Peter Grunwald

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Diary Of The Dead Review


Excellent
Mere minutes into his latest exercise in politically-conscious cannibalism, an overtly-serious voice alerts us that this is not a movie by the inimitable George A. Romero. It is, in fact, a sort of video assemblage culled from footage shot by Jason Creed (Josh Close), a young film student living and working in Pennsylvania. This makeshift eulogy is spoken by Creed's main squeeze Debra (Michelle Morgan) who serves as editor of Creed's posthumous opus, ingeniously-titled The Death of Death.

After the initial frames turn an immigrant family into a bunch of slow-moving flesh-chewers taped by a local newsman, the perspective shifts directly to Creed's camera as he shoots the zombie rampage that was meant to be his senior thesis for his professor (Scott Wentworth), a world-class alcoholic. As his star (Philip Riccio) takes off for his mansion with the sound girl, Creed and his crew start hearing broadcasts over the internet and the radio about the dead coming back to life: the death of death indeed.

Continue reading: Diary Of The Dead Review

Land Of The Dead Review


Very Good
George Romero inhabits a peculiar realm in American cinema. He is both a political provocateur, championing the cause of the common man, and the king of zombie gore, the lowbrow art of human disembowelment, decapitation, and so on.

Land of the Dead is Romero's fourth zombie picture, a sequel of sorts to his last "...of the Dead" picture, Day of the Dead. It all began, of course, with the infamous '60s shocker Night of the Living Dead - now a denizen of the public domain and released by every fly-by-night DVD company around - which combined social commentary and, at the time, shocking gore. It was a combo that inspired a whole genre, the zombie-athon, and countless imitators, very few of which are as inspired as any of Romero's. (The engaging and referential Shaun of the Dead comes closest.)

Continue reading: Land Of The Dead Review

Bruiser Review


Very Good
A revenge fantasy in the E.C. horror comics tradition, George A. Romero's Bruiser is about Henry Creedlow (Jason Flemyng, Snatch), a Joe Average company man whose anonymous working life has made him invisible to peers and loved ones. His wife has been using him for his upwardly mobile financial status while cheating behind his back. His co-worker and best buddy has been skimming the profits, secretly preventing Henry from earning his fair share. Worst of all is the boss, Miles Styles (Peter Stormare, Fargo), a loud, obnoxious boor who enjoys ritualistically humiliating everyone at board meetings -- a character so smirkingly piggish and cruel it's a wonder God hasn't struck him dead. Henry discovers that nice guys finish last, and when he wakes up one morning to discover his face has magically transformed into a featureless white mask, he uses the anonymity once used against him as a device for smooth, calculated vengeance against all who have done him wrong. It's The Invisible Man gone corporate.

Romero hasn't been able to get a feature film off the ground since 1993's The Dark Half, which is really too bad. He's one of the more distinctive filmmakers working within the horror genre, having made his start with the black-and-white classic Night of the Living Dead in 1968. That was a pioneer for modern horror as gruesome satire, followed up by the arguably superior Dawn of the Dead (where the zombie invasion was set against the backdrop of a shopping mall). Fans of Romero will be pleased to see him back to his old preoccupations. Bruiser could be viewed as an extension of the identity crisis in Martin, Romero's ambivalent portrait of a young man who may or may not be a vampire.

Continue reading: Bruiser Review

Peter Grunwald

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Peter Grunwald Movies

Land of the Dead Movie Review

Land of the Dead Movie Review

George Romero inhabits a peculiar realm in American cinema. He is both a political provocateur,...

Bruiser Movie Review

Bruiser Movie Review

A revenge fantasy in the E.C. horror comics tradition, George A. Romero's Bruiser is about...

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