Tuesday, 26 January 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 133

Pulled out the Trilogy Of The Dead box set in order to do a double bill but was horrified to discover that the version of Night Of The Living Dead contained in the box set was a 30th Anniversary edition that contained new footage not shot or approved by George Romero. Appalled, I quickly switched off and moved onto;

415 - Dawn Of The Dead (1978) - 4 stars
One of my all time favourite horror films which has not lost any of its power in the 30 years since its release or in the shadow of the glitzy 2004 remake (which is actually one of the best remakes of recent years).
It is much smarter than your average horror film because it has something to say about society, as opposed to just watching a masked killer chop up a bunch of sexy teenagers.
The zombie plague from Night Of The Living Dead is now sweeping across the whole of America, but the success of the film lies in focusing the story on just four protaganists whose survival we can grow to care about; Michael aka Flyboy, Fran, Peter and Rodger - a makeshift nuclear family.
They find refuge in a giant shopping mall, clearing it of the undead but become zombies themselves. Dead to the outside world and only living inside the fake consumer world they've created for themselves.
A damning satire on consumerism. "What are they doing? Why do they come here?", "Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives."
But don't worry if you don't want social commentary in your horror film as there are still some tasty deaths and action sequences with lots of over-the-top gore courtesy of Tom Savini.
"When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth".  This is the definitive zombie movie as it illustrates the shuffling undead at their best, easily picked off when there is only one or two but when there are hundreds of them, fight them at your peril.

Days remaining - 232 Films remaining - 305

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