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GR: I don't know, man... I sure don't see a hell of a lot of it! It's the biggest disappointment: Why don't people use this as allegory or metaphor? Why not? It's one of the reasons to do fantasy is to talk about about something that's real, and I don't see a lot of people... when you say "better or worse," I think we've lost touch with that.

MB: Did you get to see District 9, the South African film?

GR: I haven't, but I know what it's about and, yeah, that sounds like it's doing it. Yeah.

MB: Are we every going to see George Romero without "The Dead?"

GR: Hah! Beats me! My friend and I have one script that's non-horror, and one that's horror but not zombies. We'll see. At my age, man... y'know, my partner and I, we spent eight years in Hollywood developing projects - The Mummy, Goosebumps, shit like that - that never happened. And I just ran away from that, it was so frustrating. We made a lot of dough - writing and writing and re-writing, but we never made a flick! So I fled.

I wound up writing Bruiser, we financed through a French company... Canal Plus before they got swallowed, and that's how we found Canada [where Romero currently resides and frequently works from.] The same guy who shot Bruiser shot this. I'm with this wonderful "family," y'know, we make what we want and we have fun. I don't know if I want to go back and spend a year... I'm too old for that! [laughs]

The remaining selection of questions were either asked by others at the roundtable, or came up as part of more conversational moments. The questions have been summarized, Mr. Romero's comments appear as he spoke them.

Why are zombies in Survival called "Deadheads"?

I dunno, man... I guess maybe I'm a bit resentful of how popular zombies have become. I've always called them something else, in ["Land of The Dead"] I called them "Stenches." Zombie just sounds so ordinary.

What did he think of the remake of his film The Crazies?

It's not the movie I would've made. I'm technically called the Executive Producer on that, which basically means "stay home." I thought there'd maybe be some more involvement, but there wasn't.

Does he keep a list of creative deaths he's done on film?

I just get so tired of the headshots, y'know? Even though that's the easiest way to deal with them. But, no, man, these ideas just come to me. Even when I'm not working on a film... call up the CGI guys and go "can we do this?" "How do we do this?" There's a brain-melt in [Diary of The Dead] that I sat the guys down and said "Can we track that?" Because we can't lock it down - it's handheld. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. There's one in [Land of The Dead]... we were running out of money... it's a guy who looks like his head is off, but it's hanging down his back? I never got it totally right. I think Tom Savini [his FX man on prior films] could've done it.

His feelings on fast vs. slow zombies?

I forgive them if they're not dead. So... 28 Days Later, I guess is okay. Because it's a disease.

Has he ever thought of making a straight-up comedy?

I'd love to do it! I've pitched for years... basically I wanted to do Coyote and the Roadrunner but with one human and one zombie. It'd be just one gag after another. But I just can't find the funding! [as if on-cue, the entire table of assembled journalists reach for their wallets, asking how much he'd need. Most of us probably aren't kidding.]

George A. Romero's Survival of The Dead opens in theaters on May 28 in the United States, and is now available On Demand in many areas.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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