Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Fight Club Doctor

One of the trickiest things for a movie to pull off is the derailment of the narrative at the hands of a character we barely get any time with. We’re trucking along with a hero we like, and some plucky upstart with only a few lines of dialogue changes the game completely. It seems deeply unfair, like young Bruce Wayne enjoying his delightfully privileged upbringing when a guy with a gun in an alleyway puts all of that to an end, launching a deep psychosis and a billion-dollar franchise. Tellingly, Tim Burton and company proved they couldn’t handle the random nature of the situation when they turned that grinning alley guy into The Joker. It’s closure we didn’t even know we needed. Since embodying raw chance is a difficult job, it’s amazing when a movie uses it as an advantage, launches the story with it or hides it so thoroughly that we don’t even recognize how powerful a day player was. It can also be a powerful tool in seeing how the protagonist deals with the roadblock. Some rise to the occasion, others fall off the cliff, and still others grab their toys and go home.

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IntroMundaneBadass

In reality, no job is actually mundane unless you make it that way. Washing dishes or delivering mail can be terrific if you’re happy, and you’re with people who make you happy. My point is – a job is whatever you want it to be. You can quote me on that. “A job is whatever you want it to be.” – Man wearing pajama pants Anyhoo – in the movie world this tends to be different. Very rarely do we see a character shuffling fries and acting completely content. The best however, is when a mundane job is used to juxtapose the badassness of the character – or better yet, the badass character just happens to have a mundane job attached to them. These are by far the best combinations of “boring” vs “badass” I could think up in a single afternoon while not wearing any pants. Shop smart, everyone:

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Exactly one billion years ago today, a group of settlers had an early dinner with the Wampanoag Native American tribe before playing an unsettling game of touch football in their back yard. They then went to the local merchant to stand in line for many hours in hopes of purchasing an item for slightly less than what it will cost the following day, thus completely justifying the enormous emotional distress of doing so. Today we honor this tradition by having a dinner with friends and family to celebrate the unification of mankind before going to the mall and doing the exact opposite of that. But hey, it could be weirder. For example, the following:

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Tyler Bates

If you have ever grabbed your arm rest in fright while watching the recent Halloween remake or buried your face in your scarf (as I often do during the scary parts of movies) when a particular stanza in the Dawn of the Dead score made you jump, you are already familiar with composer Tyler Bates‘ work. With Halloween upon us, I thought it only appropriate to sit down with Bates to pick his brain about all things horror from his favorite scary movies to what he loves about composing for them to his favorite Halloween memories (and costumes.) Read on to hear about his experience working with directors Rob Zombie and Neil Marshall, how his early exposure to horror films may have set his current career in motion, and what may happen when you attend a wedding on Halloween.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column that is always topical, often timely and ever ready to rock your world with all the great articles you’d probably find yourself, if you had the time. Lucky for you, we’ve got plenty of time. We begin this evening with one of fourteen new images from Moonrise Kingdom, the upcoming film from Wes Anderson. You’ll know him as the guy who made films such as Rushmore, The Life Aquatic, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. This one comes with just as much star-power, including names like Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Bob Balaban. The young man above’s name is Jared Gilman. He’s new.

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It seems that when it comes to tales of good and evil – we often see anything besides good winning and evil losing as some kind of a cop out. Like… we’d rather see the villain fall to their death or be eaten by hyenas than learn the error of their ways -something that’s more than evident in Disney films, which have featured both killer hyenas and high places. But, you know – when a bad guy ultimately turns good, if done right, it’s way better to watch. More often than not they still usually end up dying horrible, so there’s that too, but at least they die good. There’s probably going to be a lot of spoilers below.

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Commentary: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Zombies! Of all the movie about the walking dead, one of them continuously appears on the best of lists time after time after time. Okay, maybe more than one of them shows up all the time, but this one’s considered by many to be the best of them. I’m inclined to agree. George Romero‘s Dawn of the Dead is more than just an improved follow-up to 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. It the film that made living in a zombie apocalypse fun. It’s the film that really introduced us to what Tom Savini could do with some plaster and a machete. It’s the high watermark for epic, zombie storytelling, and, for 34 years, no film has come close to topping it. Who better to take us through Dawn of the Dead and show us how it all came to be than Romero, Savini, and George’s wife, Christine, who served as assistant director on the film. The commentary on this Anchor Bay Divimax is moderated by the DVD’s producer, not something we’ve come across before in this column. It could be a nice, organized way to handle information from the commentators. It could be such a slog it makes us wish Hell would run out of room. However the path it takes to get here, here are all the things we learned listening to George & Chris Romero and Tom Savini talk about Dawn of the Dead.

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Vertigo Title Card

A good beginning credit sequence is really all it takes for me to like a movie. That seems like a really stupid thing to say – but when you think about it, while not all good movies have creative credits, almost all creative credits belong to good movies. It shows that the filmmakers actually cared enough to do something meaningful with their title sequence as opposed to just throwing out some stock effect… After all, the beginning credits are the opening number to a film – the handshake – and if it doesn’t make you excited about what you’re about to watch then there really isn’t a point is there? Here are a collection that got be friggin’ pumped right from the start.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Associate Editor Kate Erbland drops by to play Best/Worst and talk Found Fauxtage Films. Plus, we speak with author Ray Morton to get the whole story of why The Beatles made A Hard Day’s Night and we get a special announcement directly from Vimeo that will sound like sunshine to weary independent filmmakers. That is, the filmmakers who want to save some money. Download This Episode

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It’s rare that uttering the phrase, “we’re watching The Exorcist” would be laden with arrogance. Prior to the inception of Mondo News, the indescribably cool Alamo Drafthouse offshoot and purveyor of unbelievable movie posters and tee-shirts, few situations would have arisen for those words to have adopted their arrogant new subtext. But that was before Mondo’s Mystery Screenings turned everyone into detectives. The basic idea behind the Mondo Mystery Screening is that you buy a ticket for the screening of an undisclosed film; your admission also securing you an extremely limited-edition Mondo poster of said film. It’s a bit of a gamble because you are paying top dollar for a poster sight-unseen not knowing A.) whether you’ll like the poster or B.) whether you even like the film its celebrating. Mondo goes to impressive lengths to keep the showcased films and the corresponding posters hidden from the public until they’ve gathered at the Drafthouse. But this time around, Mondo Mystery Screening IX was taking place at an off-site location which, just days before the event, was revealed to be a church. Prior to that announcement, all we had to go on was that the screening was touted as the biggest event Mondo had ever conceived. Ravenously, we purchased our tickets and, upon hearing that the screening would be taking place at a church, found the words “we’re watching The Exorcist” escaping our lips with misplaced self-satisfaction. So certain were we that we had decrypted the Mondo cipher that we completely […]

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Dalek Pumpkin

What is Movie News After Dark? As of this evening, it’s a nightly movie news column that’s just happy to have a place to call home. It’s thankful for hard working code monkeys and developer-types who worked countless hours to put Humpty Dumpty (that’s actually what we call our server — coincidence, perhaps) back together again. Now it’s time to do the news. We begin tonight with the best pumpkin design I’ve seen thus far, a Dalek from Doctor Who. It was sent to me by our spooktacular Managing Editor Cole Abaius this afternoon in an email titled “Just in case we have a website ever again…” It’s been a stressful weekend.

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also thinks the 80s are going to be the best decade ever in the world of film. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to rent more movies on VHS.

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We’re all real happy you can finally get that rash checked out, but here are ten movie characters that are even happier that health care reform is about to break on through to the other side.

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We have one (1) prize pack of four original George Romero film including – Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Season of the Witch and the original The Crazies. Who wants it?

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Reader be warned, as the following is a hyper-aggressive vularthon between two of our most entertaining and unique voices. Send the kids out of the room, and enjoy…

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decade_coroner

Robert Fure takes a trip down memory lane and examines the most entertaining, most violent, and most significant horror films of the past decade.

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ZombielandInt

In which two men, one having never seen a zombie film and the other a casual fan of the genre, create the best zombie flick since Shaun of the Dead. And in which, I get the scoop of the century on who will be playing Venom.

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ff-yesterday

Zombies, gunfights, camping, bullies, gingers, and bloody Canadians!

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Shouting Match: Are Horror Remakes Good or Evil?

We’ll take any excuse to strap on our verbal boxing gloves and clock each other with false logic and opinions, so it was no surprise that when the subject of horror remakes came up, we got into a Shouting Match. Ding Ding.

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