Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fangoria February - Night of the Living Dead!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!

  
A bit of sad news to report before we get to today's Fangoria February post. Bill Hinzman, the actor who famously portrayed the cemetery zombie during the opening scene of George Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' has passed away. Bill has forever cemented his legacy as being one of the very first actors to portray a zombie in a major motion picture. This post is dedicated to the memory of Bill Hinzman, may one day he rise from the grave and reek havoc on us all! Your body may be gone but your image will live on forever.
Click for Larger Image!
Much has been wrote about George Romero's landmark film 'Night of the Living Dead' throughout the years. So when the films 20th anniversary came crawling up, Fangoria jumped at the opportunity to pay homage to the film. What follows is a really interesting look back at the flick. The photograph I chose for this article was from a small section, smack dab in the middle of a much larger spread, about the colorization of the film. But it goes much deeper than simply hyping up a colorized re-release of the film, which reportedly cost a quarter of a million dollars to make.

As per usual Fangoria charm, they don't spend as much time as you would think trying to sell you any merchandise related to 'Night of the Living Dead' ... although they do make mention of the fact that you can purchase 'The Complete NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD Filmbook by John Russo' for only $9.95 (plus $2.50 postage!). Instead they take the time to track down almost all of the films cast for retrospective interviews. I say most because according to this piece Keith Wayne, who played "Tom" (the younger male character) was apparently nowhere to be found. As a matter of fact as of the time of this article, nobody had heard from him in many years. (sadly Keith committed suicide in September of 1995)

All of the actors that did partake in this interview give very heartfelt responses and all generally seem to have fond memories of the film. Interestingly enough the actor who gives by far the largest interview is none other than the late Bill Hinzman. Who talks in great detail about his time on the film, working with Romero on other projects, and his dreams of directing his own feature length film. Hinzman would fulfill this dream with 1986's 'The Majorettes' and 1988's 'Flesheater'. Although he teases a project that he has in mind which "is horror but with a religious setting. It takes place in a convent." that I do not believe he ever made.

It is article like these that really make Fangoria so much fun to read. It is nothing but pure fan service with very little persuasion towards getting you to purchase any 'Night of the Living Dead' merchandise. It is nice to see them treat the film with so much respect, even when talking about the colorized re-release they spend plenty of time talking about why it might be a bad thing. 'Night of the Living Dead' was and is a classic film and it is nice to see Fangoria treat it as such.

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