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What Film is your Film Like? : Negotiating Authenticity in the Distributive Seriality of the Zombi Franchise

MCKENNA, Mark (2021) What Film is your Film Like? : Negotiating Authenticity in the Distributive Seriality of the Zombi Franchise. In: Horror Franchise Cinema. Routledge, London, pp. 145-158. ISBN ISBN 9780367183271

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Abstract or description

It is perhaps because of its overtly commercial focus that we imagine the franchise to be a phenomenon of production—if a film is a success, then subsequent films will be produced in order to capitalise upon the success of that first film. Occasionally, savvy producers have capitalised on the value that film seriality can bring by producing unofficial sequels to successful films, a phenomenon that can most visibly be seen in the unlikely sequels Titanic II (2010), Easy Rider: The Ride Back (2012), and The Bronx Bull—AKA Raging Bull 2 (2016). Yet, while this practice of unofficial serialisation may seem disingenuous to Anglo-American audiences, in Italy, it is common practice for films to receive unofficial sequels through a cultural practice known as ‘filone’, which roughly translates as ‘in the tradition of’. Often imported from the United States, certain films would routinely receive unofficial sequels in an effort to capitalise on their successes. This practice is perhaps best illustrated by Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), a film that was released in Italy as Zombi, which received unofficial sequels in the form of Zombi 2 (1979) and Zombi 3 (1988), neither of which had any relation to Romero or Dawn of the Dead. When Zombi 2 and 3 were released outside of Italy, they were retitled to Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 and 3 respectively, in order to remove any association with Dawn of the Dead, but they would inadvertently inaugurate an entirely new franchise through what I describe in this chapter as ‘distributive seriality’. This chapter will examine the evolution of the Zombi franchise and will consider how distributors in Italy, Germany, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States have all contributed to the evolution of the series.

Item Type: Book Chapter, Section or Conference Proceeding
Faculty: School of Digital, Technologies and Arts > Film and Media
Depositing User: Mark MCKENNA
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2021 08:26
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 03:50
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