George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead expanded it’s release finally making it into a select few local theaters. Romero has the zombie thing down, which he started back in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead. Although it may appear to be merely a good horror movie each installment reflects some type of social commentary.NotLD

While it may seen subtle to the casual viewer Romero is not shy about getting his political views mixed up in these films.

  • Night of the Living Dead: A group of people congregate in a small farm house for protection from the walking undead. -Just a bit of trivia this movie never stated the monsters were actually “zombies”. The film was the first one not to rely on a voodoo curse as the cause. Apparently the first script did not include an explanation but writers added in a line about, “a space probe returning from its exploration of the planet Venus, and it mysteriously exploded before entering the atmosphere.” The film showed the horrors of the Vietnam War and touched on racism.
  • Dawn of the Dead: This film made malls the go to place in case of the apocalypse. Critics argue the film is centered around the idea of consumerism and capitalism.DotD I assert that this was the first of the Romero movie to show women in a more active role. I can’t knock Night because most of the characters, besides Peter (Ken Foree), were whinny jerks. There was no real explanation for the “infestation” other than the tagline, “when there’s no more room in hell, the dead walk the earth”.
  • Day of the Dead: It deals with a zombie assault on a military establishment, satirizing the military mindset in the process. Critic After Dark said the this film was Romero’s “philosophical statements on the human condition, rendered in extremist–soldiers vs. scientists, men vs. women, pacifists vs. idealists, all cooped up in a hellhole of a pressure-cooker set to ‘apocalypse.'”
  • Land of the Dead: The world is infested with zombies and people fortify themselves in small cities where zombies become the least of their problems. After filming Day of the Dead Romero took a break from the zombie genre to create other films which brought him no commercial success, he returned with this installment. Journalist Mark Harris wrote, DiaryotD“Romero, seemingly saved up a decade’s worth of social criticism, unleashed a flurry of commentary on terrorism, the Iraq War, big business, the distribution of wealth and man’s inhumanity towards man”.
  • Diary of the Dead: This is the newest installment. The acting is definitely not at the top of the game (even for a horror movie). The movie follows a group of film students trying to make their way home. It reflects views on the importance of the media. In this case the major broadcasters lied to the public, making citizen journalism (videos, blogs, etc.) essential.

Imdb already has reported there will be another sequel to the Dead Series.

In a related note, fans of Max Brook’s “World War Z” can look forward to a movie version produced by Plan B, Brad Pitt’s production company. No official date is set though.

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