Wednesday, October 24, 2012

HMM '12 Day 24: Dawn of the Dead

It's October! That means two very important things: Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts are here, and Halloween is near! My favorite thing to do in October to prepare myself for Halloween is to, of course, watch movies that I feel best exemplify the season. Now, this doesn't just mean extreme gore fests (of course, I do love me some gore), but I like to include movies that have that Halloween feel. Anyway, let's get to Day 24 of Halloween Movie Madness 2012!

Dawn of the Dead
(United Film Distribution Company, 1978)

The original Dawn of the Dead, the movie that ranks at the very top of my favorite zombie movies list, is the subject of today’s Halloween Movie Madness.

This movie starts out in a TV station, where we see people trying to come to grips with the rising zombie threat.  There is discussion about how any dead body that isn't properly exterminated gets up and kills, and the victims will then get up and kill.  It seems that they have figured out that the only thing that drives the zombies is a hunger, and the only way to stop them is by removing the head or destroying the brain.  There is also a state of Martial Law (must resist urge to make Sammo Hung joke...), and no person is allowed to have a private residence no matter how well fortified or supplied they may be.  Francine, one of the behind the scenes people at the station, leaves with her man Stephen, who is a pilot.

Dawn of the Dead TV Program
"Dummy! Dummy! Dummy! Dummy!"
Then we go to some projects, where cops are ready to storm an apartment building to go after some people.  It is here where we see our first death: It’s a cop who gets shot in the head by one of the “criminals” running out of the building.  At least he won’t be coming back as a zombie.  One of the officers starts going nuts and killing everyone he sees who isn't a police officer.  He’s breaking down doors and blowing people to kingdom come.  Peter kills him, but not after he opens a door that he shouldn't have opened. after Roger goes inside the room with two other officers,we get our first look at the zombies.  They kill the zombies, and one of the officers freaks out and shoots himself in the head.  Roger knows our helicpoter pilot, Stephen, and Peter tags along with him to leave the area.

Dawn of the Dead Redneck Hunting Party

While they are flying, the pass over an area where we see a bunch of redneck hunters going out to "hunt" some zombies.  That sounds like the type of thing I would probably do.  Thinking about that too much tends to make one feel a bit like a sociopath though.  "Oh man, I could kill people without the consequences of killing people!"

Dawn of the Dead

After a quick stop to refuel that leads to a some close calls and a zombie losing the top of its head to the helicopter rotor, they eventually end up at the mall.  There, they are able to make a nice little life for themselves…. for a while anyway.

That's more than I usually like to divulge about the movies I am writing about, but this one is such a classic that I feel like it's okay.  I mean, if you like zombie movies, odds are you have seen this one.  And if you are like me, you can't stand the remake.  I just don't like fast zombies, okay?  There are only two instances that I have seen fast zombies and thought it worked: Zombieland and the Left 4 Dead games.  That's it.

Dawn of the Dead Biker Pie
Nothing says "Bad-ass Biker Bandits" like a pie to the face
If, for whatever reason, you haven't seen this movie yet, head on down to the local Best Buy or where ever it is that you buy your DVDs from, and buy this movie.  Don't rent it, just buy it and add it to your collection.  It's worthy to be there.