George A. Romero Says Road Of The Dead Is Like Fast And Furious With Zombies


Often credited as the founding father of the zombie genre – itself one of the most enduring and time-honored genres in all of entertainment – George A. Romero is a name that evokes a tremendous amount of love and admiration when it comes to horror flicks that are at once terrifying, yet oddly satirical.

It all began with the release of Night of the Living Dead back in ’68, a micro-budget horror movie that proved to be hugely significant for both Romero and the zombie sub-genre, and its legacy is still being felt to this day. Indeed, the Living Dead have permeated popular culture to such an extent that it’d be quicker to count the number of apocalyptic horror films that haven’t been influenced by Romero’s decorated body of work, rather than the ones that have.

And though he isn’t in the director’s chair this time around, George A. Romero is back later this year with the Mad Max-esque thriller, Road Of The Dead. Directed by Matt Birman, who considers his white-knuckle ride to be the grotesque spawn of Road Warrior and RollerballRoad of the Dead takes place on a far-flung island where zombie prisoners race cars in a setting not dissimilar to the Coliseum (“are you not entertained?!”), all to appease a group of filthy rich humans.

Sounds exciting, right? We’re already sold, but if you find yourself still a bit skeptical, then some recent comments from Romero should assure you that we’re in for quite the ride with this flick, as the legendary director has described Road of the Dead as “The Fast and the Furious with zombies.”

Speaking in a recent interview, here’s what he had to say:

“It’s set in a sanctuary city where this fat cat runs a haven for rich folks, and one of the things that he does is stage drag races to entertain them,” Romero told the site. “There’s a scientist there doing genetic experiments, trying to make the zombies stop eating us, and he has discovered that with a little tampering, they can recall certain memory skills that enable them to drive in these races. So it’s a demolition derby with zombies at the wheels, and of course the shit hits the fan in other ways. It’s really a romp; it’s great fun, with stunts galore.”

“This one is really almost a comedy, though it’s got scares and spooky moments and all that. It’s more about suspense than blood. While there is gore, it’s not overt; there are no big, operatic sequences where people get torn apart. There’s slapstick in it, but it’s mostly stunts; it’s quite different. One character dies, for example, in a tragic way, but was once in NASCAR and is able to come back and drive. It’s that kind of looney-tunes. It’s really THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS with zombies.“

Bound for the annual Fantasia International Film Festival later this month (July 20th-July 23rd), Road Of The Dead will be hoping to attract buyers ahead of a planned release in late 2017/early 2018, and long-time Romero fans needn’t feel apprehensive about the 77-year-old’s decision to pass on the torch; after all, Birman has served as second unit director all throughout Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead.

Road of the Dead, meanwhile, is due to make a beeline for the zombie apocalypse sometime in 2017, and you can find the film’s official poster embedded below.

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