Tuesday, July 05, 2005

George F**king A Romero and other sorrid tales of Geek

OK...here is the deal...let me break it down for you quickly and in footnote form because otherwise, i'll over-write till the dead rise...funny I should mention that....

To begin...i got to shoot a weeks worth or George Romero goodness in Pittsburgh, my new favorite city!

-We went to the Mines from Dawn on Wednesday & the premiere of the movie that night where we spoke to Tarantino, Rodriguez, Savini, The SHAUN OF THE DEAD guys, Greg Nicertero, Joe Polito and other stars from past and present all out to support the premiere of LAND OF THE DEAD....sadly we did not get in, but I swore to see the film. In Pittsburgh. By god I will...

-Thursday: I met Geroge Romero for the second time, but the first time where I was proud to hsake his hand as someone he inspired to do what he was born to do himself. He was one of my major influences and Aaron and I shot the fuck out of him in his hour long interview, after which I got to shoot a small skit where zombies eat him and he smiles gladly. It was really unreal to be in my situation...my life is slipping into a dark fantasy. Im in Pittsburgh, complete with the Permanti Brothers "sangwitches" "(Minty Sangwicth Minty Minty Sangwitch!" Damn you Andy (Insert Greek Name here) on MTV!!) and a bar with a midget and Im interviewing their hometown hero (and mine), George Fucking A. Romero and then going to the locations from the film I wish I could go back in time to me at 10 and let him know whats coming for the little splatterpunk. I'd probably have my first premature ejaculation.

ANYWAY...After hitting Ole George up for signatures and pictures and general well wishes, we then got to shoot the actual creepy-as-fart mines from DAY OF THE DEAD which was north of the city...My geek meter is going off the rails by now as one of the actual zombie players from the film who worked at the storage facility showed us around. It was too much to take in that I was shooting the mines from this landmark movie from my childhood. It was truly surreal and Im still not sure it all happened.

After we dropped off the Production Manager Matt to the airport we jetted over to our final destination: The cemetary they shot the opening to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (FYI: The house that is the main location for the original film was long gone due to fans seeking it out). We drove 20 miles outside the city to a podunk of a town where the hill-y knoll of gravestones laid. Creepsville, USA. What added to the chill-factor was that the film's first "stench" comes out in broad daylight AND that we pull up and a headstone with LYNCH chiseled across it. Fearing the local cops who would LOVE to have fun with our backsides, we pulled off a few shots and high tailed it outta there. Mission accomplished. Almost.

-Friday: There was a possibility of interviewing Savini but since his people would call our people in LA (Jesus how Hollywood was that last statement. Bruce Wagner, blow me!) we wouldn't know till 1pm if we got a window of Tom Time, we had some tile to kill since Tristan the producer had a taste for early call times. So, after a breakfast of sub-par souffl├ęs (by critical standards...I personally thought it was YUMMY) we had the delight of seeing LAND OF THE DEAD. In Pittsburgh. The first show. Matinee Price: 6.25(!). Big ICEE's in hand. Bigger smiles by the end of the movie. It fucking rocked. Sure I may have been bias since I saw the movie in the iconic island the film was based on (Peninsula OK, but it gave the city an ESCAPE FROM NY feel to the whole week) and it was a day after i got to meet the fucking MAN and one of my fathers of film, but regardless. I was so satisfied with the movie. I read the script a few months ago, and didn't like it. But it was the execution that was funny, frightening, full (of splatter) and almost flawless. We then flew home, the geekgasm coming to a head. Ew.

-On saturday the 25th (Bri's Birthday)The video for Devildriver premiered last week which looked pretty great. Just the fact that it got pushed so fast on the air means something, right? RIGHT?!?!

-Then a cool article about the video came out on MVwire.com...check it out here:
http://mvwire.com/dynamic/article_view.asp?AID=11211

-Saw a screening of DEVILS REJECTS...gotta admit I liked it a lot more than HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES and this movie felt like REAL horror; the uncompromising type like LAST HOUSE and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, but with a BONNIE & CLYDE edge. I dunno if I really could say i enjoyed it; it was more of an "experience" than entertainment. This from the guy who really enjoys CANNIBAL HOLLOCAUST as a compelling precursor to BLAIR WITCH.
...and when Rob got up there seemed to be a balance of people who liked it a lot (or possibly blinded by his presence) and people who despised the brutality of the film...Im more shocked to know its coming out over the summer! Good luck...you've been warned about THE DEVIL'S REJECTS. But in a good way. Look for Brian Posehn in a killer role.

-On Thursday we were going to see WAR OF THE WORLDS with some friends but Banz got attacked by a feral cat so we ended up at a pet hospital...oh well....

-On Friday I was invited by my buds at BLEED THE SKY to come on-stage to sing with them for the song "Minion" which I did a video for. An amazing experience, I jumped up there and RULED that bitch, rocking out at the Legendary Whiskey-A-Go-Go like Jim Morrison and that whacko from Thursday.

-Saturday while we went to a baby birthday in San Diego, my buddy Aaron called me up and was like "How cool is this?"....seems that not only did Roadrunner use my video for a commercial, but on the Headbangers Ball that night they first aired STRAPPING YOUNG LAD...then DEVILDRIVER right after...a double header, back to back!!!! To me thats a major coup...here I come Resteghini!!!

-Monday I saw WAR OF THE WORLDS finally...and loved it. Just a reaffirmation why Spielberg is my favorite filmmaker and my true mentor as a visual storyteller. Not a perfect film, but it might be my favorite movie of the year next to LAND OF THE DEAD...is it me or is this one hell of a grim summer at the movies? Later, after a killer BBQ with an amazing spread (both the real and tofu steak was delectable) my friend Aaron, his wife, "Scotch" Ralston (who produced my very favorite 311 album, TRANSISTOR) and his wife a girl who's name I just dont remember (sorry!) and I took a wild hike up a Pasedena mountain to watch the July 4th fireworks...which one you ask?

ALL OF THEM.

...I got to see 9 different displays from miles around because our view of the skyline was almost God-like. It was the perfect coda to 2 amazing weeks.


There you go...a pretty cool 2 past weeks by anyone's standards, but for me it was a geek milestone.

Sorry to give myself a handy, but I am living my dreams. Thanks to all involved you awesome bastards.

More soon...including a trip to a certain "Hef"ty mansion....
Joe