Monday, October 10, 2011

Jason watches THE DEAD

The Cinequest film is in theatrical release now. And even though I'd already seen it I went out with some friends (who had actually also seen it at Cinequest) to see it again, along with a couple who hadn't seen it, but were big zombie fans. So a little dinner and a lot of drinks at Billy Berk's before, sober up while watching some good gory zombie action, then a nightcap at Cinebar. Nice night. Here's what I said about THE DEAD back during Cinequest:
Next up, a totally kickass zombie movie that takes place in West Africa, THE DEAD. Gotta start with this--these are the classic, slow, Romero zombies. You know, correct zombies. American military engineer Lt. Brian Murphy fails to get out on the last evacuation flight, so he's left behind with hordes of shambling zombies and one other survivor--a local man, on a journey to a military base to find his son, who was evacuated.

Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING dead was groundbreaking in 1968 as one of the first horror films to have an African-American protagonist. So it's completely appropriate that the Ford brothers have brought the genre back to Africa, although a hole lot has changed in the meantime. There's also a standard Romero rule that "The zombies are us" and the real villains are the survivors who fail to work together. From that standpoint I could see THE DEAD as actually a remarkably optimistic movie--survivors work together very well, at least after some initial gun-pointing and confirming that no one's bit. A lot has changed since 1968, particularly in race relations, and so now you can make a movie with one white protagonist and hordes of black zombies and not have it be all about race. Instead, it's all about making a kick-ass, exciting genre flick.
I'll still stand by that review, although I didn't see it as quite as optimistic as before. It actually has a pretty down ending. But definitely it still kicks ass.

Running Time: 105 minutes
My Total Minutes: 250,145
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