May 8th, 2004


Zombies Come To Arlington

Thanks to R, I just came back from a little happening in Arlington (part of the Boston Underground Film Festival): the Bent Men put on a little show, then George Romero introduced a little movie you might have heard of, Night Of the Living Dead.

The Bent Men do proggy rock crossed with Residents-like lyrics and put on a show with weird costumes and quasi-transgressive/edgy but now quaint, themes. That said, they've got musicians that can work up a good groove and there were some genuine moments of wit. In keeping with the theme of the evening, many extras were zombifying in the aisles and on stage occasionally, and that was pretty cool. Plus they gave out ice cream novelties during one song, and who can resist a free ice cream sandwich ? But, in one of many Spinal Tap-like moments, they also threw Hoodsie ice cream cups (OK, actually they were Stop & Shop store brand) but forgot the spoons. I'd really hate to be cleaning up that mixture of melted ice cream and small styrofoam pellets off the cinema floor right now !

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to talk with the Bent Men's affable and talented guitarist, Eddie; he was in the Project Eno band and I'd really like to hear the Brainy One's songs performed live again.

During the break before the film. George Romero was holding court at the back of the theatre. I asked him if he'd seen Shaun Of the Dead, and yes he had, and he loved it. He didn't really have to approve it or anything, but the makers of Shaun did let him know about, used a little of the soundtrack from Night Of the Living Dead, and did send him a print of their movie. We both think that it the movie would actually do OK if given US distribution, but probably the best to hope for is a DVD release.

A little after that, Romero went on stage to introduce Night, but some doofus forgot to turn off the background music, and to turn up the volume on the mike. He got a round of applause anyway.

It was pretty neat to see Night Of the Living Dead in a real movie theatre; although the projectionist was a little slow on the whole framing thing at first, the 35mm print was in very good shape and a second viewing allows to notice things that escape the first time. No matter though, because it's still a good, scary, movie under all that reputation and imitation.