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Film Notes: George Romero seeks backing for new rock horror show

Saturday, January 17, 2004

By Ron Weiskind, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

George Romero is set to direct the rock-music horror comedy "Diamond Dead." It's based on his rewrite of a script by Brian Cooper and features music by Richard Hartley, who composed the music for "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." But money is still being raised to bring the idea to the big screen.

"To that extent, it's not real yet," Romero said this week from his Shadyside home. But while he has seen many potential projects fizzle in the last decade, the "Night of the Living Dead" director thinks this one will happen.

"Because of the connection between 'Rocky Horror' and 'Night of the Living Dead,' we might get it going," he said. "I think it will happen because of some obvious promotable things. It's all moving ahead as if it's going to happen."

"Diamond Dead" is about a deceased rock band that is brought back to life for one last big concert. In letters to prospective actors posted on the Web site diamonddead.com, Romero calls the film a lampoon of the music business, organized religion, the federal government and adoring fans. The film's producer is Andrew Gaty.

Romero continues to work on the screen adaptation of Stephen King's "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" and on the zombie flick "Dead Reckoning." He has written a new version of "Dracula" for television but doesn't know yet if it will air. He's also working on a novel, "Alligator Point," which involves voodoo and is set in New Orleans.

'Bill' gets reprieve

"Kill Bill Vol. 2" won't open next month as originally planned.

The first installment of Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked martial-arts epic was released in October. The project was planned as a single film, but distributor Miramax decided to split it into two parts.

It has apparently delayed the release of "Vol. 2" until April to take promotional advantage of the video release of "Vol. 1."

Another honor

Beaver County native Joe Letteri, who won an Oscar last year as part of the visual-effects team on "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," will receive another honor this year from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Letteri, from Center Township, will receive a certificate for technical achievement with colleagues Christopher Henry and Ken McGaugh for their "groundbreaking implementations of practical methods for rendering skin and other translucent materials using subsurface scattering techniques."

This most likely involves their work on turning actor Andy Serkis into the computer-enhanced character Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

The Scientific and Technical Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 14 in Pasadena, Calif.

You've got mail

Pittsburgh Filmmakers is starting two new electronic services, a weekly e-mail newsletter and an online bulletin board.

The newsletter will list movies and showtimes for the organization's three theaters and will include information about its gallery exhibitions and film school. Anyone with an e-mail address can sign up for a free subscription at www.pghfilmmakers.org.

The bulletin board is intended as a forum for discussion of filmmaking, photography, movies, ideas or creative projects. It can be accessed at http://pghfilmmakers.org/bboards.

More 'Bread'

Speaking of Filmmakers, it offers two final matinees of "The Bread, My Sweet" at 4:30 p.m. today and 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Regent Square Theater, Edgewood.


Post-Gazette movie editor Ron Weiskind can be reached at rweiskind@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1581.

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