"I think of horror films as art, as films of confrontation."

- David Cronenberg

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December 18, 2011

Slash-Mess Day 7: Dawn Of The Dead (1978)


The dead get up and KILL. The people they kill get up and KILL. Romero's original 1978 version Dawn Of The Dead.

George Romero's Dawn Of The Dead (1978) is the first sequel to his late 1960's classic and definitive survival horror movie, The Night Of The Living Dead (1968). Ten years later, the zombies have gained a much deeper hold on North America. Dawn Of The Dead finds a much smaller post-Apocalyptic country with survivor societies inside a disintegrated modern culture.

Individuals, soldiers and police personnel fare far better but are on the front lines of a crumbling society in America. The scenes opening looks like mid-70's Philadelphia or Chicago, decaying tenements raided by police.

However, too much of Romero's work is interpreted as directly political when they are simply character studies set in a crisis. Critics seem to read too much into these zombie films as "protest films" - protesting against anything from racism (Duane being shot in the original film) to anti-social behavior (what is more anti-social than munching on your neighbor's brains?) when they are dark social commentaries much closer to reality than fiction - replace the zombies with junkies or crack fiends and you could have any terrible night in New York or L.A.

This commentary does nothing to disguise the acting which is often very hammy. The real appeal is that these films are full of gore and disembowelment and often hard to find. The Sleaze-A-Saurus watches these zombie themed films because they are "effects movies" with a dark sense of humor and not "message films" as in The Piano, Woodstock, Schindler's List or Forrest Gump...

References:
IMDB Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
IMDB, Night Of The Living Dead (1968)



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