Music Video of the Day: Scream! by The Misfits (1999, dir. George Romero)


Depending on where you go, this was either directed solely by Romero, or by both him and Richard Donner. Considering I can’t find any credits for the two of them working together elsewhere, and Donner appears to have only directed two unrelated music-videos, I am going with just Romero. There is also an explanation on Wikipedia about how this video came into existence that seals the deal for me:

The music video was directed by George A. Romero, famous for his Living Dead film series. Bassist Jerry Only has expressed admiration for Romero, calling Night of the Living Dead “still to this day one of the scariest movies ever made.” At the time Romero was in Toronto filming Bruiser and needed a band to perform during the film’s final murder scene. The Misfits agreed to perform in the film and to record two songs for the soundtrack in exchange for Romero directing their “Scream” video. According to Only, “It was an even trade, we shook hands and the deal was done. Business complications soon followed and I became very unhappy with my record label and my publishing company.” No soundtrack was issued for Bruiser. The Misfits’ two songs, “Fiend Without a Face” and “Bruiser”, along with the demo version of “Scream”, were released in 2001 on the compilation album Cuts from the Crypt.

The “Scream” music video consists of black-and-white footage of the band members as zombies terrorizing a hospital along with a number of Misfits fans, interspersed with color footage of the band performing live. A promotional VHS version of the video was included for free with the purchase of a set of Misfits action figures from 21st Century toys in 1999 and 2000. The video was also included in an enhanced CD-ROM portion of Cuts from the Crypt in 2001.

With Romero’s passing yesterday, I thought I’d see if he ever did a music video. He apparently did for the legendary punk rock band, The Misfits. With a little search, I can see why they would ultimately end up doing a video with Romero. They did a song called Night Of The Living Dead in 1979 and are a horror based punk rock band. They would later do songs called Land Of The Dead and Twilight Of The Dead. Their history as a horror band is chronicled over on Wikipedia.

From what I can tell, this was rather late in the game for The Misfits in the sense that they were having band overhauls including not having original lead-singer Glenn Danzig. That’s as far as I’ll go talking about the band because my knowledge about them until I did some reading right now consistened of the following:

Oh, yeah. I know of The Misfits. Much like Meat Puppets, Mudhoney, Green River and others, their names always come up when they talk about bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. The bands that didn’t get enough attention, but if you want to know where the grunge explosion came from, then these are groups you are supposed to look at.

So, with no joke intended, rest in peace Romero. Enjoy the music video.

I didn’t find out that Martin Landau also passed away yesterday till after having written this post. Amazingly, this connects to him as well. The Misfits used to have their own record label called Blank Records. Then Mercury Records wanted the trademark to it, and exchanged studio time with the band for it. The band renamed the label, Plan 9 Records, after Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959). Rest in peace, Martin Landau.

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Rest in Peace, George Romero


George Romero has died, at the age of 77.

I wrote this in 2015:

When I say “George Romero,” you probably immediately think of zombies.  And why not?  Night of the Living Dead is perhaps the best known zombie film ever made and Dawn of the Dead is perhaps the second best known.  Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead both have their fervent admirers.  Without the work of George Romero, there would be no Walking Dead.  Without the zombie films of George Romero, countless children would have never grown up to become horror filmmakers.  Without George Romero, there would have been no Italian zombie films, which means that I would never have fallen in love with Italian horror and I wouldn’t have been tweeting about it that day in 2010 when Arleigh asked me if I wanted to be a contributor to this website.

Though he had directed commercials and a few industrial films, 1968’s Night of the Living Dead was George Romero’s first feature film.  His first!  I cannot even imagine what it must feel like to totally change the face and history of cinema with your very first feature film.  All modern horror films owe a debt not only to Night of the Living Dead but to all of Romero’s subsequent films as well.

Romero, himself, didn’t necessarily set out to be a horror film director.  As he himself often said, the main reason that he and his associates made Night of the Living Dead was because they knew there was a market for cheap horror films.  He followed up Night of the Living Dead with Touch of Vanilla, a hippie love story that few people saw.  And while Romero eventually did accept that he would be forever known as a horror filmmaker, his films were always concerned with more than just scaring people.  Whether intentional or not, Night of the Living Dead is a powerful allegory about prejudice and mankind’s inability to work together.  (For all the zombies, the film’s scariest scene comes at the end when the African-American Ben is shot by a redneck deputy and casually tossed onto a pile of bodies.)  The Dario Argento-produced Dawn of the Dead was a satire of consumerism while The Crazies suggested that people were already so crazy that it was hardly necessary for a chemical spill to bring out the worst in us.  In Martin, Romero cast a weary eye on organized religion while Land of the Dead was perhaps Romero’s angriest film, taking on the state of post-911 America.  With films like Creepshow and The Dark Half, Romero showed that he was one of the few directors who could successfully adapt the sometimes unwieldy prose of Stephen King to the screen.  It’s a shame that his long-rumored adaptations of The Stand and The Dark Tower turned out to be just that, rumors.

Yes, George Romero was a great horror filmmaker but more than that, he was a great director period.  He never sacrificed his independence, choosing to make some of his best-regarded movies in Philadelphia.  He never compromised his message, offering up visions of the world that continued to grow bleaker and bleaker.  Though he never received the awards that he deserved or, to be honest, the critical acclaim that he was owed, George Romero will be remembered as one of the most important American filmmakers of all time.

George Romero died, of lung cancer, surrounded by his loved ones.  Reportedly, he died listening to The Quiet Man soundtrack.

Rest in peace, George.

10 Horror Films That Should Have Been Nominated For Best Picture


Horror films!

Audiences love them but the Academy has never quite felt the same way.  True, there have been a few horror films nominated.  The Exorcist was a major contender.  Jaws was nominated.  So was The Sixth Sense.  Silence of the Lambs won.

But, for the most part, horror films have struggled to get Academy recognition.  While the Academy has recently shown a willingness to honor science fiction, the horror genre has yet to benefit from the decision to increase the number of best picture nominees.

Because I love horror and I love movies and I love lists, here are ten horror films that I think deserved a best picture nomination:

  1. Frankenstein (1931)

One of the most popular and influential horror films of all time, Frankenstein was sadly ignored by the Academy.  It’s certainly better remembered than the film that won best picture of 1931, Cimarron.

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2. Psycho (1960)

Psycho may have received nominations for best director, supporting actress, cinematography, and art design but the film that made people afraid to take showers did not receive a nomination for best picture.  The winner that year was a legitimate classic, The Apartment.  But it’s hard not to feel that Psycho should have, at the very least, received a nominations over the other 4 films nominated.

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3. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

George Romero’s zombie classic may have set the standard for zombie movies to come but it was not honored the Academy.  The Academy was more comfortable with Oliver!

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4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

1974 was a very good year for the movies and certainly, I would not argue that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre deserved a nomination over The Godfather Part II, The Conversation, or Chinatown.  But over The Towering Inferno?  That’s another story.

5. Suspiria (1977)

Oscar nominee Dario Argento?  In a perfect world, yes.

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6) Halloween (1978)

The night he came home … to Oscars!  If nothing else, John Carpenter’s score definitely deserved to win.

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7) Dawn of the Dead (1979)

Few sequels have been nominated for best picture.  Dawn of the Dead definitely should have been one of them.  Who wouldn’t want to see, at the very least, Tom Savini’s speech as he accepted his special award for best makeup?

8) The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick’s film may be recognized as a classic now but the reviews, when it was first released, were mixed.  So, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that it wasn’t given any recognition by the Academy.  It’s a shame because I’ve watched The Shining a few dozen times and it still scares the Hell out of me.

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9) The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

One of the best films of the new century, this joyful tribute to the horror genre was sadly overlooked by the Academy in 2012.

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10) The Neon Demon (2016)

Is Nicholas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon truly a horror movie?  It’s close enough.  Though the film opened to mixed reviews, it’ll be recognized as a classic in another ten years.

 

Horror on the Lens: Night of the Living Dead (dir by George Romero)


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Happy Halloween everyone!

Well, as another horrorthon draws to a close, it’s time for another Shattered Lens tradition!  Every Halloween, we share one of the greatest and most iconic horror films ever made.  For your Halloween enjoyment, here is George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead!

(Be sure to read Arleigh’s equally iconic review!)

ENJOY!

4 Shots From Horror History: Shaun of the Dead, The Devil’s Rejects, Land of the Dead, The Woods


This October, I’m going to be doing something a little bit different with my contribution to 4 Shots From 4 Films.  I’m going to be taking a little chronological tour of the history of horror cinema, moving from decade to decade.

Today, we continue to the aughts!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Shaun of the Dead (2004, dir by Edgar Wright)

Shaun of the Dead (2004, dir by Edgar Wright)

The Devil's Rejects (2005, dir by Rob Zombie)

The Devil’s Rejects (2005, dir by Rob Zombie)

Land of the Dead (2005, dir by George Romero)

Land of the Dead (2005, dir by George Romero)

The Woods (2006, dir by Lucky McKee)

The Woods (2006, dir by Lucky McKee)

4 Shots From Horror History: Suspiria, Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Zombi 2


This October, I’m going to be doing something a little bit different with my contribution to 4 Shots From 4 Films.  I’m going to be taking a little chronological tour of the history of horror cinema, moving from decade to decade.

Today, we close out the 70s!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Suspiria (1977, dir by Dario Argento)

Suspiria (1977, dir by Dario Argento)

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

Halloween (1978, dir by John Carpenter)

Halloween (1978, dir by John Carpenter)

Zombi 2 (1979, dir by Lucio Fulci)

Zombi 2 (1979, dir by Lucio Fulci)

Horror on the Lens: Night of the Living Dead (dir by George Romero)


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Happy October!  It’s been a great horror month here at the Shattered Lens!  Not only have we shared a record number of reviews but we’ve also received a record number of site views!  Thank you everyone for reading and commenting and, to our new readers, we hope you’ll stick around even after Halloween!

Now, here at the Shattered Lens we have a tradition.  Every Halloween, we share one of the greatest and most iconic horror movies ever made.  That film, of course, is George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead!  Enjoy and have a great Halloween!

(And after you’ve watched the film, be sure to check out Arleigh’s review!)