Thursday, March 25, 2010
Early Evening of the Dead
On Saturday, I was running around like crazy, doing things people do on Saturdays. I did laundry, looked at a few firehouses, and when I was at the supermarket, in the parking lot, I stopped and looked at my phone.
(And by look at, I mean read my email and then scrolled down the Facebook updates page.)
And there was Bunche, in a snapshot he posted of him with George Romero. Bunche had come over from Brooklyn to JC and gone to the horror con that was in Journal Square.
*&^%! I am soooo lame!
How could I not bother going up the hill on the jitney to see George Romero, the esteemed originator of the zombie movie? All I had to do was sit on the jitney for ten minutes. But I'd gotten bogged down in the mundane.
I continued to swear at my own super-lameness on the drive home, where I dropped off my groceries, changed my shirt, and ran down to the jitney.
Ten minutes later I was in the front row at the Night of/Dawn of the Dead panel at the Landmark Loew's 1929 movie palace.
And it was super. Super-duper. There were all kinds of former zombies on the stage, along with director George Romero and the main actors from Dawn of the Dead. They reminisced and took questions from the audience. George Romero talked about how the main part in Night of the Living Dead had been written with a white actor in mind, and when they found the man who had gotten the part, he had been a black actor, but they hadn't changed a word of the script. And the script took on much weightier meaning when the team had been driving to New York with the film's answer print and they heard on the radio that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated.
Their marvelous zombie movie had suddenly sprouted unexpected symbolism. Unanticipated Zeitgeist.
And watching the panel, I thought back to my first midnight movie, in high school. At Skyline Mall out on the edge of Alexandria, with the other Marie, her friend Rob that she knew from Naples, and his friend Kevin (whose dad owned a heating and air conditioning company). And I remembered Rob chuckling wickedly when the elevator door opened. "Watch this zombie, hahahahahaha..."
I'd never seen anything like Dawn of the Dead, at least since my little ex-boyfriend had borrowed his mother's car and taken me to see Road Warrior at the drive-in. Both of these movies blew my little 17-year-old mind.
Is it any wonder I ended up working on comic books?