Sympathetic Stupid

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Land Of The Dead

I don't know zombie movies. Yeah, 28 Days Later was enjoyable (though it had Christopher Eccleston which is cheating), and that Dead Creatures was fairly disturbing and yet quite good. So when Land Of The Dead is apparently the greatest zombie movie ever, I've got little context, but I can give an objective view.

Yeah, it's quite nicely made, all very slick, decent performances, Simon Baker's not too bad, and I like Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo (thought both seem a little subdued). Plenty of explosions and gore, and fireworks for that matter. It seems to do the zombie thing pretty well.

Then there's the *ahem* subtext. Can you still call it subtext if it's splashed all over the plot? For a start there's the repeated juxtapositions of birds in cages with rich people in their impenetrable apartment building safe from zombies. Not especially subtle. Then there's the actual plot.

So there's these zombies, right, and they threaten civilization. The decadent citizens pretend that this doesn't exist and sit atop a social pyramid where the immense underclass is oppressed, and contract out their protection to a mercenary army. This mercenary army is led by a Baker, an all-American nice guy, and paid by Hopper, an evil rich man (is there any other kind?). Internal fighting in the mercenary army leads to the zombies getting in and ravaging rich society, while Bakes is off doing Hopper's dirty work elsewhere. The underclass survives to create a better world. The parting thought is that zombies are only human too - Bakes: 'They're just looking for a place to go'.

No parallels AT ALL with current world events. Unrecognisable. Could be a different world.

So it's maybe a little preachy. Not one for the thinkers.