Monday, July 17, 2017

Three Deaths of Hollywood's Undead

The future is full of the dead undead. The last few days have been a sync storm of signs.


On July 12, 2017, the death of a stuntman who body doubled for stars on The Walking Dead died of a tragic injury on the set. John Bernecker suffered terrible injuries when he fell more than 20 feet and landed on concrete.

Bernecker was a veteran stunt performer and fight choreographer. According to his IMDB page, he has worked on projects such as Olympus Has Fallen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2, and Logan among many others.

He is also listed as having worked on upcoming films like Marvel's Black Panther and Dwayne Johnson's Rampage.

He also worked as an actor in several films, appearing in bit parts Logan, The Last Witch Hunter, Goosebumps, and an episode of Season 1 of True Detective.


Night of the Living Dead director George A. Romero dies at 77.

On Sunday, July 16, 2017, George Romero, whose classic Night of the Living Dead and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, died. He was 77.

Romero died Sunday after a battle with lung cancer, his family said in a written statement provided by his manager Chris Roe. Romero's family said he died while listening to the score of The Quiet Man, one of his favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher, and daughter, Tina Romero, by this side.

Romero is credited with reinventing the movie zombie with his directorial debut, the 1968 cult classic, Night of the Living Dead. Romero's zombies, however, were always more than mere cannibals; they were metaphors for conformity, racism, mall culture, militarism, class differences and other social ills.

On July 15, 2017, Martin Landau, 89, a character actor who starred in the 1960s television show Mission: Impossible and won an Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi (shown above) in the movie Ed Wood, died Saturday.

Landau died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles following "unexpected complications during a short hospitalization," his publicist said in a statement.

Landau was born June 28, 1928, in Brooklyn and worked as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News before becoming an actor, according to the Internet Movie Database.

These three "undead" deaths appear to have synced with the return to HBO of the 7th season of The Game of Thrones on Sunday night, 7-16 (1+6=7). The program was greatly anticipated for the reappearance of the Night Walkers, the GoT's version of the undead.

Little did viewers (mild spoiler alert) also know it would involve an example feature that was a speciality of Martin Laudau's on Mission: Impossible, the use of an identity-hiding mask.

The end of GoT's Season 6 foreshadowed the shocking opening of the new season. The "undead," certainly, were part of what this was about.

In an example of parallel thinking, concurrently, Jake Kotze writes: “Truly a "night of the living dead" with horror legend George Romero dying as the undead White Walkers return to our screens in Game of Thrones”.

Thanassis Vermbos writes me privately with these thoughts: 
Nitrogen’s atomic number is 7. It was first discovered and isolated in 1772 (17, 77). Antoine Lavoisier suggested the name azote, from the Greek άζωτικός "no life", as it is an asphyxiant gas; his name is instead used in many languages, such as French, Russian and Turkish, and appears in the English names of some nitrogen compounds such as hydrazine, azides and azo compounds. Nitrogen also has a boiling point at 77 degrees Kelvin. A-zote means no life –Romero’s zombies are exactly that; non-living creatures.

These are undead times.

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