In other news, I picked up the Divimax edition of Dawn of the Dead the other day. I guess it's the DVD version I've been waiting for Anchor Bay to put out, but I still wish there were a few more extras on the disc. The Divimax edition of "Day of the Dead" had enough bells and whistles to warrant a second disc, and if I remember correctly, earlier DVD versions of "Dawn" did too. There's no "Document of the Dead" to be found on my "Dawn" disc, though there is an excellent commentary track hosted by one of the producers of this new edition, and it features the Man Himself, George Romero, as well as his wife Chris and exploding-head expert Tom Savini.
The DVD includes a two-page booklet with comments about the film from a guy whose name I don't remember right now, and one of the more interesting points he makes regards the shooting schedule of the film-- the filmmakers were only allowed to shoot the movie while the mall was closed (for obvious reasons). The guy in the DVD booklet says something to the effect of, "Every morning, the literal zombies had to clear out of the mall before it opened to allow their figurative counterparts in." I just like how the guy worded it.
"Dawn," as any fan will tell you, is a movie about zombies, and a movie about consumerism. Many critics have called this flavor of Romero's social commentary "brilliant," though in my opinion it's just too obviously blunt to be much more than "interesting and amusing." There's so much else about Romero's work that I would consider brilliant-- I mean, who else can make you feel nearly every possible human emotion towards hordes of shambling, murderous corpses over the course of a single two-hour film?
I'll go out on a limb and suggest that the critics who focus more on "Dawn's" critique of consumerism than on its horrific zombosity or its simple observation of human nature are likely the same kind of people who will talk at great length about how, y'know, buying stuff is bad, and stuff, without ever really thinking about why.
It just sounds good to say things like, "it's a startling social commentary-- a harsh critique of consumerism," but frankly, I think the movie is about a lot more than that piddly feelgood crap. It's about people lulling themselves into a state of temporary safety and then being violently jerked out of it. It's about what human beings do when their society collapses into anarchy. It's about shooting zombies in their fucking heads with big goddamn bullets because if you don't, then you will be killed.
Cliched, empty statements like "we shouldn't try to fill our lives with material possessions" are rather stupid. It's one of those things a guy will text-message to his girlfriend's cell while driving his convertible to the video store to buy her the Sex and the City Season Two Boxset. I'll tell you where you can stick your sentiments, guy.
Anyway, the lesson here is that you, gentle Reader, should be a good little consumer zombie and run to your nearest mall and pick up the new "Dawn of the Dead" DVD, because it's one of the best horror films of all time, as well as a zombie / action / bloodbath genre film that is just plain without equal.