George Romero live at the Brattle tonight for "Survival of the Dead"

It may be Star Wars Day everywhere else, but tonight in Harvard Square, it's Zombie Day: Anyone looking to catch a sneak preview of George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead would do well to shuffle down to the Brattle Theatre tonight. In anticipation of its May 28 theatrical release (note that you can already catch this sixth installment of the "Dead" series in a number of places online), the Grandfather of the Zombie Film will be on hand to introduce his movie -- and if that isn't enough to peel you zombie fans off the couch, I'm not sure anything will.

For 2007's Diary of the Dead, Romero adopted a Blair Witch/Cloverfield first-person hand-held approach, dividing critical opinion and -- judging by the IMDB message boards -- plenty of his diehard fans. Fortunately for those who weren't feeling it last time, he forgoes the shaky YouTube style in Survival. Here, he picks up where Diary left off, mid-apocalypse, shifting the primary focus to the National Guard troops that played the role of antagonist in the prior film. There's also a backstory involving rival Irish tribes feuding over the decision to annihilate or rehabilitate the zombie population, so you can expect plenty of Romero's underlying social commentary alongside the requisite head shots and decapitations.

The fact that the film's release has been pushed back a couple of times and early reviews are middling at best doesn't bode well. But considering that Romero isn't getting any younger, there really isn't a better environment to take in what may prove to be his swan song than with the man himself in attendance.

The best part of tonight's screening? It's free. So even if Survival sucks, there's really nothing to complain about. Doors open at 9:45, with seats assigned on a first-come-first-served basis (read: get there ASAP).

To whet your appetite for the carnage, here's a trailer for the film, which appears to include a scene where a guy lights a zombie's head on fire with a cigarette.

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