Sunday, October 23, 2005

An Open Letter to George Romero

Dear Mr. Romero,
I'm sorry, but I did not love Land of the Dead. I wanted to and I tried really hard to, because you are the Zombie King and you have instilled in me an enduring fascination with zombie culture.
Dawn of the Dead (1978) was probably one of the most influential films of my teen years. Of course it was scary and fun, but it also spoke to me in a way that touched me (as a mall zombie myself at the time). DOTD went beyond the gore and the frights and delved into the idea of the mall as a symbol of modern culture.
So I guess I was expecting the same revelations and insights into humanity, along with some great scares, when I rented Land of the Dead last night. Was I expecting too much? I don't think so.
Mr. Romero, you could have made it great. It could have been such a statement on society. You had all the premises there - the walled city inhabited by the wealthy, the outer edges populated by the working class, and out beyond - the undead - making nightly forages to the edges of the city to feed.
Oh you did make statements when you portrayed the tactical teams that would make nightly sweeps of the area, blasting away zombies with heavy artillery, but sadly, the movie was poorly executed. The non-zombie characters were cardboard caricatures, the acting wooden, the story formulaic. I couldn't even tell you any of the human characters' names, and if I don't bother to learn the names of the characters in a movie, it's a sure sign that I don't give a shit what's going on. The zombies were by far the most sympathetic and interesting characters. And I guess that was the point you were trying to make. You obviously wanted us to identify with the zombies as they learned to use rudimentary reasoning, to use objects as tools, to work as a team. That concept came across, particularly in regards to the kingpin zombie. He was good. That Chewbacca-like roar of his was a nice touch.
Sadly, though, it did not save your film.
Mr. Romero, the recent zombie flicks Shaun of the Dead (an homage to you, Mr. Romero) and 28 Days Later were far superior films, both in their originality and in their execution. Maybe it's time to let a new generation of film makers take over the zombie genre. Please don't become the Rolling Stones of the film world.
Thank you for listening,
your fan,


ChrisWoznitza said...

Hi I´m Chris. Greatings from Germany Bottrop !!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wilkommen, Chris! Maybe I can learn some new German curse words from you. I've been posting a few lately and would love to practice my German.

Rupert said...

hi, i'm rob. greetings from ontario.
oui, je parle le francais. c'est parce que cette langue est le plus romantique de tous les langues dans le monde. aussi, nous vivons dans un pays francophone. à bientôt

Jas Bhambra said...

'Shawn of the Dead" was a great show! Loved it, was so funny.

I agree that "insult of the day" needs an extra day or two!!

"crookedly-drilled asshole"! Ha ha ha ha!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Ahh Rob. You win. Your French is much better than my German (or my French for that matter. I can read cereal boxes and that's about it.
Jas, those German swear words I've been posting lately are all ones that my dad muttered at us kids.

Neil said...

I want to see "Land of The Dead" now. You've sold me, Barbara!

When I first saw "Dawn of the Dead" it was just last year, so all I could focus on were the lousy (although fine for their time) special effects. It quickly got boring and went on for much too long.

Not much for zombie flicks here.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Neil, I'd advise you to see Shaun of the Dead instead. It's hilarious (a romantic comedy, with zombies).

michelle said...

Ah, "Dawn of the Dead," they don't make them like that anymore. Sadness. I'll have to check out Shaun of the Dead now... a zombie romantic flick. Niiice.

Most excellent letter to the author, you tell 'im!

michelle said...

And before I forget again because I forget a lot, hugs on the blogroll!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks Michelle. You will LOVE Shaun of the Dead. I guarantee it, otherwise you can come over and give me a wedgie.

michelle said...

Right on! But if I do like it then I don't get the chance to give you a wedgie, sob. I might have to lie just I can have some wedgie goodness.

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