Living Dead

Living Dead is a blanket term for various films, series, and other forms of media that all originated from, and includes, the 1968 horror film Night of the Living Dead conceived by George A. Romero and John A. Russo. The loosely connected franchise predominantly centers on different groups of people attempting to survive during the outbreak and evolution of a zombie apocalypse.

After the film's initial success, the two creators split in disagreement regarding where the series should head.[1] Romero went on to direct five additional Dead films, while Russo branched off into literary territory, writing Return of the Living Dead, which was later loosely adapted into a film of the same name and would have its own franchise, and Escape of the Living Dead.

The term may also refer to the reanimated human corpses that feast on the flesh and/or brains of the living seen in the films.

George A. Romero's Dead series

As of its latest installment, Survival of the Dead, Romero's Dead series includes six films all written and directed by Romero himself. Labeled Trilogy of the Dead until Land of the Dead,[2] each film is laden with social commentary on topics ranging from racism to consumerism. The films are not produced as direct follow-ups from one another and the only continuation is the epidemic of the living dead. This situation advances with each film, but with different characters, and the time moves ahead to the time when they were filmed, making the world's progression the only interlocking aspect of the series. The fifth film does not continue the depiction of the progress of the world; instead it goes back to the beginning of events from the first film, but is nonetheless contemporary as the sequels are. The films deal with how different people react to the same phenomenon ranging from citizens to police to army officials and back again. There are no real happy endings to the films, as each takes place in a world that has gotten worse since the last time we saw it, the number of zombies ever increasing and the fate of the living remnant always in the balance.

Romero tried to make each movie unique from the previous, but this led to some of his more serious works, like Day of the Dead, receiving a worse reception compared to his spoof-like film Dawn of the Dead. He explained this in an interview with Telegraph film reviewer Tim Robey saying, "You know, I’ve made six zombie films, I’ve tried consciously to make each one different from the next. But that’s not what people want these days. They want the same thing! I don’t know if that’s part of this television mentality, where people tune in every week to see the same thing.".[3] Romero does not consider any of his Dead films sequels since none of the major characters or story continue from one film to the next.[citation needed] The one exception is that the military officer from Diary of the Dead (Alan van Sprang), who robs the main characters, is a main character in Survival of the Dead as well.

George A. Romero's Dead series includes:

  1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  2. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  3. Day of the Dead (1985)
  4. Land of the Dead (2005)
  5. Diary of the Dead (2007)
  6. Survival of the Dead (2009)
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