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Dawn of the Dead.

i haven't seen the original dawn of the dead, but i hear it has subtext. that would give it at least one thing the new version doesn't have.

still, the film is funny, and i dig ving rhames to the point that, even though he didn't do any acting, and rather stood around and looked mean and solitary and shot zombies, that that was enough. it's also a quick film: zombies appear within five minutes, and then the suburban world turns into one big zombie feast, and then, within another minutes, the main characters are in the shopping mall and there are zombies outside, trying to get in. this, btw, is where i suspect the subtext would come in. but there's none in this film, absolutely none, and no explanation of the zombies or point or anything at all to them, which isn't such a bad thing, but since there was a pretty weak plot to the film, i couldn't help but ask myself questions about the zombies.

the film isn't badly made, either. it's nicely put together, and the director, zack snyder, handles his action as if he's played enough video games, and understands the visceral quality of a good exploding head. the summing up line i'm looking for here is 'this is a fine first person shooter that should appear to funs of gore'.

i preferred 28 days later, the last zombie film i saw, because that dealt with it characters in a more interesting way, and gave us a sense of the world that wasn't so limited. however, 28 days later didn't have a johnny cash song in it's opening credits, and i can still remember that song...

johnny cash did some fine music. really fine.

oh, what, dawn of the dead? well, it's a slick first person shooter, at times funny, at times gruesome, and on that level, i enjoyed it.

Comments

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nick_kaufmann
Jun. 13th, 2004 09:14 pm (UTC)
The original version's subtext about the zombies was "they are us"--society boiled down to its basest impulses like gluttony, rampant consumerism (itself a variation on gluttony), and mob mentality. In the remake, which I did enjoy, that subtext is gone, the zombies are no longer "us," they are "other"--a faceless horde out to do us harm--and that just doesn't work as well.
benpeek
Jun. 13th, 2004 10:00 pm (UTC)
yeah, i could see how the us thing would work better. do they explain where the zombies come from?
nick_kaufmann
Jun. 13th, 2004 10:06 pm (UTC)
No, though in the previous film, Night of the Living Dead, there's talk about a NASA probe returning from Venus with strange radiation, but that's the closest they ever come in the entire Dead trilogy to explaining anything. Which is for the best, really.
ashamel
Jun. 14th, 2004 02:01 am (UTC)
Yeah, the original is great but the remake was certainly worth the look. It had good bits, and was treating it reasonably seriously in its own -- as you say -- limited scope.

In theory I don't approve of remakes but, you know, what the hell. They made it, I liked it enough.

(And it had Doctor Matt from American Gothic)

But go out an see the original -- and Day of the Dead too, which is also great.
benpeek
Jun. 14th, 2004 04:16 am (UTC)
so he was from american gothic. i was saying to my friend on the way home, 'that guy was from american gothic, wasn't he?'

i was told i was probably one of the few people to remember the show. but there you go.
ashamel
Jun. 14th, 2004 05:11 am (UTC)
It still has a following it seems, and is one of my faves...

(and I'm hoping for a DVD release, naturally!)
benpeek
Jun. 14th, 2004 10:14 pm (UTC)
hmm. i wonder if i would buy it on dvd. i just might. i thought the guy who played sheriff buck was absolutely fantastic, and the end, where he hurls the little kid into the ghost of his sister... so cool.
ashamel
Jun. 14th, 2004 11:32 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah -- a great ending. This was a show when the production company was trying to screw them from day 1, but they still managed to do great things.
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