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February 15, 2008

Heart-Ache for Allah: Romero Craps Out Another Stinking Zombie Bomb

He just doesn't learn.

Let's face facts: Romero's zombie films are largely overrated. I'm sure Night of the Living Dead was quite the shocker in 1968, but it's 2008 now, and forty years on it's... how do I put this? Lame.

His own remake of Night of the Living Dead? Unwatchable.

Dawn of the Dead is cute and I guess I still like it, but it's mostly fairly boring. There's very little actual horror in it -- I'm only recalling two horror moments at all -- and plays mostly as comedy and social commentary. The comedy is okay, the social commentary is fine, but it's almost a zombie movie as an afterthought.

The best thing about it is that cheap, stock B-movie music.

Compare his Dawn of the Dead to the remake. I know I've watched that a dozen times, and right now it's sitting proudly on my DVR, waiting for me like an old lover. Romero's version I don't think I have the patience for anymore.

PS, that blonde guy could not act.

I think my take on this one is a bit embarrassing, but true: Dawn of the Dead is the sort of movie you convinced yourself (and others) you liked far, far more than you actually did.

Like fucking Repo Man, though I never fell into that trap myself. Just about everyone I've ever met swears it's great, though.

They're lying to themselves.

Oh I don't mean to say Dawn of the Dead isn't good or a minor classic. It is. But... let's not get carried away with ourselves.

The less said about Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead the better. I didn't exactly hate Land of the Dead, but I wouldn't watch it again unless you paid me... oh, around $20-30 bucks. Not a lot of money, I admit, but I'm right there saying that to watch this movie again I need to at least be making as much per hour as a mall security guard.

The guy's made basically two decent movies in his whole 40+ year career, and both dated, and both at least 30 years ago.

What the hell did Allah expect? At this point I imagine he's also counting on a reinvigoration of the Coccoon franchise with a hot new sequel that makes you remember all over again why you fell in love with Dom Ameche.

Giving Him His Props: Okay, his premise was terrific (and audacious -- he destroyed the whole world on zero budget) and he single-handedly created one of the sturdiest and most reliably entertaining sub-genres of horror.

But his actual execution was always decidedly... workmanlike, at best, and he hasn't even been that good in a long, long while.

Undead: This is awful and I'm slapping a big Graphic Violence Content Warning on it.

It's a Russian guy jumping 100 feet, it says, off a building. And walking away from it.

If this is fake (must be, right?) it's a damned good fake.

[dri.]

DRI's Review of the Last Awful Romero Picture: I'm so used to the leftist samzidat messaging that Land of the Dead barely even phased me.

But dri seizes on a very interesting point. Check it out after the jump.


Recently I was flipping through the cable channels when I happened upon a little gem of a movie called “Land of the Dead”. This 2005 film was the fourth installment in director George A. Romero’s graphic zombie horror series. The reason that I’m writing to you about this is that as I watched this bloodbath, I realized that the director’s intention was to make a symbolic political protest statement against George Bush and ignorant red state Americans. In attempting to do so, the film inadvertently tipped the progressive left’s hand as to how they perceive violent threats to America and how they would respond to them. The movie clearly underscores the Left’s utter lack of interest in defending America from any threat no matter how violent or evil it is.

In the movie, cannibalistic zombies driven by hunger, seek out living humans to kill and partially consume (though not necessarily in that order). The freshly killed victims then transmogrified into zombies themselves and joined in on the noble quest to feed on the tasty entrails of the living. Apparently genocidal, wholesale murder was their forte because as the film portrayed, the fiends had succeeded in wiping out 95% of all humanity and forcibly converting them into the ranks of the walking dead.

One would assume that the evil antagonists in the film would be the millions of blood thirsty cannibals, right? Wrong. In Land of the Dead, the “real” evil was the corporate boss who had built a protected area to keep the zombies out. This capitalist oppressor even had the audacity to provide food, electricity, security, and other essential services to the masses for a fee! Apparently the capitalist’s crime of unequal distribution of wealth was more egregious than the zombie’s egalitarian distribution of death.

As the zombies launch an all out offensive against the last human inhabited city, an elite group of human “heroes” presses their attack against city’s leader. Let me reiterate that scenario again. Zombies are at the gates with a murderous intent to violently kill every living person in the city and an elite group of soldiers choose to attack the one man responsible for the city’s protection.

If you are scratching your head and asking why would they take such a self destructive action, then welcome to the Left’s reaction to the current global war on terror. Today we face an evil enemy whose only goal is the violent death of all who disagree with their nihilistic vision. And rather than address this real and growing threat, the Left chooses to ignore it and focus their martial efforts upon President Bush instead. If this course of action makes no sense as a plot line in a grade B horror flick, then just how crazy does this make those who follow it now as America faces real monsters at her gates?

In another eerie parallel with the global war on terror, the film tries to justify the cannibal’s final assault on the city as an understandable response to several raids conducted by humans on the un-dead’s recently acquired “homeland”. Trivial facts such as who had started the conflict and that hundreds of millions of humans had been previously murdered were conveniently never considered. The zombies did not kill in response to the humiliating treatment they had historically endured at the hands of the living. The zombies killed because that’s what zombies do.

The climactic scene in Land of the Dead shows the corporate building sacked and the evil capitalist boss deservingly burned alive (yippee!). With the city’s defenses destroyed, the zombies are finally allowed to enjoy their justified revenge on the remaining humans. Apparently the un-dead had never read the famous quotation about “revenge being a dish best served and eaten cold”.

As the elites bask in the bringing down of the city’s corporate boss, (along with food and water distribution, electricity, security, and other essential services) they spot a group of zombies crossing a bridge nearby. When one member of the team raises her weapon at them and prepares to fire she is stopped by the leader who stoically opines “They are just looking for a place to go”. Ah, moral relativism at its best! I think the line should have read “They are just looking for a place to go digest”. I wonder, where do you think the zombies are going to go when they get hungry again in a few hours?

The film ends with the elite team driving off to Canada oblivious to the fact that they were abandoning the people they had just rendered defenseless and without basic services. In the classical liberal tradition, elites formulated a solution to a problem that affected others but not themselves. Invariably, the impact of the “cure” became worse than the underlying “disease”.

It is obvious that there are limits to the parallels that can be drawn between how the left reacts to fictional film characters and how they react to real world threats. But consider that the movie Land of the Dead was a serious dramatic effort. To the screenwriter the storyline made sense. To the director the scenes made sense. To the Hollywood Left the film made sense because the themes portrayed mirror their own political and social views. The bottom line is that if it seems reasonable that powerful right leaning political leaders are viewed as greater threats than cannibalistic zombies, then it is reasonable to view those leaders as greater threats than mere human jihadists.

Here's You Political Fucking Metaphor, Baby: You want real balls?

Check out how Zack Snyder opens up the credits for his remake.

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posted by Ace at 03:34 PM

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