Thursday, September 24, 2009

Zombie Fetish

As anyone who has been around me for more than ten minutes can most likely attest to, I am a zombie maniac. One could even postulate that it is an unhealthy obsession, but I just believe in being well versed in zombie lore and having a prepared zombie plan. With Zombieland hitting theaters quite soon I decided to make my first post a double feature, George A. Romero's Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead.

Diary of the Dead:
Diary of the dead is a sort of reimagining of the original Night of the Living Dead with a twist, the modern age. The movie follows a group of young college students as they experience the dead returning to walk up to a predictable yet still satisfying conclusion. What makes this movie different from typical zombie fan fare is that the use of technology to document and distribute information is widespread. One could even call this a zombie film for the "youtube generation".
What I truly love about this movie is that it realizes it occupies a cult genre that has been over saturated with zombie films and isn't afraid to make fun of itself while still telling an interesting story. The plot points were predictable and the characters very much feel recycled from classic horror movie character stereotypes. Still this movie manages to entertain and keep my interest, its not so much when something will happen but what becomes most intriguing is HOW it will happen. If you're a fan of Zombie movies this is one film that should be on your "to watch" list. I would recommend renting first before buying. It is right up there with the classic zombie movies and was brought to us by the Godfather of Zombies, Romero.

Decision: Rent THEN Buy, watch a million times and force your friends to sit through it at least once.

George A. Romero's Land of the Dead
Originally released in 2005, Land of the dead drops the viewer into a time after all the screaming has stopped(for now) and the remaining humans have holed up in a city fortress. While most of the human occupants of the city live in poverty, a select few live a life of luxory in the last full functional skyscraper in the city, Fiddler's Green. This sets in place an expected class conflict WHILE they are still dealing with the zombies. Point in fact, zombies play very little of a role in the movie except as a sort of background tension and setting. The primary issue is really in how the human survivors are dealing with each other. Thankfully the class conflict debates get set to the side and zombies come back in a big way and we get a film worthy of bearing Romero's name. The film stars several recognizable faces such as Dennis Hopper, John Leguizamo, and others. This film has recently been re-released on DVD (in the USA at least) as a DVD 2-pack with the updated Dawn of the Dead (another movie worth owning) and is worth a buy. As with any zombie film, if you don't enjoy these kind of movies then (gasp!) you won't enjoy this. The movie is primarily brain candy and a nice way to kill an hour and thirty seven minutes. It does raise interesting questions and the characters again are somewhat expected but with a few nice twists to keep it interesting.

Decision: BUY BUY BUY BUY and force your friends to watch it.