Monday, October 11, 2010

Dawn of the Dead

(1978) ****1/2

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.


HandsomeStan said...

Wow, another shout-out! I better get crackin' on some reviews this year. Thanks, Shark!

As far as the misplaced modifier, which paragraph were you referring to? The first or second?

In the first, it might be, "Later, in the mall, I definitely remembered..." where it's the movie that's "in the mall," not you physically. Or it could be "Even when I started it last night, I still half-thought..." where the subject is the movie, not you.

In the second paragraph, I suppose it could be "Both are worth checking out, especially the comments section..." Um, maybe something about how "Both" reviews are the plural subject, but the latter subject is singular?

I used to know all this stuff. Now I cheerfully ignore it. But I love a good grammar challenge!

Landshark said...

Ha. Yeah, the mall one was the one I intended. The 2nd one I think is fine. And yes, that should be "comment sections" to match the "both."

Nice work!

Catfreeek said...

Glad you enjoyed this Landshark. It's hard to believe there was anyone left on this blog who hadn't seen it. Great review and yeah you are totally the cool professor!

50PageMcGee said...

i was inspired to go back and watch the first few minutes of this on youtube. everythings just so hopeless. nobody even seems surprised by any of it anymore, just depressed.

DCD said...

I haven't seen this in so long. This makes me want to watch it again. Although I would ask people to ignore the many grammatical mistakes that are sure to be in my review!

Whirlygirl said...

Don't feel so bad, Landshark. I just finally saw this for the first time two years ago.

Octopunk said...

I also appreciate the shout out. Shout!

I'm kind of amazed we lived in the same house as long as we did and you never managed to see this.