Sunday, May 08, 2005

Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead

Last night Cyn, Shoka, and I got together to watch Dawn of the Dead, one of THE zombie movies. Also a movie that along with Night of the Living Dead changed the genre of horror in America.

I would like to formally hit George Romero with a tennis racket for that. He changed us from a society that got the proper heebie jeebies from Vincent Price's creepy laugh, to a bunch of teenagers begging for the next bloody corpse. Yay, bloody violence!

Sure, violent movies have their place. I for one really enjoyed Resident Evil and it's sequel. But the thing is, I wasn't scared by them. I liked the action, not the blood and intensines. I think Shaun of the Dead is one of the best movies I've seen in ages, but that's despite the gross disembowling, now because of it.

Now that I've got that out of the way, I'll just say Dawn of the Dead does not equal frightening or scary in the least. Guess I'll have to go and get kicked myself for saying it.

Romero did have a vision, and it was an interesting one. The parallels between consumer culture and zombies were a very nice touch. But we were also beaten in the head with them until even the most inattentive moviegoer would get it. Okay, shoppers = zombies. Got it, please please move on.

The idea of building your own little hiding place inside a mall was brilliant and well executed. But when it started to get interesting and we realize that these three people are going to go nuts by themselves, random raiders show up and spoil the character development by having a pie fight with the zombies.

Sure, it was really funny to see that some people had figured out how to deal with zombies, by just moving faster than them. I think that's one thing most zombie movies never really think of, that we've got several distinct advantages over the undead.

Oh, and to quote Randy in Scream, a movie that found a good balance between story and gore, "They got the blood wrong. It's too red!"

Maybe it's just the jaded eyes of a later generation, but while I felt Dawn of the Dead is worth watching for it's cinematic contribution, as a story and a film on it's own it's not really the best. Yes, you have to remember that it was one of the first and that many films rely on the stage set by Romero's trilogy. But you also have to realize that one of the brilliant things about movies and art is that those that come later often take a formula and improve on it, honing it into something even better.

I'm glad I sat and watched Dawn of the Dead, but I don't think I'll ever watch it again. I would reccomend it to anybody that likes to poke fun and laugh at movies, as we had a great time imitating the characters as they got stupider and stupider.