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Dawn of the Dead Preview


Chris F
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Huge fan of the original here and this new one has intrigued me since I saw the original trailer. Looks great so far. Nice and gory and taking definite cues from 28 Days Later which I have no problems with.

 

I completely agree - I'll be seeing this before the weekend is out ;)

 

Final Destination was pretty good as well...

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I don't know if I should taint it by seeing a remake first.

 

Invariably most will prefer the first movie they see. You may view the new movie and like it so much that the original seems either tame/outdated or possibly boring. My recommendation is you go out Graeme and either spend 5 bucks to rent the new Divimax version of the original or outright buy it for 15 bucks. Watch that first then take in the remake. You may find you dislike the original anyway but at least you'll know the origins of this remake and why mall setting was chosen (and more social meanings behind the original film which IMHO is a modern classic).

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Guest Bryan

I agree with that plan. I think you will enjoy the original much more if you see it prior to the sleek new version (which I am excited to see!). It scares me every time I watch it. How nice to have decent to good versions of the Dead trilogy! I also look forward to the big release later on this year.

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I watched it along with my wife. My wife said it was scary....I on the other hand just am not sure what I think of zombies running and jumping, especially the part where the man zombie was running after the car and was catching up with it! One thing that was really cool was the ariel shot of the main character driving down a highway then out of nowhere this car jumps accross the highway and causes a huge crash. The first 10 minutes definetely made me want to see the whole film even more, just still not sure what I think of zombies having super speed, they are the fucking walking dead! Ever heard of rigor mortis :D

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they are the fucking walking dead! Ever heard of rigor mortis

 

A little late to be hinged by reality and the laws of nature don't you think? ;) Afterall we are talking about a fictional infection that causes the dead to walk and who knows what kind of affect that would have on the human body.

 

Watching those ten minutes, the filmakers have also sped up the timeframe for those bitten to turn. Her husband pretty much turns in less than one minutes after being bitten and dying. One of the main characters in the original spent an extended period of time in a bed before he turned.

 

As much as I love the original the zombies in the movie never really posed much of a threat unless you were surrounded by a large number of them. An individual zombie could be knocked over like it was nothing. I like that the zombies here are more fast moving and agile. Gives each and everyone a real sense of threat. If one of these zombies is able to rip, tear, and run after your ass imagine how frightening a whole damn group of them would be.

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I have mixed feelings about the running vs. shambling zombies. Making them athletic does make them much more intimidating physically. OTOH, I always liked the slower zombies because I guess I liked the fact that they were a more deceptive threat, easy to get arrogant about and overlook that they only needed to bite you once to doom your ass. Plus, and I think this was what made the original so fun with the shopping mall setting, they really did resonate as a cynical take on how seemingly mindless and conformist the people around you could often seem. Even before I saw Dawn of the Dead, I used to go to malls or (even worse) Wal-Marts and think the people shopping there often looked and moved like zombies, just shuffling about very slowly, thoughtlessly cluttering the aisles, not really paying any attention to anything except what they were thinking about buying (I'd rather not think about what that made me, being there as well :)), so it was really cool to find out that a filmmaker decided to make that literal in a movie. I will be seeing the remake, though, to see if there's anything about the fast zombies that resonates as much with me :)

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Plus, and I think this was what made the original so fun with the shopping mall setting, they really did resonate as a cynical take on how seemingly mindless and conformist the people around you could often seem. Even before I saw Dawn of the Dead, I used to go to malls or (even worse) Wal-Marts and think the people shopping there often looked and moved like zombies, just shuffling about very slowly, thoughtlessly cluttering the aisles, not really paying any attention to anything except what they were thinking about buying (I'd rather not think about what that made me, being there as well ), so it was really cool to find out that a filmmaker decided to make that literal in a movie.

 

Agreed Andy. That was one of the originals defining characteristics; its commentary on consumerism and the sheep mentality that it creates. However with this new film they have decided to forego any kind of social commentary which I in a way, I agree with. Society today is much different than it was in 1978 and if anything we are 10X the consumers we were then. Given that, I have to reference 28 Days Later once again as being a major shift in the "zombie" genre. The infected in that film really were frightening, quick and responsive and at least IMHO more effective in conveying how dangerous these creatures can be.

 

Though the subtlety of the shambling zombie is appreciated, at this point I really would prefer the ferocity of the more agile breed.

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its commentary on consumerism and the sheep mentality that it creates. However with this new film they have decided to forego any kind of social commentary which I in a way, I agree with. Society today is much different than it was in 1978 and if anything we are 10X the consumers we were then.

 

I disagree on that point, the zombies contain as much commentary as ever. The slow moving irresistable corporate sheep zombies of the 70s reflected their timeperiod. The slow moving corporations that seeped through every facet of your life and were impossible to kill, their victims becoming the transmitters of their own plight (or infection). Like a slow, deadly, inevitable transgression of a living to dead society.

 

The ultra fast, nimble, and ultimately doomed (they starve and actually expire) zombies of the 2000s echo the shift in our culture to a more immediate and almost frentic need to consume and/or succeed while similtaneously attaining nothing. I mean, with zombies that move that fast, you need to move as fast if not faster just to stay alive. Since they never take real sustenance, they will everntually die and leave the slow (meek?) to inherit the earth, but can you out last their feverish need to destroy? Maybe it's not so much about consumerism anymore, but it definitely holds a mirror up to our ever faster, more on demand, society and where does it lead us? For example cell phone, weren't those supposed to set us free from our desks at work? Instead, now you can't go home anymore, the cell phone is always with you. And not having one gives some other speed zombie an advantage over you, which obviously is not a good idea if you want to succeed.

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into these movies, but I believe they have brilliantly repackaged the zombie threat for this millenium. I personally love it too, can't get enough zombie flicks.

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I loved the clip! I am a sucker for zombie movies. I just watched the original Dawn of the Dead DVD ($11.99 at Best Buy!) last week to prep myself for the remake. I really like how the remake (as well as 28 Days Later and Resident Evil) is able to give the viewer visually an idea of how widespread the problem is (with the wide and aerial shots showing the mayhem across the city).

 

As far as the fast vs. slow zombies, I always felt that the state of the zombie's body should determine how well they move. If the corpse was fresh and relatively intact when it got "zombified" (such as the dad in the remake clip), then it should be able to move pretty much as it did before. If the corpse was seriously damaged, then it should not be able to move very fast.

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I also wanted to mention that technically the people in 28 days later are not zombies but human beings that have been infected with a disease (Rage). Also 28 Days Later veers more into the post-apocalyptic sci-fi/horror genre than straight "zombie" flick. However the infected were so well realized and the film had such a great commentary on how far humanity will go to preserve the species that I find it fits well when comparing the newer zombie movies coming in the near future (DoD, RE2 etc..).

 

Also its worth noting that the concept of more agile zombies is not exactly a stunning revelation. In 1985 Dan O'Bannon brought us Return of the Living Dead which featured the slow moving "lumbering" zombies as well as the leap into the air and rip your throat variety. The movie of course had one hell of a sense of humor but damn if I didn't jump out of my seat when the basement zombie was first revealed ("BRAINS!").

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Future, can you be more specific?

 

Sure.

 

 

***************MINOR SPOILERS****************

 

Storyline was good and retained the spririt of the original. Forget the social commentaries here, very little of that is maintained in this remake and to be honest there is really no room (Or dare I say need?) for it in this quality horror/action film. The characters presented were for the most part very interesting and I loved that they gave the movie more of a good group dynamic than the original (many more people gather in the mall, in fact we're talking about 10-12 here). There are of course several throwaway characters that are meant as meat for the zombies and others that are terribly under developed (like the young security guard and his eventual red headed girlfriend) but the main cast are uniformally excellent. One of the side characters, Andy, becomes a favorite. Ving Rhames is his usual bad ass self. The yuppie couple is a riot (especially Steve) . CJ who you will despise will eventually shock you with his actions late in the film. The main characters of Michael and Ana are supposed to present the love interest. Thankfully its all very subdued and this part of the film was more of a backdrop(which I was glad about since I was afraid they would do some cheesy romance crap that had no place in the movie). I think many will be suprised most by Mekhi Phifers's character who really does a 180 from when you first meet him. Theres also some great cameos by Tom Savini and a suprise cameo by one of the original cast members (I wont ruin it but make sure to keep an eye out for the TV evangelist in the movie ;) )

 

The zombie were vicious and damn scary. For those who enjoy the lumbering variety you'll find a few here and there but for the most part these things don't fuck around. They also have a very different feel than the infected found in 28 Days later so any worries of carbon copying were gone within the first 20 minutes. The movie is almost non-stop tension. The 10 minute preview is in fact the first 10 minutes of the movie and its one of the maybe three points in the movie where you'll get some real downtime. The gore is through the roof in the movie and any gore hound will be smiling almost the whole way through. Never is it overdone either but it will make any Dawn fan happy to see the remake lives up the original in this regard.

 

There are some leaps of logic in here and there and at times the movie kind of throws its own rules out of the window (though the script writers did do a good job in creating an explanation for a good number of events). Either way by the time I got to thinking about some of these things I just didn't much care. I like the film too much to try and dissect it it to death.

 

To be blunt, I loved it. It stomps all over Resident Evil (which is a movie I liked) and while I think it falls short of 28 Days Later.. its right up there in quality. I don't like it more than the original, but I do like AS MUCH as the original. I will have this when it comes to DVD for sure and my wife and are going to see it again next week. Good to have a quality zombie flick back in rotation.

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