on 4 June 2003
Gagne's book gives us the only real insight into Romero's films you can get in print. Unfortunately, it only covers his career up to and including Day of the Dead, and a few of the television pieces he did (e.g. Tales from the Darkside). This is no bad thing, as this earlier career period saw him do his best work. Gagne's book is passionately written - you can tell he's writing about someone he loves - the author ended up being a zombie in Day of the Dead, and is so proud of it that he has included a photo of himself in his zombie make-up near the end of the book. Bless. Seriously folks, if G.A. Romero is someone you have interest in, you should own this book. It provides some great information on behind-the-scenes facts, rather than wanky, pretentious 'interpretation' drivel that so many books about film-makers contain. This is very expensive - I got mine about 10 years ago for £22, but I would have paid more. If you buy this book, God bless you. If you don't, then i'm gonna have to find you and bite off your ear. Don't worry, i'll give it back when i'm done. Promise...
on 8 March 2006
This book is invaluable to any Romero-phile. Simply put, if you dig the undead, buy this book! It delves deep in to the brains of Mr Romero and takes the reader through the creation of some of the most highly regarded films of the horror genre. Many interviews with cast, crew, producers, SFX boffins and the great zombie mastermind himself lend the book some weight. From idea to screen, with all the problems inbetween, this is a fascinating insight as to how no-budget, anti-hollywood films were made in the days of yore. Unfotunately, this print is 20 years old and could really do with an update. Now zombies are cool again, this seems highly likely (fingers crossed).
Mid-way through there are some tasty colour photo's with gore-aplenty for bloodthirsty types, i.e. me. The rest of the book is also spattered with b/w on-set photo's and promotional artwork etc. The author really knows and respects the subject matter and the whole thing is a pleasure to behold. This guy has done his research. Hats off.
Get it before you die!
That is all.
on 19 February 2010
Now 25 years old, The Zombies that Ate Pittsburgh did a fantastic job of profiling Romero's extensive career up to that point.
All of his films, including his auspicious debut, Night of the Living Dead, are lovingly recalled with the kind of detail that fans devoured as readily as one of Romero's zombies tore into entrails.
But a quarter of a century later, the book would certainly benefit from an updated edition. Romero has made several more films, and his reputation as a maverick film-maker is undiminished.
I understand that Richard Rubinstein, the producer of Dawn of the Dead and ex-business partner of Romero's, has refused permission to reprint or update. If so, that is a great shame, because this is the definitive Romero biography.
Note: A limited edition (350 copies) edition, signed by Romero and Gagne, was released in 1985. It is well worth tracking down, if you've got plenty of disposable income.
on 14 November 2007
I paid the grand sum of four quid for this book about three years ago from a secondhand bookshop in town. I had no idea it was worth so much! Would I sell it? Not a chance. Would I pay the prices being asked here? Probably yes.....if I didn't have bills to pay.
This books charts Romero's early career from the forming of Latent Image in 1963 up to Day Of The Dead in 1985 and is absolutely packed with information and reflection from Romero himself. There's also a section at the end from Tom Savini on each film and various interveiws from different associates of Latent Image, Laurel and UFD etc.
All in a great book.
on 7 February 2016
The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh is one of the few film books that I feel compelled to re-read every year (sometimes several times a year). As a huge fan of George A. Romero and his movies, this tome is a constant source of pleasure for me. I feel confident in saying it is the best Romero book out there (not that there are too many of them in the world) and will probably remain the best Romero book ever written (although "ever" is of course a long time).
The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh covers each of Romero's films from 1968's Night of the Living Dead (one of the most important horror films ever made) all the way through to 1985's Day of the Dead (another masterpiece of social commentary and riotous gore). In between we also have individual chapters dedicated to such stonewall classics as Martin (1977), Dawn of the Dead (1979), Knightriders (1981) and Creepshow (1982) - the latter actually my favourite Romero movie. Of course, Romero has written and directed several movies in the 31 years since Day of the Dead - including The Dark Half (1992) and Land of the Dead (2005) - but Paul R. Gagne's wonderful book covers the director's glory years when the King of the Zombies was at the height of his creative powers.
Anyone with even a cursory interest in Romero's filmography should track down a copy of this superb book (I found one at a second-hand bookstore ten years ago that was still in excellent condition). It would be wonderful if Mr. Gagne would do a second edition of his book that covers the rest of Romero's work up until 2010's criminally underrated Survival of the Dead (a movie that I personally adore although I know of several horror fans who dislike it intensely). If by some chance you should ever read this review, Mr. Gagne, please hear my plea and get to work as soon as possible. I know for a fact that there are an army of Romero fans out there in the world who would rejoice at the news of an updated version hitting the shelves. However, in the meantime we shall all have to make do with this essential guide to the master's work.
Stay scared, people!