A ghastly and infectious virus has spread through Los Angeles, home to the celebrated filmmakers of the world.  While seeming to send Hollywood greats to their grave, the dead have reanimated with a new hunger for flesh. . . and brains.

Now, the rotting corpses have performed a postmortem on tinsel town, and the cinematic icons will never be the same.

Hollywood is DEAD.

This collection of re-imagined movie posters is brainchild of notorious artist Matt Busch. Each Hollywood-is-Dead poster parody is faithfully recreated by Busch’s ability to adapt any painting style thrown his way. As opposed to just taking the original poster images and altering them digitally in PhotoShop, Busch has painstakingly hand-painted every detail with traditional mixed media, before slaughtering them with a zombified treatment.

Already a renown poster artist, Busch has produced ‘real’ illustrations for posters, books, games, and trading cards for such Hollywood properties as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, The Crow, and countless others. Busch has also created art for major musical artists like Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, and Poison, to name a few.

Busch’s first professional run of illustrating the undead happened in 2006, illustrating over a dozen covers for Night of the Living Dead comics and graphic novels, published by Avatar Press. The riveting series was written by George A. Romero and scripted by John Russo, the director and screenwriter of the original Night of the Living Dead film, respectively. Since then, other zombie opportunities have found their way to Busch, including cover and interior illustrations for Gene Simmons’ (of the band KISS) own House of Horrors graphic novels, published by IDW.

In 2009, Busch was tapped by Lucasfilm to come up with an images that would infuse Star Wars and zombies as a campaign to promote the horror novel Death Troopers on StarWars.com. An avid fan of classic movie poster art, Busch’s idea was to recreate all six Star Wars movie posters as if the living dead were interwoven within the saga’s plot.

The fan reaction with the viral marketing was immense, and even before Lucasfilm strangely opted to remove the images from StarWars.com, buzz had already spread across countless fandom sites covering the clever parodies.  With classics like Episode II: Attack of the Undead, and Episode V: The Living Dead Strike Back, Zombie Wars was everywhere, including G4TV’s Attack of the Show and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Since then, Busch has had an overwhelming demand to create zombie parodies of all the classic movie posters. A labor of love, the artist re-imagined 10 new iconic images which were released in the Summer of 2009, including E.T. (The Extra Terrorestrial), Harry Potter (Scary Rotter) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Breakfast Is Tiffany).  The same year, during Halloween season, Busch released 13 more, including Back to the Future (Bleak is the Future), The Princess Bride (The Princess Died), The Little Mermaid (The Lethal Mermaid) and Toy Story (Toy Gory).

Comments Busch, “Hollywood-is-Dead has been one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever worked on. I grew up on great movies, but the movie posters themselves are almost more vivid in my memory as iconic images. So the opportunity to really study the original master artists like Drew Struzan, John Alvin, Bob Peak, Richard Amsel and others has been awesome.”

And what of the zombie menace? “It’s an ironic twist,” says Busch, “to take these beautiful master-works and attempt to recreate every detail, while at the same time, slaughtering them to bloody pulps. Literally. Nothing here is sacred, but it’s all in good fun and out of the utmost respect to the original posters and artists that had such an impact on my life.”

In addition to the website, the original Hollywood-is-Dead paintings are now on exhibit at the ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery in Reston, Virginia. Ironically, while some say Busch has shredded these masterworks into box office cadavers, portions of the gallery sales will be donated to the National Film Preservation Foundation. Gallery owner Leslie Combemale states, “I love parody and edgy creepy things like zombies, but we don’t want to overtly offend anyone or defame our favorite movies or poster artists in any way. Yes, these images are over-the-top, but they are also a commentary about our pop culture, and a love note from Matt to the original artists who created these classics and to the dying art used to make great movie posters.”

With over 60 posters in the current catalog, these vivid and infectious images are yours to enjoy and ingest. If you find yourself hungry for more, be rest assured that more are on the way! Where will this all lead? Busch hints, “Aside from individual posters and prints, the idea is to have them collected into a sweet coffee-table art book. A family-style board game is also in development.  After that, I do have something huge in mind that will spin all of this on its ass, but way too early to talk about now.”

In this bleak vision, Hollywood may be dead, but these box office cadavers keep flesh-cravers coming back for more.

To see the available original art, visit all of Busch’s Hollywood is Dead paintings at the ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery here: http://www.artinsights.com/ViewArtist.aspx?ArtistId=38

To learn more about Matt Busch’s other art, movies, and projects galore, be sure to check out www.MattBusch.com.