Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
April 6, 2004
Dawn of the Dead indeed.

First of all, if you missed the previous entry, Scary-Crayon updated with Chocolate Chip Cheese Cookies. I like all of the SC pieces (since I've written most of 'em), but I really had fun with this one. So read it and e-mail me comments, please. 😀

So this Daylight Savings time change is starting to get to me -- I've felt kind of "off" all day (Monday). But maybe that's because Sunday was fairly eventful, since I got to hang out with a pal for the first time since September of last year! Good ol' Pam and I walked around at a mall for a few hours, bought a few dvds, stopped off in a bar to have a few drinks, and then went to see the new Dawn of the Dead. And I really don't understand all of the positive reviews I've been reading for the film, because it's awful. We were tipsy going into the movie and still hated it. Ugh.

Seriously. Some movies you see and think are terrible, but afterwards you can say, "Well, I didn't like this film, but I guess I can see how someone else might've gotten into it..." But not here. Though that's not entirely true. On one of the forums I frequent, one of the users who'd seen the original as well as the remake wrote that he liked this one more: "I mean, exploding propane tanks, bajillions of head shots, and zombies getting trucked over is just damn cool." And yeah, if that's absolutely all you care about seeing, you'll love this movie. Me, I prefer to get a little character development in there, so that I actually care when the characters are in danger. Give me more quiet moments where the characters get to sit down and catch their breath -- like in the Resident Evil games, it makes the scary parts all that much more terrifying, since you had a chance to come down from the last encounter. Give me some subtlety. Give me some wit. And if you give me some sly social commentary and something to think about, that's even better. These are qualities that make a movie worth watching. But this film was just AHHHHH ZOMBIE!!!!!! BLEAAAAAAARGH BANG BANG BANG BABY ZOMBIE BANG BANG RUN RUN LOTTA ZOMBIES GO BOOM THE END. Save your money; I just summed up the entire film for you.

One IMDb user wrote, "The film doesn't have the kind of character that great horror really needs, but I don't think it ever aspires to such a level. It's just a slasher film with the enemy within being zombies instead of deranged psychos, serial killers or werewolves." That's a pretty accurate statement, too; the film was so devoid of character development that these characters didn't even approach the depth of cardboard stereotypes -- they were more like the shadows of cardboard stereotypes. (I'll be honest -- having read a number of reviews of the film before having seen it, I was expecting to find the Mekhi Phifer character really offensive. The reviewers wrote that his character was a thug, an ex-con, and so forth. But none of this was in the film, and the only thing I can recall him saying that even remotely hinted at that kind of a background was, "I've done a lot of bad things in my life, man." So either the reviewers were watching an extended version of the film or these people are just drawing on their own prejudices and assumptions to flesh out the characters.) Now, this is typical of many slasher films, but the reason that some of them succeed is because the slashers themselves have enough personality to carry the movie. Take the Nightmare on Elm Street films, for example. The human characters are pretty much stereotypes, but Freddy himself has an extensive backstory -- and new developments are discovered in every film -- not to mention one-liners for days. But the zombies in Dawn had no personality; they just hissed and snarled and thrashed and ran around wide-eyed and covered in blood. The movie itself came across like one of these zombies -- fast, violent, gory, ripping, but soulless.

Another IMDb user described the film as "a slick, action packed, gory and 'Whoopee' filled 2 hour MTV video," and I read a newspaper review (a positive one) in which the critic wrote that Dawn was an accurate reflection of the times in which we live. The first comment is right on the money, but, sadly, I think there's some truth to the second one as well. Oh, and someone brought a baby to see the film. A baby! This is a movie in which people got chunks of flesh bitten out of them. At one point in the film, a (zombie) baby got shot in the face. And some lady brought her baby along!

However, if you get ahold of Dawn on vcd or bootleg dvd -- or when the movie comes out on video, or if you can sneak a few bottles of vodka into the theater -- Pam and I came up with a drinking game that might make the film a little more bearable. It's up on her blog, so click here to check it out. And if you've already seen the film, it should be good for a laugh. 🙂

As always, e-mail comments are welcome. Until next time!

-posted by Wes | 3:42 am | Comments (0)
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