Zack Snyder, nowadays, is known for making large scale movies that pretty much look and feel like cut scenes from a video game. Don’t get me wrong, it might be a decent video game at times, but a video game nonetheless. At this point I’m not sure how much the actors actually even have to act anymore in his movies. This is part of the reason why, when looking back, it’s pretty peculiar and, well, awesome, that when Snyder decided to “re-boot” Romero’s classic “Dawn of the Dead”, he went fully old school for the special effects and used minimal amounts of CGI. But I digress, Starkwell and Lovelock, I present to you, the re-make of your beloved classic.
[Blonde Girl named Ana works at a hospital as a nurse. People seem to be getting sick. Emergency broadcasts on the TV and whatnot.]
Starkwell: It’s interesting that Snyder already plays on the fact that the audience knows it’s a zombie film, and so he puts in all these hints that shit’s about to go down.
[And then shit goes down immediately. Little Zombie Girl shows up and eats Ana’s boyfriend. Zombies run!]
Lovelock: Well, he certainly isn’t wasting any time. Although, I do wish that it wasn’t a little kid. Kids are lame.
Starkwell: Nothing’s ever good enough for you.
[Boyfriend turns immediately, Blondie goes outside, all Hell has broken loose.]
Lovelock: Ok… I’ll forgive the kid thing.
It’s definitely more of a “loosely based on” type of a thing, according to Lovelock. In any case, the two of them sat pretty quietly as the gang of characters ended up almost immediately at the mall. There are the “regular” good guys and the “not so good” good guys and the “totally bad, at least for for now” guys. There was a nice Tom Savini cameo at one point that made Lovelock applaud. And then shortly thereafter there was a Ken Foree cameo and he was like “THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.”
[Two Asshole Security Guards act like they own the place, but the Get Along Gang turn the tables on them and put them in a holding cell. Some more people show up, and Get Along Gang let them in and now the Get Along Gang is bigger.]
Starkwell: With this new group, I’m sure we’ll be able to cover all the clichés.
Lovelock: Obviously there’s the rich snob guy, the organ player, the criminal!
Starkwell: The father-daughter duo! The preggers chick! The slut!
Lovelock: They turn much faster in this one than in the original.
Starkwell: Yeah… except the pregnant woman, who seems to be taking a long time to turn.
[Fat Woman dies, immediately comes back.]
Lovelock: First the Kid Zombie, now the Fat Zombie? "Covering all the clichés" is right…
Then there’s a montage of them living at the mall, for… I don’t know how long. Richard Cheese plays and Lovelock dances. The two Asshole Security Guards are still locked in the holding cells.
[Mekhi’s Pregnant Russian Wife is strapped down to a bed squirming, turning into a zombie and going into labor.]
Starkwell: So… no one is noticing any of this? No one has been like “Hey ummm… about the whole ‘your wife is chained to the bed thing’?”
Then one of the Asshole Guards (the real scumbag one) gets all eaten and Lovelock was like “aw yeah comeuppance”. And then the other Asshole Guard, C.J., totally helped out and became a valuable member of the team and he was like “aw yeah redemption”.
[Zombie Preggers explodes with a Zombie Baby, Old Lady walks in on it.]
Lovelock: So good! The Old Woman is like “Hey hon', I brought some candles! OH SHIT ZOMBIE! KILL IT!”
[Mexican Standoff between Mekhi and Old Woman.]
Starkwell: And the winner is… no one?
Lovelock: Dude, the winner is both of us.
Lovelock: Well, there it is. All the lame clichés possible.
The old lady didn’t become a zombie, so they concluded that only if you die from a BITE do you turn. This is definitely a departure from Romero’s vision, and a source of anger for Starkwell. Lovelock and Starkwell argued about this during a montage of the Get Along Gang preparing buses for their upcoming trip to the marina. Apparently the plan is to take Rich Snob’s boat to an island.
[C.J. sacrifices himself for the good of the Get Along Gang.]
Lovelock: And with that bit of redemption, the final cliché checkbox is ticked.
Starkwell: Well… we still need a sad ending.
[Get Along Gang sail off into the sunset. Arrive at an island… but… it’s overrun with zombies. EVERYONE DIES.]
Starkwell: There it is.
This movie was very successful, and was honestly a fair re-imagination of the original, albeit not very faithful or particularly inventive. But it had characters that you actually grew to like, and care for, and was a lot of fun to watch. The biggest issue with this movie was that its success spawned a bajillion mockbuster copycats of this new zombie film formula. But Starkwell and Lovelock won’t let that take away from how much they enjoyed this remake. Anyways, they said a big part of what sets this apart from the cookie cutter zombie schlock out there is character development.