I’ve had the opportunity to rewatch the George Romero “Dead” series. Why? Because I can! Mostly it’s on in the background as I wait for things to show up at the house. I’m not sure where the urge came from, but I’m sure it was helped along by a review I read about the original Dawn of the Dead. That, and Halloween just passed, so it’s like a Christmas thing. Yea, that’s not making a lot of sense to me either.
So, Dead movies.
I’ve really just finished watching the second two, Dawn and Day, and I have two quick observations:
- Hugh Laurie is not in Dawn of the Dead, although it looks like he is
- Rowan Atkinson is not in Day of the Dead, although it looks like he is
- Mind you, if he was, he looks better now than he did in 1985. But it’s not him
It’s interesting to go back and watch these two films now and see how they set the tone and the ‘rules’ of other zombie movies. One is set in a mall, one is set in a military bunker. This pops up more often than one might think. Zombies retain some characteristics of their former selves, they need to be shot in the head, and they lurch around and seem to be stealthier than you would expect. The amount of “holy crap where did that slow moving zombie come from when we’re in a well lit room with only one entrance” was a little un-nerving. But it happened enough to make you think that all Zombies, at one point, become ninjas.
Day of the Dead is so much more gory than I remember it to be, and to be honest, more gory that most movies even produced today. I really wonder, and I suspect it’s true, that it was a sort of one up man ship from past attempts. It happened a lot in the 80’s.
In Dawn of the Dead they were just smurfs. Really, all but a few were just blue people walking about. I suppose, somehow, this is fitting, since the Smurfs started all of this.
Day of the Dead had a much larger production value, either that or they found a way to make the effects for a lot less. Each of these Zombies had a lot of detail. But the blood was still really bright.
Moving on to Land of the Dead, I was actually kind of disappointed at how little gore there was. Can’t remember if this kept them off the R rated list, and if that’s the case, then it’s more disappointing. But still a fun movie as it moves the overall story along nicely.
Diary of the Dead starts it all over again. It’s a ‘found footage’ kind of movie which is coming back into Vogue these days. Guess they’re easier/cheaper to make. Because of this I thought it would be kinda crap, but it’s turning out a lot better than I thought it would be. And it’s gory. I like gore. Zombie gore anyway. Not so much the torture porn that some people produce. I know there’s a fine line, but this gore is entertaining, the other is there for the sake of being there. I see a difference.
Where was I? Yes, Diary of the Dead. 61% on RottenTomatoes, where as the audience rating was just 46%. To be honest it reminds me of Walking Dead, and that’s not such a bad thing. I found it rather entertaining, with just the right amount of good and bad acting that makes it feel a little more real. Sure, the camera batteries would have died long ago, and the idea that someone would be filming instead of helping is a little hard to swallow, but you see it often enough in the news that it’s not that hard to take. So I would still watch it, I think it’s worth it.
Still have to get through Survival of the Dead, but since it’s got 29/21%, I’m not holding out a lot of hope. Maybe I should stop while the going is good.
5/6 isn’t too bad 😉