Last year, to mark the 50th anniversary of Night of the Living Dead, The Electric Shadows podcast looked back at the brilliance and influence of George A. Romero’s horror masterpiece.
And his first zombie trilogy. And his second zombie trilogy. And the zombie explosion. All across four podcasts.
For your convenience we’re grouping the podcasts together here, because we know you’re hungry for zombies and one just isn’t enough.
Podcast One looks at the film that invented the modern horror film, we look at what made it so radical back in 1968, a year riven with civil riots violence, assassinations and the Vietnam quagmire.
We look at why it has endured, and the copyright foul-ups that inadvertently lit the fuse for zombie apocalypse tales that would explode some forty years later when The Walking Dead became a phenomenon.
Romero’s early career in advertising and directing inserts for Mr Roger’s Neighborhood. The influence of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend on Romero’s fiendishly fine tale of murder and mayhem. The fact that the first zombie in Night of the Living Dead is a running zombie! And also that Romero never thought of his undead flesh-eaters as zombies, naming them ghouls for his directorial debut.
How the filmmakers made a virtue out of budgetary adversity by using old fashioned ingenuity. Travellers in pod Rob Daniel, Rob Wallis and special guest Ian Bird also make room for a mouthwatering discussion of cannibalism.
So, lock the doors, sit back, try to relax and listen. We’ll be right back, we’ve got to go get Johnny.
Podcast Two emerges from the Night and boldly move through the Dawn into the Day of the Dead. On their travels Rob, Rob and Ian discuss why Romero’s original zombie triumvirate continues to hold its place as one of fright cinema’s boldest accomplishments.
They examine how Romero evolved his zombie lore across the next two films. How the movies reflect the attitudes of the times and remain horribly relevant today. They marvel at the filmmaking, the black humour, Tom Savini’s groundbreaking make-up, and the sharp characterisation.
Rob D effuses his love of Day of the Dead’s Dr. Logan and Richard Liberty’s wonderful performance. If you can’t see the majesty of it, there’s no point in carrying on. There’s no point at all…
Everyone loves Captain Rhodes and a generous helping of clips illustrate why.
Our intrepid explorers in pod make room to also look at Romero’s other films between his zombie masterpieces, including his vampire master work Martin and the pulp-brilliance of Creepshow.
So, once again, sit back, relax and enjoy. Savour the contents. Don’t choke on ‘em…
Podcast Three, the final part of our Night of the Living Dead series. Recorded six hours into an eight hour podcasting marathon, this episode sees our intrepid casters in pod Rob Daniel, Rob Wallis and Ian Bird ever-so slightly punchy.
But, despite the whiff of mania that had descended by that point, the daring trio managed to stay on point. Romero’s second zombie trilogy, Land of…, Diary of… and Survival of the Dead all get their day in court. Surprising to everyone is how much stronger trilogy number two now seems when compared to when they were first released. Although Ian Bird has a dislike for Diary of the Dead he is not shy in sharing…
The discussion also covers Romero’s career between his two zombie trilogies, the now-classic Shaun of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s not-so-classic Dawn of the Dead remake (which was still successful enough to give Romero Land of the Dead), The Walking Dead and recent zombie fare.
So, hurry up and slip those headphones on. You’ve got to the count of five and that’s two ya wasted…
Podcasts one to three looked at George A. Romero’s six Dead films, his other movies and the zombie explosion and totaled just under six hours of edited podcast time.
But, podcast three just grazed the cranium rather than putting one in the brain, so our Living Dead series is still biting. Which is a flowery way of saying there is always something else to talk about.
This episode came about after we had recorded those three Dead episodes. A Herculean effort that took eight hours, so thanks to Rob Wallis and Ian Bird for putting up with Rob Daniel’s request that we got it all done in one day.
Post-record, Ian was kicking himself for not discussing Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. That mouth-wateringly scandalous slice of economic satire from 1729 that remains relevant to this day.
So, the next morning we were all back in front of the microphone for a modest chat, including a discussion of flesh eating throughout the ages, in religion and popular culture. Don’t worry, there are jokes.
Anyway, let’s make a swift exit from this blurb and get on with the show. The opening track, A Modest Proposal, is by Yo$trick9, whose YouTube page can be found here.