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Flicks: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

I’ve never been a big fan of horror movies. I never saw the point. Most of them were schlocky and fake, but that was irrelevant since I had no desire to see more accurate looking gore. Blood and guts have never interested me. I got interested in the zombie movie as a subgenre after seeing 28 Days Later, which kicked all sorts of ass. Totally unlike the cartoonish horror flicks I’d seen before. There was no Freddie or Jason or whatever. It was total fucking Armageddon. The entire world went to shit so far as anyone knew. Zombie flicks are not just about some guy or demon or doll chasing people around with a knife. it’s everybody. You can’t trust or love anyone enough that you wouldn’t put a bullet in him or her when the time comes.

The whole concept blew me away. In 28 Days Later the execution was flawless. Later I saw Shaun of the Dead, which was damned funny. It’s the same idea, but played entirely for laughs. I heard about it when I was in London last year. All through the city, phone booths were covered in posters of zombies trying to escape.

Given that, it was only a matter of time before I had to see something by the father of Zombie flicks: George Romero. I haven’t seen anything else of his yet, including Night of the Living Dead, of which DoD is a sequel. Clearly it was hardcore schlock. Every zombie wore green paint, black white, whatever, they were green. It was the 70’s. The characters and the plot were simple, but entertaining. The ‘significance’ granted the movie by whoever it is that grants significance to things comes from the setting: a mall. Hordes of undead flock to the mall for no other reason than they’d been trained to do so in life. It had become an instinct. Consumption as an overriding motivation is recurring, but the movie doesn’t beat you over the head with social commentary. It is a valid comment on our culture, certainly, but that doesn’t fill up the movie – that’s what the zombies are for.



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