Tag Archives: george a romero

Nelson On Romero

Nelson On Romero

When there is no more room in Hell Is For Hyphenates, the Paul shall walk the Earth.

That was a bit of a switcheroo, wasn't it?

If you haven't listened to the podcast yet, you might want to stop reading this and get on it. However, if you want to know the news but don't care to listen to the show, it's very strange you're here, but also: Paul is leaving the show. Five-and-a-half years is a pretty impressive innings. In that time, Australia has had four Prime Ministers, so measured in those terms he's been here for donkey's.

As he discussed in this month's episode, there are a lot of factors. He will be leaving to focus his energies on his filmmaking career - prepping for Hell Is For Hyphenates requires a tremendous amount of time and energy - and decided that Lee moving to the UK would be a good opportunity to change things up. And that's the other piece of news: Lee is moving to the UK.

Because of that, it made sense that Paul's replacement be someone who is based in the UK already, and we've been incredibly fortunate to secure the talents of our next host Sophie Mayer! Sophie is a film critic and author who definitely knows her away around cinema in all its forms and shapes. She's the ideal candidate for the show, and we were totally delighted when she agreed to come on board.

There's going to be a lot of transition over the next few months. Hyphenates will migrate from an Australian-based show to a UK-based show, which will largely impact the film reviews as, out of necessity, we'll start to go by British release dates instead. Our remit for the reviews is that we talk about films our audience has seen, and we hope the makeup of our audience doesn't change despite this practical shift.

We've also got a number of Australian guests who are booked into 2016. We book so far in advance, many of these guests were confirmed before we had any idea this shake-up would be occurring. We will continue to ensure that any podcasts recorded over Skype are mixed in a way that will trick you into thinking we're all in the same room.

But the real transition will be figuring out what the show is now. For the past five-and-a-half years, Hyphenates has been the Paul-and-Lee show, with each episode's feel uniquely impacted by that month's guest. It would be foolish to try to replicate that, and so we'll be figuring out what the Sophie-and-Lee show sounds like. It's going to be the exact same show, but totally different. Trust us on that. It'll be exciting to mix it up, and we hope you stick with us as we figure out what this new iteration of Hyphenates sounds like.

But enough housekeeping. Hyphenates has always been, and will continue to be, first and foremost a show about celebrating films and filmmakers. And this month, as Paul transitioned over the course of the episode from host to guest, we discovered one of his favourite filmmakers was in fact George A Romero.

This came as something of a surprise to those who knew Paul to be a Tarantino-consumed child of 1970s New Hollywood. Surely, given QT has been covered on the show before, Scorsese would be the obvious choice? But although Paul's love for Marty remains strong, it's quite revealing to discover what it is about Romero that appeals to him so much, particularly as Paul embarks upon his own filmmaking career.

We also look at the thematically-titled London Road, Ridley Scott's The Martian, and Susanne Bier's A Second Chance, and, to varying degrees, rave like lunatics about each one. This is a bumper episode - 1hr 32m - due to the fact that it's Sophie's first and Paul's last, and that sort of momentous occasion deserves a bit of breathing room.

So enjoy this month's episode, and maybe leave Paul a farewell message on the episode, if you're so inclined. We hope you enjoy the new iteration of Hell Is For Hyphenates!

Outro music: score from Night of the Living Dead (1968), taken from stock music composed by either Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin, Jack Cookerly, Ib Glindemann, Philip Green, Geordie Hormel, William Loose, Jack Brunker Meakin, Spencer Moore or John Seely!

Those who have listened to the episode and are wondering which shot Lee was referring to when he said

“There is a moment in this film … I would rate it up there with Spielberg's best shot construction.”

…the shot in question is embedded below. Antagonist George Stark said that he'd castrate a character and place the… cuttings in said character's mouth. But how do you show that in an early 1990s mainstream film? Watch the way he orchestrates the characters, moves the camera, and ingeniously reveals the gruesome display. It's masterful stuff.

Hell Is For Hyphenates – September 2015

UK film critic and author Sophie Mayer joins Hyphenates for this special bumper episode that begins with an big announcement regarding the show! Then Sophie, Paul and Lee look back over some of the key films of this month, including LONDON ROAD, THE MARTIAN and A SECOND CHANCE. They end with an epic look back at the films of groundbreaking horror auteur, George A Romero.

The George A Romero Cheat Sheet

George A Romero

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double that will not only make for a great evening's viewing, but bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…

GR Films


There are two George Romeros: the zombie filmmaker, and the not-zombie filmmaker. The first is the director of legend, the one everyone knows. Romero is, to many people, the filmmaker behind Night of the Living Dead, the independent horror film that brought zombies into the mainstream. This terrifying '60s classic is a world away from the B-movie schlock that defined so much of that period's horror, and so much more identifiable with the serious dramas of the time. It has become a touchstone of horror because of how rawly it reflects everything that's happening in the 1960s, particularly in terms of race relations. There's never an evening when Night of the Living Dead isn't a great watch, and you'll want to follow that up with Martin. This is the non-zombie Romero at play, and although it may seem as if he's taking a side-step into another classic monster trope (this time vampires), Martin is so much more than that. Our protagonist and titular character is deeply disturbed, and has been raised to believe he's a monster. It's a nature vs nurture argument treated like monster A vs monster B, and all contained within this intense character drama. It further reveals Romero as someone who is far from just a horror director: he's a filmmaker who uses horror to explore all sides of human nature, proving that ultimately, these two Romeros are one and that same.

Substitutions: If you can't get or have already seen Night of the Living Dead, try 1978's Dawn of the Dead, which is considered by many to be just as groundbreaking as Night. If you can't get or have already seen Martin, try 1981's Knightriders, the film that's as much about Romero the filmmaker as it is about Ed Harris putting on a suit of armour and riding a motorbike about the place.

The Hidden Gem: Want to watch something from off the beaten track? Check out Season of the Witch aka Hungry Wives (1972), an astonishingly progressive and dangerous film that, like all of Romero's best work, is far more about the human conflict than the supernatural.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Sophie Mayer talking George A Romero, will be released on the morning of September 30 (AEST).

Our Next Hyphenate Sophie Mayer

Sophie Mayer
Film critic, author, and our next Hyphenate Sophie Mayer

It's always exciting when we get to employ the ridiculous amount of technology we have at our disposal, and patch in someone like they were in the room with us. Such is the case with the London-based Sophie Mayer, who we're delighted to announce will be joining us this month.

Sophie is a film critic and regular contributor to magazine Sight and Sound and The F-Word. The writes regularly on feminist, queer and alternative cinema, and is the author of The Cinema of Sally Potter: A Politics of Love and of Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema, and co-edited Catechism: Poems For Pussy Riot. She is part of Club des Femmes and Raising Films, and teaches film studies and creative writing whenever she can.

But which filmmaker will we be discussing this month?

None other than the legendary horror filmmaker George A Romero!

Directed by George A Romero

Romero is best known for popularising the zombie genre in mainstream cinema, through his seminal trilogy Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. These extraordinary films have formed the spine of his legacy, but he was never exclusively a zombie director.

From the modern-day jousting knights drama Knightriders to the vampiric thriller Martin, Romero's work is so much more diverse than his reputation gives him credit for.

So join us on September 30 when we explore and reveal the hidden corners of this amazing filmography!

George A Romero
Our next filmmaker of the month, George A Romero