Halloween Endurance Test: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

The classic Romero one. I’ve heard tales that the remake isn’t all the horribleness that remakes usually amount to. But to take the chance and watch? I wouldn’t want to take that to bed with me.

Romero’s original serves as an obvious social commentary. Shop, consume and eat. To quote CRASS’ Phil Free, ‘It’s all the fucking same.’

If I’ve watched Hostel 95 million times this year, then I’ve watched Dawn of the Dead 95 million times every year since the first time I saw it fourteen years ago. It’s that essential to a boy’s healthy development.

(I’ll never forget the first time I saw it; the day after Christmas way back when. To this day it reminds me of Christmas more than any of those actual Christmas films do. Which isn’t all that strange when you consider my running hypothesis on Jesus being the ultimate zombie. I mean he died on a cross. Then he came back from the dead. Sound familiar to some other beings we’ve learned about yet? In Jesus’ case his return has more to do with his defeating Satan in hell and less about hell being too full to fit anymore souls. Or is it they can’t fit anymore souls in it because the keeper is himself tied up? Perhaps Romero was just taking a little theological artistic license, similar to Milton.

I won’t even get into the whole zombie/voodoo connection; with voodoo being nothing but a sort of spiritual patois.)

Dawn of the Dead teaches us all what to do on the off chance that one day you find Jesus has returned and is at your door!

Blow that fucker’s head off!

He wants your immortal soul! What better way to get at it then through your beautifully juicy brains? (Again skipping around the obvious connection coupling a zombie’s stupor and religion’s mindlessness.)

‘When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth.’

Maybe Satan just didn’t want Jesus’ suicidal ass stinking up hell. Kicked him right out. The whole ‘you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here’ maxim.

Come to think of it, Dawn of the Dead is a classic Christmas film. The harried pregnant couple finding refuge in hostile territory. Hiding from everyone else. The mall stores serving as both the wise men and the gifts.

White Zombie went on to sample the ‘lots of people are running now… I could run’ admission in ‘Grease Paint and Monkey Brains.’ I love finding recognizable samples of my favorite films in songs. Almost as much as I love blaspheming! Atmosphere (well Ant anyway) sampled Suspiria (‘I once read that names that begin with ‘S’es are the names of snakes!’) in ‘Bird Sings Why the Caged I Know.’

Connection?

Dario Argento, the director of Suspiria, served as a producer on Dawn of the Dead.

I have way too much (useless) horror movie trivia in my head.

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One Response to “Halloween Endurance Test: Dawn of the Dead (1978)”

  1. […] the zombie action. In Night of the Living Dead it was individual families fighting the zombies. In Dawn of the Dead it was sects: the survivors versus the zombies versus the outlaws. Day of the Dead broadened the […]

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