“The ‘Empire of the Sun’ of zombie films”

Here at BestForFilm, it’s rare for us to simultaneously dread and really look forward to a film. But that, sadly, is the  position we find ourselves in when confronted with Night of the Living Dead: Origins.

The new remake of the 1968 horror staple – which was singlehandedly responsible for the rise of the splatter genre and the modern movie zombie – is to be directed by newcomer Zebediah de Soto, who up until now has been spending his time directing commercials and the like. Not the most auspicious news, admittedly (just look at the mess Garth Jennings made of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and he came from music videos) but the factette that really splits our brain in two is the fact it’s going to be completely computer generated. And there was us thinking that the nice thing about zombies was that they’re comparatively cheap to do. All you need is a few mates, talcum powder and fake blood… why all the faffing with hardware?

Talking to the Hollywood Reporter, de Soto is touting the new version as “The ‘Empire of the Sun’ of zombie films”, promising some truly epic undead action. Original director and horror supremo George Romero isn’t involved, though the voice talents of Mos Def, Jesse Corti (Gone in 60 Seconds) and Danielle Harris (Halloween) allay our fears somewhat.

As does the fact that the plot seems to be relatively unchanged – the story of seven survivors who barricade themselves up in a Pennsylvania farmhouse, trying to survive the night as hordes of ravenous, flesh-eating zombies claw their way inside for a nibble of tasty human nuggets. Mos Def will be playing protagonist Ben, and will be joined by a tough New York cop and a Gordon Gekko-style yuppie – an idea borrowed from Night of the Living Dead‘s first remake, which was produced in 1990 by special effects guru Tom Savini.

Still, even if the “Empire of the Sun” comments does ring slightly silly, de Soto redeems himself by describing the look of the film as “American anime”. American zombie manga? Heck, if we can’t look forward to that, we can’t look forward to anything…

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