Monday, June 27, 2005

View Number Two: Movie Review

George Romero's

Land of the Dead***

"In a world where the dead are returning to life, the word 'Trouble' loses much of its meaning."
--Kaufman, Land of the Dead

From the man who gave us Night of the Living Dead, and Dawn of the Dead, our view into a world invaded by the walking dead expands to show us Land of the Dead. This gory festival of severed limbs and groaning corpses is a delight to any fan of the zombie horror genre. As with the previous films made by George Romero, the story focuses on the characters who strive to survive, with their conflicts marinating in subtle messages of ethics and morality and final judgement.

In the land of the dead, we see that mankind has bunkered itself in a number of scattered outposts, raiding smaller towns for supplies. The zombies on the other hand have just begun to show signs of learning and cooperating. While the population of humans must deal with the outside threat of a world filled with zombies, they must also contend with the corruption of their own society.

This is a fun movie with interesting, archtypical characters and a series of cool frights. I like a good zombie flick, and this stands as a good one. The only real downside would be the extreme gore that might turn a few people off.


At 11:25 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

What exactly is a zombie? Apparently they use the bodies of dead people, but they cannot be dead themselves because they still possess the ability to move, reason, and act. Plus, you can kill them right?

So where do zombies come from? Do they eat? What's their purpose...kill everything that is not zombie?

I hope these questions aren't too stupid, I'm just ignorant when it comes to zombie lore.

At 7:45 PM, Blogger The Niem said...

Well, effectively the "zombie" was created by George Ramero in Night of the Living Dead. In the most basic terms a zombie is an animated corpse that is compelled to feed on living flesh.

The key to killing a zombie is the destruction of the brain, which suggests that the impetus of their animated state has a great deal to do with the brain activity of the corpse. Additionally, due to the general behavior of zombies being animalistic in nature, it can be assumed that any brain activity is at a minimum.

Now it is important to understand that beyond the physiology of the zombie - a walking corpse - the creature was designed to represent the End of the World, or Judgement Day, when the dead rise from the graves. This particular metaphore is what truly gives "life" to many zombie movies, where layered illustrations on morality and society can be seen. The world ends as we become more like animals, feeding on ourselves. Surviving in an increasingly corrupt world becomes frightening and deadly.

So in the beginning, essentially, zombies are corpses of the living, animated through divine or diabolic means to bring about the End of the World. They eat living flesh.

In later applications of the zombie, the themes tends to remain intact, though we have seen zombies who eat brains, zombies who are controlled and animated by some sorcerer, zombies created by government/corporate experimentation, and zombies that are part of some random supernatural phenomenon.

I hope that helps.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

Yes, thanks.


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