Friday, June 20, 2014

At Anorak: The Five Most Underrated George A. Romero Movies

My newest article at Anorak -- "The Same Animals...Only Functioning Less Perfectly" -- studies the five most underrated films in director George A. Romero's film canon.

Here's a snippet of the piece (and here's the URL since some folks are having trouble seeing the links: )

GEORGE Romero’s impressive movie-making career stretches back to the Pittsburgh area in the late 1960s and spans over forty years.
Like many horror filmmakers of his generation, Romero has seen his share of big successes, like Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Creepshow (1982), critical darlings like Martin (1976), cult classics such as The Crazies (1973) and the occasional out-right bomb, like Diary of the Dead (2007).
But several of Romero’s finer films didn’t meet with financial or critical success, and deserve to have further light shone on them.  Accordingly, my selections for the most underrated of his feature films are listed below.


  1. My personal favorite underrated Romero film is the non-genre "There's Always Vanilla." My least favorite Romero film (I haven't seen them all) is "Bruiser" - what did you think of that one?

    With respect to "Hungry Wives," I've always been confused about versions and titles. No one seems to have seen the supposed 130-minute original release cut. Is that length actually confirmed from trade reviews or other sources? It seems awfully long for a 1972 horror release.

    There are also 104 minute and 89 minute ("Season of the Witch") versions - these may both be extant. Some sources say the original title was "Hungry Wives," some say "Jack's Wife." I've put off seeing this film until I can be sure I'm getting the best existing version. What do you recommend?

    1. Hi Patrick,

      I have not seen "Bruiser" in a few years. I remember being not very fond of it, but I feel like I should give it a second whirl (and perhaps review it here on the blog).

      In terms of Hungry Wives, the 104 minute version is still a little long, and yet it is the version I recommend. It repeats some of its points, but I love Romero's style of editing in this film. I wish he still edited all his pictures!

    2. If you do look at "Bruiser" again, an interesting comparison to have in mind would be with "Office Space," which came out around the same time. There is a strong similarity in the endings of the two pictures, both locating "authenticity" far down the pay scale from the executive suite.

  2. No love for Martin? Granted, it was not everyone's cup of thing, but I found Romero's attempt to subvert the vampire legend in that movie more interesting than most of the plot in Day of the Dead. Perhaps because the WTF ending of DotD seemed such an obvious FU to the corporate suits who refused to allow him to release the film with his original ending.