Monday, May 12, 2014

Dawn of the Dead (1978) - expanded

Dawn of the Dead Spoilers

Last chance to back out before I talk about the movie in greater detail!

While I was writing the first post I read a couple of other bloggers thoughts on the movie and they had some good points.  The rampant commercialism is a strong theme in the movie.  That even during the zombie apocalypse the zombies flock to the mall because it was familiar to them in life.  Not their parents house, not the post office, the mall.  This theme goes even deeper after the group sets up in the mall.  They start to see it as theirs.  It belongs to them, and no one else.  Sharing is out of the question.

I wonder: if the people that came weren't raiders, and instead were people who tried to communicate and ask for supplies, would the group have shared?  I'm guessing no.  At least not the men, Francine probably would have.  Is this the point at which it becomes acceptable to be greedy? It makes you wonder if mankind has any chance at that point.  If everyone is going to greedily hold onto everything they have and never share, is trade possible?

The other thing I found interesting was the thought of being invincible during a time like this.  You have guns, armor, and have survived longer than 90% of the population, you must be doing something right.  When Roger is messing around when they are moving the trucks, it's obvious that he feels invincible. Well, until he gets bitten because he wasn't watching his back.  The raiders do the same thing: they charge into the parking lot, move the truck out of the way, and then charge in guns blazing and go on a shopping spree.  Many of them end up getting killed by zombies because they weren't watching their backs either. 

I definitely felt like the moral of the story was to let go.  If you are in mortal danger, let go of your possessions.  They are just things, no matter how dear they are to you.  Don't let these things distract you from the higher goal, in this case surviving.  Francine and Peter were the only ones who learned this lesson and were able to escape.  Stephen couldn't let go, and instead fought the raiders for his stuff and he died because of it.  Not only did he die, but he came back as a zombie with the memories of their secret tunnel, so he leads the other zombies into their safety zone.

Another important message was self-reliance and anti-sexism.  At first the men won't teach Francine anything because they're protecting her: she's fragile in their eyes.  She disagrees, but they persist until finally a situation comes up where a zombie they had missed confronts an alone, unarmed, and inexperienced Francine, and she doesn't know how to fight it.  Thankfully she's able to hold out until help arrives, but she does the right thing and convinces them to teach her what she needs to survive.  She learns to shoot, and even becomes their back-up helicopter pilot.  I would say that was some foresight right there, especially after Stephen screws the pooch.

This movie was full of morals, messages, and really made me think about what I would do in the zombie apocalypse.  I hope you enjoyed it too, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the movie!

No comments:

Post a Comment