Friday, June 24, 2005

Uh oh...

I have been fairly excited about Land of the Dead, because George Romero is the master. However, this review from the Detroit Free Press makes me a little nervous, especially where the reviewer claims: "Most impressively, it actually has something to say." Maybe it's just me, but I don't want politics (and yes, it's politics the reviewer is talking about here: later he specifically mentions the political metaphors) in my zombie movies. This is a trend lately that I've found annoying. Reviewers seem to think a movie only has something to say if it has some sort of political message. Wrong, wrong, wrong. In today's climate, Hollywood people taking potshots at the President is just laziness, the easy way out. It's a lot harder to actually say something about human nature than to just throw in sneering references to the politics of the majority and try to pass that off as meaningful commentary. In my opinion, these type of references are on the level of gratuitous nudity in slasher movies: they do nothing to advance the plot and are a jarring interruption to the flow of the movie.

So please, if you're going to make a horror movie, tell us something about how the characters you have created would react and change in the crucible of stress created by the horrifying circumstances in they are trapped in. Have actual scary parts. And don't try to make zombies into the great political metaphor of our time.


Blogger Razorhack said...

I sorta thought that the social commentary was quite a point when it comes to Romero's four Zombie movies.
1 Civil liberties and the sixties
2 Consumerism
3 Ethics in science and the military
4 The post 9/11 mindset

And of course they're full of gore. ;)

By the way - love your blog

9:10 PM  
Blogger Tim Harden said...


Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you like the blog. I think you're right to an extent, in that a lot of people who like to write about movies (and maybe Romero himself; I haven't read his comments on this issue) like to read the themes you mention into the first three movies. I haven't seen Day of the Dead, which is a terrible omission, I know. As for Night and Dawn, though, I think that yes, the themes are there, but they're subtle enough that you can enjoy the movie without their distracting you. Also, those themes aren't exactly what I had in mind, in part because they *are* subtle. I was really thinking more of specific, cheap shot references than global themes. To give the original reviewer a little credit, maybe this is what he meant when he said that the movie "had something to say."

And, like I said originally, I'm only "a little nervous." I'll still see it, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

10:43 PM  

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