Director Rob Kuhns looks back at the making of BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD, a GEP produced documentary about the historical indie gem Night of the Living Dead.
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by Melissa Stern
…. As a dedicated doc-watcher, as well as a documentary screener/curator for an international film festival for the past five years, I’ve found a few documentaries related to art and culture that have really stuck with me over the years.
Here is my roundup, not only of films from the last year but of the past decade. These are films you may have missed in theaters, never saw because they got a one-week showing in NYC and LA and nowhere else, or that were simply too far below the radar ….
…. Birth of the Living Deaddocuments the genesis and making of this seminal film, weaving it seamlessly into its late-sixties origins. There’s the added bonus of an extensive interview with a most delightful George Romero (the director of the 1968 film) as well as hilarious details of how this film was made on a shoestring in suburban Pittsburgh, with many from the local community volunteering to portray the first flesh-eating zombies of the modern era ….
“Regardless we spoke for well over an hour in an unlit room. As the conversation continued the light grew darker. The conversation went all over the place but one thing was clear: this was a serious filmmaker who likes to have a lot of fun. Oscillating between acting (All the Light in the Sky, Wendy and Lucy), directing (Habit, Beneath) and producing (The Comedy, Night Moves), Fessenden emphasized that his favorite films were those that had a slow approach, films that took their time.”
“Though horror has always been a big go-to for filmmakers starting out with low budget fare, The Blair Witch Project took that craze to its zenith. With a whole lot of horrors suddenly flooding the market (and honestly, many of them should never been made) one we’re happy found its way out of the weeds was Larry Fessenden‘s spooky spiritual thriller. Playing off a mythical Algonquain legend, the godfather of contemporary low budget horror makes a thrilling work that’s definitely much scarier than anything done in Blair Witch.
Best Time To Watch: Before you head off for a camping trip or anything that involves a lot of wilderness.”
“This is another one that you might cry foul on, because there has of course been a Swamp Thing film made. … With the property’s use of both horror and ecology, you could get someone like Larry Fessenden (Wendigo, The Last Winter) involved and do some wondrous things.”
Brent Kunke and Fessenden in attendance at Woodstock!
Tomorrow night (Saturday Oct 11), Glass Eye Pix presents a double-feature of BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD at Videology in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
9:30PM Birth of the Living Dead
11PM Night of the Living Dead
Director Rob Kuhns, Producer Esther Cassidy, and Executive Producer Larry Fessenden will introduce!
Free to attend!
Get more details at Videology
Original tunes by Gary Pozner and Brian Goss written for Rob Kuhn’s BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD are now available for download at CD Baby. Start Rockin’ out today! Check it!
Weekly Geek Speak Podcast: Re-Birth of the Geeky Pod
This week Weekly Geek Speak hits episode 50! And like all stale products in modern times, we’re rebooting. This means nothings different but you get the chance to get to know us once more as we talk over the questions asked each other in episode one. We also celebrate all things George A. Romero with the DVD release of Birth of the Living Dead, a documentary all about how Night of the Living Dead came to be. We’re also joined by Birth’s producer and indie horror legend, Larry Fessenden who talks all about his view on the horror genre and how Romero effected his career.
They’re coming to get you, Barbara! Rob Kuhns’ BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD, GEP’s new doc on the making and impact of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, has been unleashed on DVD.
“A long, long overdue documentary on George Romero and his wildly influential masterwork, 1968’s ”Night Of The Living Dead.” Whether you’re a fan of the man or not, whether you like/love/hate zombie movies/tv/games/etc., we guarantee you will enjoy watching George as a young college dropout, gathering a motley crew of Pittsburgh filmmaker-wannbes to accidental launch the multi-billion dollar zombie craze that’s still going strong 35 years later. Funny, touching, scary, enlightened, profound, silly and just plain entertaining has hell, this is officially our favorite doc of all time. Just buy the freakin’ thing…”
“One of the most enjoyable aspects of Rob Kuhns’ documentary Birth of the Living Dead was a handful of animated sequences from artist “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin, who also whipped up the poster art for the film. Pullin is one of the best in the world when it comes to horror art, and this particular poster was perhaps the most stunning one we saw in 2013. A true piece of art, in every sense of the word.”
Check out the full list at FEARnet.com.
Congrats to Gary Pullin for the fine company he keeps in this thoughtful and badass selection of the year’s coolest genre posters. Glad to see one-sheets for The Sacrament and You’re Next in there among many other fine graphic specimens. See all the posters at ShockTillYouDrop.com.