|Night of the Living Dead: "They're coming to get you, Barbra ..."|
What I didn't realize at the time, was that Romero actually intended the film to be his own interpretation of author Richard Matheson's horror novel, I Am Legend. I had already seen two other film versions of that classic story with dear old dad — The Last Man on Earth, with Vincent Price, and The Omega Man, with Charlton Heston. I loved both versions. The Heston one was flashier and less serious and somber than the Price version, so was probably my favorite of the two.
The other night I finally saw the most recently filmed version of the story, I Am Legend, starring Will Smith as the last man on earth. I liked it, although it was most interesting as a study in loneliness. It was truly heartbreaking when Smith found himself truly alone around the middle of the film. The vampire/zombies were more typical movie bad guys than truly frightening.
|I Am Legend: Just a story about a man and his dog ... and hordes of the undead|
|World War Z: Brad Pitt, trying to remain calm in many, many storms|
I really liked World War Z's globe-trekking nature, which reminded me a bit of Bram Stoker's Dracula, where the action goes from England to Transylvania and back again. Pitt plays Gerry, a former UN investigator, who is coerced into tracking down the origins of a zombie plague which is sweeping the world. His love for his family and his fears for their safety are strong motivators. His questioning mind is also a big factor. He can't help but be fascinated by this terrible situation. There are some thrilling sequences: the family's initial witnessing of the zombies attacking in Philadelphia, Gerry's travels to South Korea,and Jerusalem, and an amazing zombie attack mid-flight. The show-stopes may well be Gerry's attempts to elude sound-sensitive zombies in the silent corridors of a World Health Organization labyrinthian lab in Wales.
I saw the unedited cut of World War Z, because that's what's on offer from Netflix. I'm not a big fan of gore, but the story and acting was compelling enough to keep me watching, even when blood may have been spurting. There is already a sequel in the works, set to be released in 2017. For once, thanks to Brad Pitt and Game of Thrones' recently thrilling depictions of wights and White Walkers, I have to say, I am going to be looking forward to seeing a zombie movie. Who knows, maybe I'll even get up the courage to see this one in the movie theater.