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Friday, June 24, 2005

Land of the Dead

You know how in the Jason movies, the characters who have sex are always the first to die? It's listed as one of the horror movie rules in Scream: you have sex, you die. I always took it as a sort of sideways social commentary: remain chaste, remain breathing. Romero shifted it a bit in Land of the Dead. If you haven't seen it and don't want to know anything about it at all, stop reading now; however, I'm not giving away anything big that the previews haven't already shown. The zombies get into the Living's little protected city, and the first ones to bite it (get bitten, that is) are the two women kissing. So is Romero making a moral statement about lesbianism/homosexuality, or is it more of a play off the silly horror movie rule? "Hey, women are kissing! Yup, they're gonna die first!"

Apart from wondering what Romero was up to with that, I enjoyed the movie. It did its share of cheating (how did the zombies learn to think? They're dead! They couldn't have evolved because they can't procreate. Ew...zombie sex...), but it also tossed in some fun social commentary - not deep thought stuff, but clever enough to make me smirk. And while it wasn't nearly as affecting or disgusting as the remake of Dawn of the Dead (it had only 2/3 the budget), it does manage to be completely disgusting a couple of times. I don't think anything in movie fiction can quite match the visual impact of that bus scene in Dawn, anyway. The vine rape scene in The Evil Dead comes close (100% on rottentomatoes, BTW), but it's missing the flesh-eating component. One would think, then, that I'd be more creeped out by parts of Silence of the Lambs. Hm...maybe it's just been too long since I saw it.


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