Some of my pals make B movies; specifically, horror movies with what’s now called a “micro-budget.” In real words, this means their movies cost less to make than what you paid for your car.
I appreciate movies, and I really appreciate people who make movies that aren’t porn. Not that I don’t appreciate pornographers…but to me, making dirty movies is kinda the easy way out, specifically when we’re talking about someone who wants to make movies as a career choice.
Does that make any sense?
Anyways, I went to the Fangoria convention in LA last weekend, cause my Movie Makin’ Pals had a booth there, and I wanted to show some love.
While I like the horror genre, I don’t love it…but I’ll watch them from time to time.
Evil Dead, Re-Animator, Robo-Cop (horror?)…and the popular ones, like some of the movies based on Steven King novels, and, most recently, two of the biggest piece of shit movies I’ve ever had the displeasure to sit through: Cloverfield and I Am Legend.
I’ve never been to a convention like this, so I really didn’t know what to expect. It was pretty much what I thought it would be: the booths where people sold their monster movies, and monster books, and monster magazines, and their monster movie promotional stuff, as well as the people there dressed up like monsters and more monsters and zombies and what-not.
And the fucking weirdos.
But what I didn’t know was going down — from a movie I haven’t mentioned yet — is Night of The Living Dead, and its 40th anniversary.
Night of the Living Dead is one of my all-time top 10 films. It ranks 7th, right between Goodfellahs and Blade Runner.
There’s a number of reasons I rank the film so high, some having to do with its merits as a piece of art, and one or two that have nothing to do with fancy reasons at all. I think I was in 9th grade the first time I saw it at a midnight movie, and it’s stayed with me ever since. Anxiety and me don’t mix very well, so whenever I’d have anxiety ridden dreams, there I was…in that farm house in Pennsylvania, trapped inside, the zombies outside. They’d always wind up chasing me, cause somehow or another, I’d find my way out of the house and in the field…with the flesheaters.
There’s been others, too. All the sequels, and 28 Days Later, and that Will Smith hunk of shit I’ve already named, but none of them hold up to The Masterpiece that is Night of The Living Dead.
And guess who was sitting in the largest booth, right in the middle of the Fangoria convention?
The cast from the movie!
Barbara, and the Sheriff who winds up offing the hero, and the little girl who hacked up her mom with a trowel and ate her, and Barbara’s brother, and one of the super creepy zombies who was all over the place during the film, and Romero himself!
It was so grand I walked out to the ATM, got a hundred bucks, and bought stuff from them. They autographed 8×10’s, and talked to me about the movie, and all in all it was a great day. Barbara was the best, and during our conversation, I had to ask her:
“Um, so, I know this is really personal, but what did Romero pay you?”
“Well, nothing. I got shares of the movie, but Romero never had it copy written, so that’s that.”
“So Night of The Living Dead is public domain?!?”
“Yes, it is.”
I kinda wanted to cry. Not tears, but something…like…how does a dumbfuck idiot director not copyright his movie? but Romero was really close-by, and that wouldn’t have been a very smart thing to do.
Instead I told her how fucking smokin’ hot she was in the movie, and how great it was Romero had her brother eat her after he turned into a zombie, and how she’s still super hot now.
After my geekboy starstruck episode with all the people who had filled my nightmares since I was in 9th grade, I walked over to this dude who was selling bootleg copies of Decline of Western Civilization and I snatched one up for 15 smackeroos.
But not as good of a bargain as getting Night of The Living Dead for free, which, if Barbara is correct, is exactly how much all the cable companies pay to air it.
Which is about the same most people pay for any movie these days, thanks to file sharing and the internet.