Friday, June 24, 2005

What Would Jesus-as-Zombie Do?: Much ado is being made over Romero's latest zombie flick, "Land of the Dead" -- this time done with at least a modicum of a budget (around $15MM to $18MM).

The above link will give you the fan-boy's perspective, but what about the more spiritual among us? What would a good Christian think about the newest installment in the zombie oeuvre??

Well, quite a bit, and amazingly enough to this blogger, those thoughts are quite insightful.

Leave aside the quotes from the Bible, and the references to "we all live through Christ forever" and you find that the message that Romero sought to imbue was not lost on the reviewer just because he is a "goody-two-shoes" born-again. To wit:

The fear of death is heightened in Romero's films by the fear of decay. As zombies shamble about in Romero's films, they have a hard time literally holding themselves together. It is disquieting to see the human body profaned.


In a telling scene from 28 Days Later (not, technically, a zombie film though it has many of the trappings) some of the world's last defenders are discussing the impact of the "infection." A sergeant concludes that since the human race has only been around for a relatively short time, if the infection wipes them out it will just be a return to normality. But the commanding major concludes that since the infection all he has seen is people killing people -- which is precisely what he had seen in all the weeks before the infection. He concludes that they are currently in a state of normality. Zombie movies put the insatiable lust of sin front and center. There is no sugar coating, no attempt to make sin look nice. All we see are the ravages of the horrible behaviors across the globe squeezed into a small area so that we can witness them more easily.


Early in Land of the Dead the protagonists discover that the zombies are beginning to organize. Many of them appear to be attempting to perform their old jobs. One human comments, "They're pretending to be alive." Another responds, "Is that what we're doing? Pretending to be alive?"

So, all-in-all, a pretty good extraction of the movie's message.

Contrast with the review for "Boogie Nights":

"What the...?! Blaspheming devil-loving.... ARghghghghahhhh! *gagging sounds*"

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