Starring: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H Reiniger
Director: George A Romero
A follow up to Romero’s directorial debut Night Of The Living Dead (though made a decade later), this film sees two members of a SWAT team with two TV executives and their helicopter escape the plague of zombies in the city and hide out in a mall. While the mall seems to offer them all the items they might need for comfortable survival, the threat of the undead is ever present, as well as a band of looters who descend on them looking for their own means of survival.
Being set in a mall, this film plays with ideas of materialism and consumerism. The threat of violent death is out there, but in here, there’s great shopping and an opulent life. Things can’t replace safety and normal life for these people. When the zombies get in, their zoned out vacant bodies seem all too much a symbol of the numbed out populace getting high on buying things they don’t need… or at least that’s one interpretation.
Zombies are such a great stand in for our fear of the anonymous crowd, our fear of other people who are out there, unknown and seemingly interchangeable. People who can turn violent in a mob, who mindlessly consume. In this film, these concept were new and fresh and still in their infancy. The film has a real indie feel, the blood splatter a kind of ketchupy and the violence gorey but without the visceral feel of modern horror. It’s a lot of fun and in so many ways, kind of cheesey and dated. The performances aren’t bad, but they’re not great either. It’s a real early zombie flick and hits the spot but part of it’s charm is in it’s era and it’s low budget. But that’s no bad thing.
See It If: A George A Romero zombie classic, this is one for horror fans and those who love all things zombie. It’s fun and ketchup splattered, with enough action and interesting characters to keep you entertained, even if it all feels a little cheesey.