Thursday, October 20, 2011


My Favorite Horror Movie Remake contains a small band of people holed up in an abandoned shopping mall, surrounded by flash-eating, reanimated corpses.

I respect George Romero; he gave us the zombies that we've grown to love and appreciate today which is why he's known as the Godfather of Zombies. (He has done other great movies, too!) He has a whole series of "dead" movies starting with the 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead, in which many have drawn the parallel from this movie to what was going on at that time - the cold war and racism.

From there, Romero created the 1978 sequel, Dawn of the Dead, (a supposed attack on consumerism) and tied up the trilogy in 1985 with Day of the Dead (showing conflict of human communication and military tyranny over science - something that is again tackled with another popular zombie movie, 28 Weeks Later which will definitely make an appearance in this blog series). In 2005, he picked he "dead"s series back up again with my least favorite, Land of the Dead. 2007 brought us Diary of the Dead which is meant as more of a companion side story of the same event of the same time frame as the '68 "dead" movie. A more modern approach, it focused on how the news of the zombie apocalypse travel by personal and internet media stream as opposed to the large corporate media outlets that were large targets to be take over by the zombies. It also covers the feel of reality television.  
Survival of the Dead (2009) tied up all loose ends by showing that though a cure had not been found for the reanimation problem, their hunger could at least be directed elsewhere so that we may all live together in peace. In my opinion, this exactly how too many people see the world today - that even with the madmen that run other countries, declaring war and annihilation on its enemies we can somehow achieve world peace. Impossible! However, that's exactly how Muldoon and O'Flynn disagreed and even as zombies (at the end) they were locked in their routine of trying to eliminate one another... with no bullets in their guns.
Those stupid zombies.

All of Romero's films are to be taken with a grain of salt and a large dose of humor. It's horror meets satire. I'm not as crazy about this as I am of sheer fear, so when I saw Zack Snyder's 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead I was happier than a fat kid in a candy store! (Please don't send me messages about my phrasing. It's funny. Laugh. I laugh at myself all the time.) The same idea was there as the original - a group of people take up temporary residence in a mall during the zombie apocalypse - but this time, it was so much more! Snyder's zombies RUN after you. No slow dragging here. And I enjoyed the fast pace of the movie. Something tells me that in case of a real zombie apocalypse, life would be pretty fast paced. The story telling was brilliant and though there were well over 8 main characters to familiarize yourself with, each character was well defined and focused on along with a ton of gore and horror scenes in approximately 110 minutes. I was even attached to some of the characters... which is rarely a case for horror movies. Now that's what I call awesome movie-making!

But if I had to choose a reason as to why this is my favorite remake? The first ten minutes says it all. You start relatively peaceful and though I know I'm watching a zombie movie that will eventually scare the crap out of me, the character is completely unaware of the storm that is brewing, leaving me a tad unaware as to WHEN it's going to hit.
Like a cobra, it strikes hard and fast and before you know it, you are lost in a world of chaos and mayhem with the character and no preparation All hell breaks loose...and Johnny Cash sings.

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