As it pertains to comic book movies, the name Zack Snyder can be a rather contentious one. Snyder’s filmography reads like a wish list of Hollywood adaptations that a reader of Wizard: The Guide to Comics could have only meekly fantasized about back in the 1990s. 300, Watchmen, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Justice League. If you fired up Doctor Doom’s time platform and traveled to a convention floor in the past, carrying an envelope with only those five titles credited to the same director, fans would think you had come bearing tidings of a John-Connor-like movie messiah for comic book nerds.

Whatever you make of the actual end products that resulted from Snyder’s efforts, the fact that he or anyone was able to marshal big-budget attempts at bringing such properties to life is surely a dream come true by ‘90s geek standards. Before his cinematic M.O. ever became linked to the all-important subject of comic book movies, however, Snyder was a director with a background in music videos who would cross over into feature filmmaking with a remake of George Romero’s 1978 zombie film Dawn of the Dead.

Snyder’s version of Dawn of the Dead hit theaters on March 19, 2004. In this movie, the characters aren’t superheroes or Spartan warriors with washboard abs. They’re everyday people thrust together in an extraordinary situation. That dose of humanity at once makes Dawn of the Dead more down-to-earth and relatable than any CGI-laden superhero slugfest. With a screenplay by James Gunn, who would also go on to become a key figure in the comic book movie genre with Guardians of the Galaxy, this is Snyder’s most street-level film. It’s also his best. 

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New Blu-ray releases

(Welcome to Not Dead Yet, a feature dedicated to what’s new on Blu-ray and what special features you should be excited about. Because yes, some of us still like to own physical copies of our movies.)

Happy Halloween! Open your goodie bags and/or plastic pumpkin buckets and I’ll drop some fine physical media in there. In this latest Blu-ray round-up, I’ve got a group of films that are actually perfect for Halloween. They’re also perfect for any day besides Halloween, too. You don’t need Halloween as an excuse to watch creepy movies, folks. They’re good all year round.

Below you’ll find a George Romero later-day zombie film, a remake of a Romero classic, a spooky post-modern ghost story starring Kristen Stewart, and a polarizing trip to Twin Peaks. Here are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.

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The 15 Best Horror Remakes Ever Made

Best Horror Remakes

Recently, I highlighted what I believed to be the worst horror remakes ever made in honor of this week’s release of Flatliners. But enough negativity! Let’s look at some good horror remakes, which do indeed exist! Every once in awhile, a filmmaker will come along, take an original film, and find a creative, exciting way to remake it. Sometimes these remakes even surpass the original films. It’s rare, but it happens, and when it does, that’s worth celebrating. Let’s look at the best horror remakes of all time.

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Top Gun 2 Title

(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)

In this edition, a video essay explains how the release of Top Gun on VHS ended up saving the home video industry. Plus, another video essay takes a look at how Zack Snyder‘s remake of Dawn of the Dead has all of the trademarks we’ve come to expect from the filmmaker, and singer Natasha Bedingfield gives Strangers Things the cheesy theme song it deserves. Read More »

Featuring a line up that included Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, RoboCop, A Clockwork Orange, Super, Wall-E and Serenity, the 3rd annual Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival was held this past weekend. Each film was accompanied by one or two prominent guests who all gave fascinating behind the scenes facts about their films as well as info on some upcoming projects.

It was a great weekend to be a fan of movies in Los Angeles and, after the jump, you can read dozens and dozens of behind the scenes facts from all those movies as well as Zack Snyder‘s update on Man of Steel, Simon Pegg talking The World’s End and Star Trek 2, Peter Weller‘s feelings on a RoboCop remake, Malcom McDowell‘s thoughts on The Avengers, James Gunn‘s thoughs on the similarites between Super, Kick Ass and God Bless America, Andrew Stanton‘s statement on possible Pixar sequels and Nathan Fillion‘s casting choices for UnchartedRead More »

The third annual Hero Complex Film Festival, presented by the Los Angeles Times, is as star studded as ever. Taking place from May 18-21 at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14, this year’s line up goes from zombies, to cult classics, animation and superheroes. It all begins with Zack Snyder and Robert Kirkman presenting Dawn of the Dead followed by Edgar Wright and Shaun of the Dead. Saturday starts with a digitally remastered version of RoboCop with Peter Weller, A Clockwork Orange with a Malcolm McDowell Q&A and finally the hugely underrated Super with star Rainn Wilson. Then on Sunday, Andrew Stanton will present the Oscar-winning WALL-E, Nathan Fillion will present Serenity and finally there will be ‘An Evening With Stan Lee,’ which will feature a screening that is yet to be announced.

After the jump, find out how you can get tickets and more. Read More »

Does a double feature of Dawn of the Dead with Zack Snyder and Shaun of the Dead with Edgar Wright sound like a good night at out the movies? You bet it does, and we can exclusively announce that’s just the first night of the upcoming, third annual Hero Complex Film Festival presented by the Los Angeles Times. The festival will take place May 18-21 at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE and the full announcement of the line up and ticket sales takes place at 10 a.m. April 25. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Mondo and the Alamo Drafthouse had their biggest event ever this weekend this weekend as 700 attendees piled onto buses and were escorted by police to the Highland Mall in Austin Texas for their ninth mystery screening: George Romero‘s Dawn of the Dead. When the buses pulled in, 200 zombies attacked them, forcing the film goers to race into the mall to watch the movie. There the director introduced his 1978 masterpiece which was accompanied by an awesome, limited edition poster by Jeff Proctor.

It was an event that won’t soon be forgotten and, after the jump, you can see not only the poster, but photos and videos from the event that will help you relive the entire evening. What better way to start off you Halloween? Read More »

VOTD: Edgar Wright’s 1993 Mash-Up ‘Gun Fetish’

We post a fair amount of montages here on /Film, but this one’s extra special. Back in 1993, well before the days of Final Cut Pro, a 19-year-old Edgar Wright holed himself up in an editing suite for several weekends to put together this montage, “Gun Fetish.” The clips are pulled from VHS tapes, which explains the low quality. Even so, it’s apparent that Wright has an excellent sense of rhythm and timing, as well as real affection for the films he’d go on to reference and parody in work like Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Watch it after the jump. Be forewarned — the video is, as Wright puts it, “a little NSFW and spoiler heavy.”

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Watch A Brief History of Movie Title Designs

As part of the screening put together in relation to the SXSW Title Design Competition, Ian Albinson from the website The Art of the Title Sequence put together a nice two and a half minute compendium of excellent film titles. (That features an occasional piece of television, too.) For any long-time film lover, this little video will probably elicit quite a few responses simply on the strength of the title cards on display. I queued several films to re-watch after exposure to just a few seconds of their titles.

Check out the collection after the jump. Read More »