Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In anticipation of the release of "Diary of the Dead"

I've got to admit it, I love zombie films. Especially the George Romero films, the slow shuffling gait, the slow decomposition of flesh, the singular urge to consume the living. I know I'm not making a strong case for the genre, but I just love them.

Romere is supposed to get "back to his roots" in Diary, unlike the more commercial "Land of the Dead" Remember "Night of the Living Dead" was made on a shoestring budget, with friends as zombies and Bosco syrup as blood. "Diary" is made in the "Blair Witch" "Cloverfield" style of a faux documentary.

As I patiently await it's release, I will give you my top 5 zombie flicks.

1) Night of the Living Dead ( original)- Chilling, even to this day. Social commentary too, although unintended.

2) Dawn of the Dead (original)- I swear, I cannot go to a mall without making a dozen or so "Dawn" references. No name cast gives it the "anything can happen" feel.

3) Zombie 2- Lucio Fulci at the helm of this one, written before "Dawn of the Dead" with NYC bookends filmed to give it the whole sequel feel.

4) White Zombie- First American film to feature zombies AND Bela Lugosi. Sure, it has it's flaws, and some say it doesn't hold up well, but I can imagine leaving a theatre in 1932, walking to my car in total darkness and looking over my shoulder for the zombies.

5) Last Man on Earth- The first of three film incarnations of "I am Legend". I realize in the Matheson book, they were vampires and not zombies, and in the film, they are considered vampires, but take a look at the film today, then watch "Night of the Living Dead". They seem creepy enough in the zombie way to be included.

Apologies to "Shaun of the Dead", which certainly should have been included, but got edged out, since it was an homage to the genre.

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