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Birth of the Living Dead


Darrel Manson
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I really liked this doc.  Gave me a reason to watch Night of the Living Dead before seeing the doc.  For a bad movie, Night certainly turned out to be an important work.

 

My review

 

Link to discussion of Night of the Living Dead

 

 

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Tonight I had the choice of seeing Birth of the Living Dead, or Rifftrax presents Night of the Living Dead.  I chose the former, and am glad I did. Very enjoyable film.  Not a lot of new material is covered that I hadn't come across in books or previous commentary tracks, but I did find some of the interviews very fascinating, especially those sections with Elvis Mitchell and Samuel D. Pollard.  I wonder if Romero's filmmaking trajectory would have been different had the copyright issues been handled better. 

Edited by John Drew

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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There's a point that is almost, but not entirely touched upon in this film, which I wish could have been followed through.  There's mention made at several points how this film was kind of a wonder of production for its time, because it was totally made, and marketed, outside of the studio system.  And had it not been for the exclusion of placing a copyright caption in the credits, this could have become one of the highest grossing films for its investors, re: budget vs. profit.  I think the final total for budget was roughly $165,000, yet it has grossed untold millions -  perhaps hundreds of millions - over the decades. Unfortunately, George Romero and his Image Ten investors saw very little of that because of the copyright bungle, and the fact that the film fell immediately into the public domain.

I wonder what impact this could have had on Hollywood productions, if aspiring filmmakers started bucking the system by crowdsourcing enmasse decades ago, following the Image Ten example?
 

Of course, I also wonder, had Romero reaped the rewards would Hollywood have come knocking, checkbooks fully opened, and where his filmmaking trajectory might have gone.

Edited by John Drew

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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Although it may also be the case that it grossed so much because it was public domain and theaters played it because it was free.  It may never have found traction (and eventual critical acclaim) if the Europeans had to pay for it.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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