Time to come clean. I “thought” I’d seen this one way back in the 80s. But I was talking zombie movies with some students the other day (I know, I rule as a professor), and I realized I wasn’t quite getting their references. This is fucking embarrassing when you’re talking to 18 year-olds about a movie that came out 30 years ago. Even when I started it last night, I still half-thought I was going to recognize everything as soon as it got going. Nope. Later, in the mall, I definitely remembered the scene of the biker who makes an ill-advised decision to check his blood pressure on one of those sit down mall health machines. I must have seen that clip on its own at some point.
By the way, I’ve just read the 2 brilliant and wildly divergent reviews by Octo and Stan from years past. Stan’s is a classic of his very particular associative brain, while Octo’s is cultural critique of a pretty high order. Both are worth checking out, especially the comments section where Octo delivers some grammar smackdown to Stan’s dangling modifiers. See if you can find the misplaced modifier in the paragraph above!
As for the movie, I loved its weirdness and unexpected little moments. The hicks chugging beer getting ready for the big zombie hunt, the sense of visceral panic and anger as the tv pundits yelled over each other, ultimately breaking down to the point that they were just mumbling to themselves, the little home that our band of heroes set up in the mall (that this trope has been so copied over the years didn’t undermine its potency for me). The whole thing is just a freaking blast.