero was producer... Hmm
     
  6. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    That's interesting. It was called George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, directed by Tom Savini. That may very well have been part of the problem.
     
  7. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Might be why we may never get a "director's cut."
     
  8. jscott

    jscott Guided By Voices

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    From what I've heard, Romero was hardly on the Night 90 set at all (he was doing pre-production on The Dark Half), leaving John A. Russo & Russ Streiner to handle on set responsibilities. As for the rift between George and Tom, I have no clue, but am very interested to know what exactly happened.
     
  9. marcx

    marcx Active Member

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    I do not think that is accurate for a few o profit from the title since it was mistakenly in the public domain, and I seem to recall at the time the two of them giving interviews together etc...In addition, if they had had a mjor falling out would Savini have been in Land of the Dead?
     
  10. JGrendel

    JGrendel New Member

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    It's still possible, I mean he probably got paid for the gig. I just wonder if it has anything to do with the reason George left the states.
     
  11. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    Interesting. Whatever it was, I blindly choose Savini's side. :D
     
  12. King Diamond

    King Diamond Member

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    I've read that Russo, Streiner, and company didn't respect Savini's vision, and that they tried to take creative control away from Savini. I don't know how accurate that is, but maybe Savini and Romero had a falling out because Romero didn't step in and stick up for Savini.

    Like I said, that information could be wrong, but I'm just telling you what I've read.
     
  13. jscott

    jscott Guided By Voices

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    Same here. Savini had tons of ideas for the film that were shot down by "the producers" because "the production didn't have enough money", which is a euphemism for cutting into Russo & Streiner's cut of the money. Tom's even said that he only had half of the 4 million dollar budget to shoot the film on because of them, not to mention the score by Paul Mcculough was forced upon him despite his hatred of it.
     
  14. shithead

    shithead Death By Ejaculation

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    It's a damn shame too.

    The deleted gore scenes on the DVD are pretty nice. Some juicy headshots.
     
  15. JGrendel

    JGrendel New Member

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    Bastards....
     
  16. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    This film really deserves more credit than it's due. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it is the best serious zombie film (I say serious because Shaun of the Dead was brilliant) since the original Day of the Dead. It makes me sick having to specify that I meant the original, but I'm sure you all knew what I meant. Getting back on topic, I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Romero and you see how humble he is in his interviews, and I can't imagine he'd ever have a problem with anyone that wasn't taking advantage of him. Then again, I always thought he'd be with Christine and never leave Pittsburgh.
     

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