They’re Almost at the Door! – Night of the Living Dead: Rebirth Shambles Forward
Cleveland production closes in on wrap date for indie Romero remake
March 23, 2015 – They’re coming to get you… Adam? Wait, what? An upcoming remake of George A. Romero’s 1968 zombie classic Night of the Living Dead has been in the midst of principle photography since October 2014. Shot around the Cleveland area in a collaboration between Rising Pulse Productions and Mouse Nest Production, this revision went forth into the world of cinema not to try and out-due the original film but to elaborate on its thematic groundwork in a modern way. Fans often fail to realize that Night of the Living Dead was a cornucopia of modern issues prevalent in the 1960s. Both metaphorically and through clever dialogue, topics including racism, government cover-ups and violence through television can be found between the scenes of zombie attacking madness.
This is where writer/director Roger Conners is confident that his Night of the Living Dead tribute will succeed where many others have failed. Instead of going for a hair-raising, gory remake, he decided to make a very classic horror film with current inceptions of the old Romero characters appearing on screen. What if Barbara was a gay man? What if Cooper was a religious extremist? Those are just two examples of how Conners has taken the original plot of the zombie genre defining hit and turned it on its head. Religious irrationality, homosexuality and, of course, violence through media will also be explored in Night of the Living Dead: Rebirth amongst many other themes.
The production is more than half way through filming with a wrap date expected for May 2015. That hasn’t stopped Night of the Living Dead: Rebirth from slowing its wheels of promotion. In February 2015 it was the second runner up in the annual Horror Society Awards for “Most Anticipated Film,” a competition that saw more than 17,000 fan submitted votes. Horror Society also recognized Rebirth cinematographer Noelle Bye during its Women in Horror Month daily column. Other sites and publications are moaning and groaning their anticipation for this title with cast and crew members having been interviewed by A South Life in Scandalous Times and Zombiepalooza: Dead Again.
Starring Aswan Harris, Alvin Hudson, Rachel Anderson, Bradley Arner, Taylor Nelms and RJ Messenger, Roger Conners co-leads this feature film that serves as his directorial debut. Speaking on his journey as the production nears the end of filming Conners is quoted as saying, “The last few months have really blown me away in the sense of what we’ve accomplished and where we’ve been able to take this material. This movie has become its own entity and I’m very proud of that. Yet, at its core, it’s a fan-film and definitely a re-telling of the original Night of the Living Dead story.”
Aswan Harris, who plays Rebirth’s Ben, is also proud of the production and its cast and crew. He spoke highly of his time on set so far by saying, “It’s been great. When I signed on to do this project, I was expecting to work with people with passion, and that’s way I got!”
Although nearing the conclusion of principle photography can be sad at times, Rachel Anderson (Helen Cooper) is invigorated and ready to tackle the next set of obstacles. She says, “Moving into the next two months I’m looking forward to shooting the physical confrontations between Alvin Hudson (Harry Cooper) and me. We are also hoping to shoot a scene that develops Harry and Helen’s church history.”
Follow along with Night of the Living Dead: Rebirth on Facebook as the production begins its last quarter of shoot dates: https://www.facebook.com/NightoftheLivingDead2015.