I have written a few posts about zombies and the Walking Dead in anticipation and aftermath of the Zombie Apocalypse that never happened on the 21st of December. I watched Day of the Dead last night. Perhaps, this zombie fixation is because I feel like a zombie at work sometimes. Or perhaps, I am just surrounded by zombies. I saw the sign to the left here yesterday while driving, but I think that zombies prefer fresh meat rather than the overcooked stuff advertised here.
I wrote about the original movie, Night of the Living Dead, back a few weeks ago, and compared it with the Walking Dead. I still think that of all the three zombie canonic films from Romero, Night is clearly the best in terms of stark contrasts and pure horror – there is little humor here and the it is action and horror-packed. The lack of budget for special effects was well hidden by the black and white filming which adds even more horror and mystery to the movie. definitely a milestone for the undead!
Dawn of the Dead is the second movie of the trilogy and also was remade in 2004. The original gives one a real sense of chaos as the staff of a television station are falling apart as the zombies take over. The survivors escape via helicopter to a shopping mall where they stay until circumstances wipe out all but two of them who escape by helicopter. In the remake, the chaos comes to suburbia as lived by a nurse as her neighbor’s kid and her bitten husband try to get her. She also holes up in a shopping mall and barely escapes with two others on a boat some time later. The 1978 version features some good gore and humor during the middle of the film. I think that Kirkman specifically avoided using a shopping mall since this was already in Dawn of the Dead and he opted for the prison instead in S02 and S03. The 2004 version has more humor in it and some great music and some zombies that seriously haul ass – the quickest zombies I have ever seen! I think both were entertaining and worth seeing.
There were films after Day of the Dead by Romero, but they were clearly inferior to the first three. Day of the Dead features a military base, a freaky Dr Frankenstein that clearly inspired several Walking Dead characters and situations (Milton’s experiments, the Governor’s fascination with the dead and his feeding of dead military to them, etc). Even the underground scenes are quite reminiscent of the prison in WD. So, it may be a safe assumption to say that Kirkman was more influenced by Day of the Dead than the other films of the trilogy.
If you have the time to catch these on Netflix or on DVD, they are worth a good zombie weekend. You still have a few weeks before the second half of S03 of Walking Dead, so you’d better get to it!