Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Now, even the Dead are dying

George Romero's 1968 movie "Night of the Living Dead" was not properly copyrighted. There used to be lots of bad dupes and third rate extra poor quality videos copies of it out there. Personally, I think that helped  build the movie's reputation. It was like you were seeing something you really shouldn't be seeing, something surreptitiously filmed, something that was - and maybe should be - suppressed. As the years went by, the original negative became available (long story), prints were struck and --- it still played.

Today brought word that Bill Hinzman, known far and wide as the Cemetery Zombie passed away yesterday. He was basically the first new world order screen zombie, of the slow lurching eat your flesh and brains school of zombie-dom.

He was a second cameraman on the shoot when Romero pressed him into service. He later collaborated with Romero on The Crazies, and the 1974 tv documentary O.J. Simpson : The Juice on the Loose.

He directed two low budget horrors, The Majorettes, and Flesh Eater, in which he reprised his role as the Cemetary Zombie. He was 75.

In one of those synchronicity of events thingys, yesterday also saw the passing of Josephine Streiner. She played one of the ghouls on Night of the Living Dead - it was her car that Barbara wreaked trying to get away from Hinzman's Cemetery Zombie; in real life she was the mother of Russell Streiner who produced the movie, and Gary Streiner, who was its sound engineer.

Russ (left) and Gary (right) Streiner

The brothers have asked that those who wish to remember their mother send a contribution to Fix the Chapel, a fund set up to save (and restore) the Evans City, Pa. Chapel used in the filming from destruction. (Gary Streiner is the director of that project.)

Fix the Chapel (a.k.a. Save the Chapel - website)

Save the Chapel Facebook page

At the website, one can even buy t-shirts and hoodies as part of the fundriaser:

Personally, I except both Mr. Hinzman and Ms. Streiner to come lurching towards me, later, tonight, alone, in the dark.... they can never die, now.


Austan said...

Don't know why, but this makes me wanna cry. And Fix the Chapel goes on the list. Thanks for letting us know. I want one of those hooodies. And I'm posting about this with a link from my blog to here.

sdt said...

I want one of those hoodies, too. That's why I posted a pic of it and not the t-shirt. Positive affirmation and all that.

Thanks for the link.

Rory Grant said...

I thank maybe I was abducted by aliens or something at the time - I've never seen the movie.

Something I assure you - I will now correct.

Hope the church makes it!


sdt said...

Rory - so glad to have you back and about, at least for a week. It's really a pretty bad movie, but effective. Hope you like it.