''They hired me to get an X rating, basically,'' says David LeRoy Anderson, the special makeup effects man on Dawn of the Dead, the new remake that ships Ving Rhames, Sarah Polley, and an army of disgusting zombies off to the mall. Going full tilt, for Anderson, meant modeling the living dead on the dead dead in really nasty forensic photos (''there were some drowning victims that were just horrible'') -- and blood, blood, more blood! ''We had a blood cart,'' says Anderson, a two-time Oscar winner, for Men in Black and The Nutty Professor. ''It kinda looked like a snow cone cart. You had all these big bottles with pump tops on them, and whatever you need -- mouth blood, dried blood, flowing blood -- you just gotta go up, pump yourself a cup, and splash it on. Very convenient.''
Although Universal ultimately reined things in for an R rating, first-time feature director Zack Snyder hopes this even grosser bunch of flesh-drippers will satisfy the rabid, Fangoria-subscribing cult of the original 1978 envelope-pushing film (see DVD review on page 52) -- as well as more mainstream horror fans. Says Snyder: ''I don't want people coming out of the movie going 'Aw, they totally pussed out on the zombie stuff.'''
ZOMBIES Throughout the Ages
It's been a long, slow, walking-dead-like march for movie ghouls over the years
Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) Night of the Living Dead (1968) Dawn of the Dead (1978) The Evil Dead (1983) Re-Animator (1985) Evil Dead II (1987) Dead Alive (1992) Army of Darkness (1993) 28 Days Later (2003)