Zombie Book Club

Dawn of the Dead (2004) Movie Review | Zombie Book Club Episode 22

November 12, 2023 Zombie Book Club Season 1 Episode 22
Zombie Book Club
Dawn of the Dead (2004) Movie Review | Zombie Book Club Episode 22
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

2004 Dawn of the Dead - Unearthing a Zombie Classic

In this episode, join us as we dive into the 2004 remake of "Dawn of the Dead," directed by Zack Snyder. We dissect the story of Ana, a nurse navigating a nightmarish, zombie-ridden world, and her encounters with a diverse group of survivors in a shopping mall. As they fend off hordes of fast, aggressive zombies, internal conflicts and ethical challenges, such as Andre's harrowing ordeal with his zombie family, bring tension to a boiling point. We also ponder how the narrative might shift in the absence of zombies, from a survival horror to a drama centered on human connections.

We critically examine the film through various representation lenses. Does it pass the Bechdel test? Yes, but with nuances reflecting the era's gender portrayals. The film's racial representation and its handling of an interracial couple raise questions about its success in passing the race test. Meanwhile, its approach to LGBTQ+ characters, particularly through the Vito Russo Test, reveals the limitations and attitudes of early 2000s cinema.

Join us as we explore survival tips gleaned from the movie, our picks for the best and worst parts, and Leah’s assessment of the film’s capacity to retain attention in today's evolved landscape of zombie storytelling. This episode promises a comprehensive look at a film that stands as a significant milestone in zombie cinema.


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Speaker 1:

2004 was a year of many things. Shrek 2 was dominating the box office, usher released his hit single yeah, william Hung's off-key idol experience would grant him international fame, and the downfall of society was marked by the airing of Pimp my Ride and the Apprentice. The most important thing that would happen in 2004,. Two legendary zombie films would be birthed into the cultural zeitgeist. We already talked about Shaun of the Dead, episode 2,. I think Leah's muted. I don't know why. I'm asking her, but what many people don't realize is that within a month of each other, we would also get the classic George Romero reboot of Dawn of the Dead.

Speaker 1:

Written by James Gunn, directed by Zack Snyder. This movie put zombie films back on top and showed those Hollywood fat cats that zombie movies could pull in a crowd at the box office. This gritty, fast-paced, hyper-intense zombie action blockbuster undoubtedly paved the way for the likes of the Walking Dead, as well as three George Romero-directed sequels to his Dead series. Not only was this film an instant classic doing justice to the 1978 classic it was based on, but with its unique story and direction it was able to pay homage, without being a replacement for the original or just being a shot-for-shot remake, which is what everybody was worried about. Both versions could hold a place in the hearts of Romero fans without having to replace one another. You didn't have to take sides with this movie. You could love both of them. But join us as we break down this movie and ask the big question how dead would you be in this universe?

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Zombie Book Club, the only book club where sometimes the book is a movie. Isn't that unique? And sometimes the zombies monkey-bar their way across underground parking structures and the real monster is a guy named Steve. Never trust Steve. Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a writer and when I'm not counting the days to unemployment, well, a little under two weeks at this point, I'm writing a book about an estranged father reuniting with his daughter during a zombie apocalypse, while tasked with protecting the man responsible for it. I've also been working on my elevator pitches. That's a good one. Let me know how I did. Did that make my book sound more interesting than just saying it's about zombies and shit? I?

Speaker 2:

just wish there's a truck driver, teddy, in it somehow.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, well, you know, I'll see what I can do, okay.

Speaker 2:

Hi everyone. I'm Leah and I think I'm the only zombie apocalypse lover that before this episode, had never watched Dawn of the Dead before. Please don't stop listening for that reason. I think I'm also the one of the few people that thinks that action-oriented gore zombie movies are kind of boring. I have a feeling that my opinions of this film will be maybe controversial.

Speaker 2:

You're wrong, so obviously you guessed it. We're talking to the 2004 classic movie Dawn of the Dead, which is almost 20 years old. We could have waited until 2024 to make it a 20 year anniversary, but fuck it, we wanted to watch it over Halloween.

Speaker 1:

So we did. Yeah, I actually watched it twice in the last week. You said you've watched it hundreds of times.

Speaker 1:

Well, yeah, before that it's actually been quite a while since the last time I watched it like 10 years, wow. So it was nice to go back. We upload episodes every two weeks on Sundays, usually like nine o'clock in the morning, sharp Eastern time. Eastern time we're in the east coast. If you want to come stalk us, please don't. Yeah, just start at the top of the east coast and work your way to the bottom. We're one of those people.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Somewhere in the woods of Vermont.

Speaker 1:

Good luck oh you told them that we live in Vermont. We've mentioned it a million times. They're going to redox now. They're going to find us. How many people could there be in Vermont?

Speaker 2:

Dan, tell me about what's been going on in your life. We got to start with our personal life update Leah and shout outs.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I do love that. In the notes of this I just wrote Dan talks about Dan stuff. So I'm going to talk about Dan stuff. And it goes back a few weeks because last episode was the zombie ween and before that we were doing the book, the zombie girl book, the one with the zombie girl in it.

Speaker 2:

The girl with all the gifts. Yeah, the girl with all the zombies.

Speaker 1:

So we didn't really talk too much about like what's going on in our lives. But I just wanted to start this tale Starting. One day when I'm driving my truck, I drive what's called a flow boy. It's a tractor trailer that hauls asphalt. It has a little conveyor belt in the bottom. It's pretty cool, except when it catches on fire, which is frequently, which is what happened on this fateful day.

Speaker 1:

I was, I was driving along, just got loaded up with asphalt and I'm heading out to the place where I'm trying to dump it and all of a sudden I hear a clanging and it's not good the whole. It feels like I'm driving over a rumple strip, but I'm not in the middle. I'm in the middle of the road. So I pull over and, you know, people pass me and they ask me on the radio if I'm all right. And then, yeah, you know, I just feel weird vibration. I'm going to check it out. I get out and there's a fucking campfire on the back of my truck. A campfire, yeah, it's like the size of a campfire. It's coming out of the rear differential. I don't know what that is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I know.

Speaker 1:

That's why I just said there was a campfire, Got it. It's, you know, the rear axle of the truck. You know not the, not the far back trailer axle, but on the tractor part, the furthest one back, the axle was on fire. So I freaked out and I put it out with a fire extinguisher, called up my boss and said hey, uh, truck's on fire. What'd your boss say? He said God damn it. Why would he?

Speaker 2:

be surprised at this point.

Speaker 1:

You know, I, um, I have a thing with my boss where, uh, he, whenever I call, usually he ignores it the first time and then I he picks it up the second or third time and, um, and I'm like, I tried to call you earlier and he's like, I know, and I know that it's nothing good, so I didn't pick up. So now, when, uh, when I answer the phone, I tell him hey, everything's great, I'm loving life. By the way, the truck's on fire. So, um, yeah, that day was, was a bad day. Um, we, uh, we fixed it and got it back on the road by the next week and, uh, you know, I don't want to gripe too much about the mechanic that we go to but he fucking sucks.

Speaker 1:

He's a fucking terrible mechanic and he can't fix anything right the first time. It takes three or four times. So I'm driving along a week after my fucking truck catches on fire and the drive shaft falls out because they didn't bolt it in. Oh my.

Speaker 1:

God and yeah and uh. You know, I don't know. No, this doesn't happen very often, with people drive shafts falling out. Anyone who has had it happen, they will. They will give you a look and be like oh, that sounds like a bad day. It was a bad day.

Speaker 1:

I almost fucking died because I was driving along at 65 miles an hour. Again, it felt like I hit a rumble strip. So I get out and I look at it. I'm like is it on fire? I'm just like getting out of the fucking fire extinguisher, being like what's wrong with my truck? Am I on fire? Am I going to die? Um and uh, and it looked a little weird and I thought I was just going to be able to get it to the next exit. So I just, I just go real slow, and it's a good thing. I was going slow because when the goddamn thing came apart, it vaulted the back end of the truck up into the air and tried to throw me off the road. If I was doing that at 65 miles an hour, I would be made of asphalt right now. I would be. I would have been deleted from the search. History of life.

Speaker 2:

I really love that you're sharing this story on record, literally. So if one day your boss kills you from negligence, I'm going to fucking sue him. I'm not kidding.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this is the record. This is this is going. This is the record.

Speaker 2:

This is the negligence you experience is off the chart.

Speaker 1:

This podcast will be played in a courthouse.

Speaker 2:

I really don't want that to happen. I'd rather them just actually put you in a safe truck.

Speaker 1:

So, to wrap up this little personal life update, I want to end on some good news, which is that the season's almost over. Yay, I probably have maybe two weeks, hopefully less.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I will be laid off, which is what happens every year. So don't feel bad. It's a good thing, I love being unemployed, it's great, but. But I decided I don't want to go back to work for this company and I really don't want to go back and do this job anymore. So I'm going to, I'm going to figure things out over the winter, we're going to work on this podcast, I'm going to do some writing, I'm going to grow some mushrooms I have to have mushrooms Legal ones, to be clear Legal mushrooms.

Speaker 2:

We write about a bust of illegal mushroom growing and I can just confirm it is not us. We do not do that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, somebody in Vermont was busted for growing 8.5 million dollars worth of psilocybin, so that wasn't us Kind of impressive. Well, I'm impressed.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was a lot.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but yeah, if and if, if you know times, times like this, I couldn't ask you more to to subscribe and rate you know make this five stars though. Yeah, only five star. Make this. Make this a success for us. We don't want to work hard about it, just do it for us.

Speaker 2:

Well, we're traveling, we get mostly fun. I'm sorry I'm chewing ice. I love doing ASMR in the middle of podcast. Well, I think this actually reminds me. I want to share this anecdote as well.

Speaker 2:

This is, like, I think, what it is to be an elder, aging millennial. I was on a Zoom call with one of my young zillennial no, what are they called? Not zillennials, those are the cuspy people, zaddy. They're not a Zaddy, they're a generation Z, zuber, I don't know. They're Z and they're it's like their first, maybe like second, legit job after school. They're, they're young, okay, early 20s.

Speaker 2:

And somehow I got into talking about how like great the VA is for Dan, because at least like Veterans Affairs has these things called like disability ratings, where if the Army fucks you up somehow, like they will take care of you to a certain degree and it could be better, but it's pretty great. And then I went on this long basically tantrum to this poor young, hopeful creature about how, basically, capitalism just uses this up and we're all externalized costs and our bodies pay the price and we're all going to be barely able to walk, including me because of work. And she just looked at me and she was like thanks, leah, that was really a mood killer. Like, learn it now, kids, learn it now. Don't be like me and be you know. Believe that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps for the first decade of work.

Speaker 1:

There's nothing you can do to change it, but know about it.

Speaker 2:

Well, you can, you can resist a little bit, you know you can. That's the thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I resisted for decades as a poor, poor person not contributing to society.

Speaker 2:

You contributed, but just not in a way that society, in terms of capitalism, wanted you. You weren't a peon.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I made a lot of really good dick jokes while playing Grand Theft Auto. That was my contribution.

Speaker 2:

In terms of my life update. I'm still running the high of the first annual zombie ween game show episode, which was last episode, episode 21. If you've not listened to it, what the fuck are you doing?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was a fun time it was a really good time and I listened to it when it came out about a week ago and I just was so, so, fucking pleased and honestly, it was good because of the people that we had on it. So huge shout out to Lori Calcuttaire, the winner, joshua Grant and Eric Mills all amazing people and I also want to give a shout out to all the folks who participated in the zombie ween pre episode questions that we were putting up on Instagram. One of the questions that I asked was you're a zombie now. Who do you eat first? And my two favorite answers from our subscribers were Sylvester Barzies, who is also a zombie author, so go check him out for suggesting Trump or DeSantis. Dan, how do you feel about that as a win?

Speaker 1:

I don't think they would taste very good.

Speaker 2:

But you'd be a service to humanity. I appreciate it. And then Stephen Miller answered that he would eat his HOA board of directors first.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, also want to point out that his name is Steven.

Speaker 2:

Oh, did I say Steve.

Speaker 1:

No, his name is Steven and he is not to be trusted.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's right, because you can't trust a Steve, sorry, stephen Miller. Yeah, but I do agree with your HOA board of directors. We have an HOA here and when we first moved in we put in a large mailbox at the direction of the postmaster I think that's what they're called so we could have our large packages actually like come here and so we can go to the post office because we live in a several rural place and apparently at that annual HOA our mailbox was the talk of the town. Everybody is very upset by how large for years.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they still ask us about it. We are not taking that fucking mailbox down. I don't care.

Speaker 1:

If anything, I want to go get a bigger mailbox. I think we should. Yeah, we should get like a, like a post office, like the blue mailboxes, the ones that like the standing mailboxes, the big like like door flap oh my God, yes.

Speaker 2:

And then put a. I almost set our address. Bleep that out, dan. Yeah, I'll bleep it out. Another fun note is we have a new listener named Nina. Hello, nina, thanks for saying hi to us on Instagram. That was super fun. I'm sorry we are not using Discord. If people are actually interested in being on Discord, let us know, because it was just one of too many things to manage. But if people want to be on there and they're going to use it, then we'll. We'll make it live again.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I was. I started the Discord because I have a. I have another Discord from like my streaming days, which are long behind me, but people still still communicate with me through that. So I was trying to get those people interested in our podcast and get them to move over to a new Discord. There's a whole lot of drama about who owns the discord that I had. It's a big long thing. I don't own it. Somebody else started it and I don't have the right stone. I'm just an administrator. I'm like I want to make a new one and everyone's like eh, and I'm like, okay, well, fuck you guys. Then.

Speaker 2:

That's love. I mean, I was going to talk about the Palisthenia genocide unfolding as we speak, but I guess we could talk about your discord drama.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, let's talk about my discord.

Speaker 2:

I will just say briefly if you have heard or been told that calling it a Palestinian genocide is anti-Semitic, I highly recommend that you check out the group Jewish Voices for Peace They'll have a lot to say about that. And then, once you've done some more learning about what's happening there, make some phone calls to your elected reps to ask for a ceasefire, particularly if you live in the United States, where I think we're at. Like $300 billion tax dollars have gone towards violent imperialism in the Middle East. It's a lot of dollars yeah.

Speaker 2:

And then, historically, us is basically like Israel's, a puppet to the US and their interests in the Middle East. So it's fucked up. But we're not here to talk about real apocalypses. We're here to lighten the mood and associate by talking about zombie apocalypses. So, on that note, asking for you to please take a moment and go and support our friend and bestselling author, joshua Grant, fundraiser for his upcoming film Husk, which is where a robot contemplates humanity during the zombie apocalypse, to disastrous effects. This is actually my favorite story from his book Another Zombie Apocalypse.

Speaker 1:

We interviewed him on episode nine.

Speaker 2:

I think I love that. You know that, and he was also on zombie wean.

Speaker 1:

Yes, he was amazing on zombie wean.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, you can support what I'm sure is going to be a great film for his little 15 bucks and for every book club member who donates. We actually get two dollars to support our podcast and 5% of the profits will go to childhood disease research because Josh, despite calling himself a future cannibal in the apocalypse, is a nice guy.

Speaker 1:

So if if one person supported this, supported this film, then we would have increased our our profit margin by over 50,000% 50,000%.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't understand that math.

Speaker 1:

It's complicated. You know, I've been using this app on my phone. It's called calculator. I'm really getting into it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're just doing this for fun right now, but you know, two bucks it does cost things to do this, so two bucks wouldn't hurt. I can use it to buy exactly two thirds of my favorite kind of chocolate bar. So if two of you do it, then we can buy one whole chocolate bar.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I want that chocolate bar.

Speaker 2:

What kind of chocolate oh, it's the endangered species. Dark chocolate, I think it's sea salt and almonds oh God, it's so fucking good and also it helps endangered species. So this is, this is helping so many things childhood research, disease research, endangered species.

Speaker 1:

And it puts chocolate in our mouth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you get to watch a movie about a robot in a zombie apocalypse, which is a great concept.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So can you give us a synopsis of Don the Dead, especially for me who pay attention? Possibly 70?.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're going to need this. Here is my breakdown of everything that happened in the movie the, only the way that my my hyper fixated mind could do it all in one breath Right. A nurse named Anna wakes up to a world overrun by zombie. She escapes and meets a small group of survivors, including a police officer named Kenneth and others seeking refuge in the shopping mall. The survivors secure the mall and live comfortably while vending off zombie hordes. Sentions arise within the group as they struggle, maintain their humanity and face the crisis. Things come to a boil when Andre loses marbles and straps the zombie wife to bed and delivers a zombie baby. Zombie babies. Truck driver normal walks in on an Andre's family and shoot out occurs, and the aftermath of the survivors make plans to escape the mall and find safety elsewhere, leading to a dramatic and action packed finale Wow.

Speaker 2:

Did you all get that?

Speaker 1:

Now you don't need to watch the movie. So this movie you know. In a post 28 days later world, this was, I think, the first movie following that that I know of anyway, 28 days later is before Don of the Dead.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's 28 days later. I think came out in 2003. Yeah, so I think this is the first movie after 28 days later to have highly motivated, fast moving zombies. So these are speedy, hyperviolent, quick to go from infected to zombie status. Sometimes there are rules about how the infection works in this that are, I think, important to know if you are bitten, especially if you're bitten like on the hand or an extremity and not on the neck takes a little bit longer to be infected Because the brain is further away.

Speaker 1:

If you're bitten and killed, you come back instantly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was not slightly unbelievable, but it makes a really great.

Speaker 1:

Well, I think the way that it works is that you have to die to come back. So the infection like if you're bitten on the hand, the infection that kills you takes a long time, but the infection that turns you into a zombie is already there. So you die from the infection and then a minute or two later, you come back as a zombie.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, which is basically how Anna. What Anna wakes up to is her boyfriend or husband, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Has, has been friend, she has, she has rings, so she's either engaged or married.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm not going to ruin that, but we'll talk about more later that opening scene, because it's incredible.

Speaker 1:

What is this story without the zombies?

Speaker 2:

I don't know. You tell me. I feel like zombies are kind of necessary, or at least something apocalyptic is necessary.

Speaker 1:

You know, I do agree that for the most part this movie is about the zombies, but there's a lot more going on that are unzombie related. So if you take the zombies out, you have you have a story that shifts from being a survival horror to being a drama about a diverse group of individuals are thrown together under actual circumstances. Strangers. They come together. This is a survive in a world ending catastrophe and it's a struggle to maintain their humanity and move on in the face of insurmountable odds. Some characters fare better than others and those who don't grow die. That's a writing rule.

Speaker 2:

Those who don't grow, die yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's a that's a rule. In writing. Stasis equals death.

Speaker 2:

So how does Anna grow? I don't know. We had to debate last night whether there's any character development in this movie, and I said minimal.

Speaker 1:

You know, I think it's, I think it's not super overt. You know, like there is, there is character development. So, like you have you have. You have a character who starts off. He's just, he's just a guy that sells TVs, but he becomes a leader. Anna joins on as the medic, it's true, I don't know what her growth is, yeah, but you know what. To be fair, it's 2004 and she's a woman in the action movie. That's very true, unfortunately, she's lucky to not be topless.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean, there's lots of that later which we'll get to.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but it's not her though. No, yeah, so I think there is a story here without the zombies. It's just not a very interesting story without the zombies. The zombies definitely bring. Bring it to the table.

Speaker 2:

It could be like a wartime scenario or aliens have landed scenario.

Speaker 1:

An infectious disease scenario.

Speaker 2:

Sure, I don't know about the very end, though that wouldn't work Military coup scenario, like there could be alternate apocalyptic things happening. But I think that it really is an action oriented movie with some characters that are interesting for sure, but I don't think that that's what the movie's strength is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it could be an infectious disease scenario. If you do audio editing of, instead of zombie, moans, you just make everybody sound like they're coughing. Yeah, they're all. They all sound like Lil Jon.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I told Dan that when he made reference to ushers. Yeah, that I was just going to say it as many times as possible in this episode, so I'm waiting for you to let out an okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I wasn't ready for it, because I was just talking about infectious diseases.

Speaker 2:

But that's the point. You got to weave it in there.

Speaker 1:

Is Usher known for his infectious diseases.

Speaker 2:

I mean he makes infectious, infectious beats.

Speaker 1:

That's true.

Speaker 2:

Good old Usher. Yeah Well, I think like it's a good action movie, but you won't be surprised when I tell you later that I don't find action very interesting. But what I do find interesting is the racist misogyny and homophobia of the living dead, which is what I want to talk about next. You all know that we usually talk about the Bechtel test, the Vito Russo test and the race test. So let's start with misogyny.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, do you want to explain real quick what those tests are?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the Bechtel test I'll go with. I'll just explain each one as we go through them. The Bechtel test is a measure of the representation of women in fiction, and to pass the test, a work of fiction must meet three criteria. One it has to have at least two women in it, which you would be shocked or not about how hard that is to meet sometimes.

Speaker 1:

This one had like four or five.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. Two they have to talk to each other about something. Three, other than a man. That's it. This is like. This is the floor of feminism. This is not the ceiling, this is not the goal.

Speaker 2:

This is just like okay, it's not a fucking total shit show of sexism. So the Don't have the Dead film does pass the Bechtel test because there are several scenes where the female characters, such as Anna and the other survivors, do have conversations with each other about their survival strategies, their fears, their plans for the future, where the primary focus is not about men. However, that does not mean that this movie is not misogynistic. It's not overtly misogynistic, but, like looking at a movie that's 19 years old, I was like, wow, this is actually pretty different. It was so clearly through the male gaze. Yeah, what do you think I mean by that, dan?

Speaker 1:

Well, it was definitely made for it was a dude movie for sure. Yeah, like you know, pretty much every depiction of every female character is like a young and thin. Even the pregnant woman was pretty thin.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the only one was the woman in the nightgown who died and became a zombie.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Well, there was also Norma the truck driver, yeah, and she was not a 20-something thin person. So there was that representation and that alone.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and there wasn't any fat phobia. I don't think. I don't remember there was anything like.

Speaker 1:

There was a little bit, was there? Yeah, I forget the guy's name, the guy that's homophobic and just a total douchebag, the middle security guard, the mama bear security guard, the middle, the one in the middle Right, you got the little bear, the mama bear, the papa bear. Cj is the papa bear. The guy who is the name I can't remember is mama bear. And the other guy whose name I can't remember, who is like the trainee, he's the baby bear, but mama bear. Yeah, he was talking about how, if all of this didn't happen, if the zombies didn't come back and kill everybody, he was going to meet up with the fat chick from Dairy Queen and he was going to tap that shit for sure.

Speaker 2:

Wow, I mean, I could go on a whole rant about how men find fat people attractive, but they're afraid to admit it, and that's such a wonderful example of that.

Speaker 1:

That's ridiculous. You know there is misogyny that's written into the story Whenever they go on a mission, that's a cool action. Let's go kill zombies mission. It's just the men, it's just the boys. I kind of expect that from that era.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and Anna is the caregiver because she's the nurse, which is like a very stereotypical female role.

Speaker 1:

But I think that the other forms of misogyny are more like character flaws. So you'll have Steve who's a huge misogynist and not to be trusted.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Steve.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you've got two of the three security guards that are definitely very homophobic and misogynistic. Then you've got Baby Bear security guard, who's not overtly misogynistic, but he was checking out Anna on the security monitor as she was taking off her shirt.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, you just have to have that shit in these movies. It really was an era. The thing that stood out for me the most and we talked about this yesterday a bit was the amount of unnecessary female nudity that did not move the plot forward and was completely unnecessary. And I know it's completely unnecessary because the men in the exact same scenes were never nude right and it's very much like a male gaze kind of thing, and I don't think we see that as much anymore. I love all the male nudity that's available on TV and movies now because it feels at least a little bit more equal opportunity and it's usually done for a purpose. But this was like there was like some tits out during sex while the dude was totally fucking clothed. Yeah, he was clothed, totally clothed. There was the naked woman outside of the bus.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, in the very beginning, when Anne is like getting away from her house, there's that bus that's crashed and there's people inside being eaten alive and then there's, just like a I don't know if she's a zombie or if she's just in shock or already dead, but she's totally topless for no reason. Yeah only topless.

Speaker 2:

You know what I want. What would be actually enjoyable in this audience would be like a naked dude with his dick and balls just sling as he runs.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's the movie I would make.

Speaker 2:

That would be shocking and interesting. And then there was the very end. Where was that? Steve right the home videos on Steve's boat, where it's like you could totally have made the same story of like okay, steve is a misogynist who loves blonde models and is a narcissist and you didn't have to have a random topless scene. Yeah, and I don't really feel like we do that as much anymore. So I was kind of like what the fuck is this? A little irritating? And I remember being a young woman of like 12 and noticing these things and thinking like I guess I wasn't a woman yet, but anyways, and thinking like being really uncomfortable at these kinds of moments, and then like all the dudes around me telling me that it was just me being insecure. And over time I realized that is how oppression works. Is they blame the victim?

Speaker 2:

It's a darvo technique to deny that there's anything wrong that's happening and you attack the person who said, hey, this is kind of not okay. And then you reverse the victim and offender. You say oh, poor, poor dudes can't just look at their naked titties.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I agree Whatever they want to. Let's move on, leah to our favorite topic, racism. Love it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's just pervasive everywhere. The race test is basically similar to the Bechtel test, but it focuses on the representation of non-white characters that have passed the race test. A movie must have at least two named characters of color who talk to each other about something other than a white character. And I think like I actually Google this or not Google I chat GPT this to see what chat GPT would say. And I don't think I agree with what chat GPT said. Chat GPT says that it does not pass the race test because the conversation between the non-white characters, of which there are many, are often centered around the survival in the face of a zombie apocalypse, rather than discussing something unrelated to the white characters. But I feel like in the same breath with the Bechtel test, it was saying that they were. It was OK for women to be talking about survival in the zombie apocalypse and that would that pass, but this didn't. So, also, it's just a little muddier, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Kenneth, the police officer, and Andre the gang person. What's the proper name for a person who's in a gang?

Speaker 2:

I don't know. He steals things sometimes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, his name is Andre.

Speaker 2:

He steals things he steals.

Speaker 1:

TVs or, according to Kenneth, I don't know how Kenneth knew that, so is this also like was it was? Was this like internalized racism between Kenneth and Andre that he made the statement when Andre said how do you feel following a guy who used to sell TVs and he says about the same as I feel about following somebody used to steal them?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there is definitely this opposition of like the good black man who's the cop and the bad black man, but more. I mean, it's not like he's a overtly called bad, but he is the one that's like, steals TVs and isn't quite as ethical. And you know, yeah, he goes nuts at the end.

Speaker 1:

He does a little bit so there is some weird stuff there.

Speaker 2:

But I will also say that I was pleased to see an interracial couple in a 2004 movie and there was no like. It was just presented as completely normal, which I appreciate. I, most of my nieces and nephews, are mixed kids and I don't think there's enough representation of that.

Speaker 1:

Still, but yeah, kenneth and Andre have a conversation in the bathroom where they're talking about basically, andre is worried about going to hell now and he's asking Kenneth if he believes in hell. And Kenneth tells him that you know, he calls him out and he's like so he did a bunch of bad shit and now you're afraid of going to hell. And you know you can. You can go into the bathroom stall, say three Hail Marys and then wipe your ass, god, and then you and God can call it even.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I always feel weird about movies that like have black cops in them, because sometimes I feel like it's a weird thing around making the whole cop and police culture OK by putting a black man in that role and now that there's lots of black cops, that is not inaccurate. But there's something about it that always, like in film, makes me feel kind of cringy. I don't know.

Speaker 1:

I think the role of Kenneth is definitely an homage to the original Dawn of the Dead. Dawn of the Dead had two main cop characters and one was white and one was black and there was a little bit of of story around racism at the very beginning of that story where it's like it kind of it kind of points out that he's like he's kind of done with the police because there's just way too many racist hawkies.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I totally missed that. That's kind of cool.

Speaker 1:

Well, no, this is in the original.

Speaker 2:

The original idea is that, yeah, that's too bad that they didn't have that kind of messaging in this film.

Speaker 1:

But in the in the original the character was a former Marine turned SWAT officer, and in this version, kenneth is a former Marine police officer, and you only know that he's a former Marine because he's a Marine tattoo, which.

Speaker 2:

I would never have picked up on.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you wouldn't have seen it if you didn't see it right before. He got into a fight with a zombie and and slices arm open.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I want to say like whenever we talk about the race test or racism in general, like acknowledging we are two white people and both of us are learning as we go, so like we could have this totally wrong. We got it wrong, and if we do, please let us know because we're trying to figure it out and like also just be conscious of race and racism in film, while knowing that, like I, grew up in the whitest town ever so did you dance? So we're recovering white people.

Speaker 1:

Basically, I grew up in a town of 800 and not a single one of them even had a tan.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I can get you beat 600 over here, baby.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, did they have tans? Some did, but they were considered sort of like out there because they were Italian and went to the Catholic Church, which was like whoa, weirdos, that's so exotic, so fucking waspy. My damn was white Anglo Saxon Protestant, if you don't know the term waspy. But this brings me to my last test, which is the veto Russo test, named after the LGBTQ plus activist, veto Russo. It's a measure used to analyze the representation of rainbow characters in movies. So to pass the veto Russo test, a film must contain a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer I'm going to add a sexual into this and whose storyline or character arc is not primarily focused on their sexual orientation or gender identity and they are not solely defined by stereotypical characteristics. Dan, what do you think about this? Did this movie pass the veto Russo test? It had one. It did have one openly gay character, but what did he talk about?

Speaker 1:

being gay.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so it fails.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, he doesn't talk about much else. He does chainsaw a woman enough.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

That was a good moral. Is that a statement?

Speaker 2:

I mean, there's some weirdness in this movie that I am not really totally clear on, but I will say the fact that this one openly gay character deliberately makes a hetero presenting men uncomfortable by describing in detail the first time you felt sexual attraction for a man is pretty homophobic, because that's like Kind of loved it though.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean like it could be interpreted if there had been some clear messaging around like that their reaction was inappropriate or that like like something of that nature that took a moral stance. But it did not. It just was like a stereotype of, like straight dudes being uncomfortable around gay dudes because they're worried they might treat them the way they treat women.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I did love that scene, though Always have. The scene is CJ and Papa bear and Mama bear are in a holding cell and they can't do anything but listen to this guy. I told him to his story where he realized that he had had the homosexuality. He has the homosexuality. Yeah, that's how you say it.

Speaker 2:

No, and I will say the other thing that was kind of disturbing was the ten televangelist model that uses the F word, and I don't mean fuck, and did he? Yes, oh yes he. I was like whoa. I have not heard that word in a film setting.

Speaker 1:

Because I know Mama bear uses that word.

Speaker 2:

May. I think he does too, but I could be wrong either way, that word is used in the in the movie.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to say he didn't, but Leah says that he did. Somebody correct us, somebody, let us tell us who's right.

Speaker 2:

It's probably Dan, because I paid attention only 70% of the time of this film, but I think like this televangelist is also saying that, like same sex marriage is responsible for having hell come to earth and these zombies emerge, and again there's like no critique of that, and so I'm left wondering like were the makers of this film?

Speaker 1:

just sort of mildly, at least, I'm sure, this is something that I've I've wondered about recently within the last viewing of it, because, you know, a trademark of the Romero films is like there's always societal critique. That happens, and you know, and and in doing so they another. Another thing that Romero films always do is they he tries to show kind of like how the breakdown of society happens, and I and I think that it's possible that they could have thrown this into the movie being like this is what you would see on TV If the world ended, or it's time for it, and there's a televangelist on TV. He's going to say these things, and I believe that to be true. But we also don't see really anything else other than like there's a few scenes of like news anchors that are just like I don't know, I don't know what's going on, and but there's there's no other, like the original had like a whole whole thing about like scientists, like debating with each other and screaming at each other and like ripping each other's merkins off and stuff.

Speaker 2:

Mark yeah, they ripped their merkins off, a merkin of a vagina wig.

Speaker 1:

I couldn't think of the word to pay and I thought, okay, I don't think they had.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you want to watch this movie. We should have had the merkin be the surprise prize for that song. Oh my God, maybe next year.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, there wasn't anything else like that. It was only this one thing and there hasn't been any anything specifically from James Gunn, the writer, that confirms or denies that there that this was the messaging, the societal messaging, of the film. But I really don't think that George Romero would sign off on that Like George Romero. Night of the living dead was a critique of racism, dawn of the dead of the original was a critique of consumerism and day of the dead was a critique of like scientific thought versus the military industrial complex.

Speaker 2:

Interesting.

Speaker 1:

You know he's a forward thinking person. He was. He was 100% a hippie in 1968 and he did a lot of drugs and smoked a lot of weed. I feel like he wouldn't be like. You know who, who hasn't, who hasn't gotten the dawn of the dead treatment yet the gaze.

Speaker 2:

I would like to believe that too, but I have just seen too many cases of people who are progressive in some areas, who are deeply transphobic or homophobic.

Speaker 2:

That's true, like when I was part of a leadership fellowship program that was supposedly Democrat, like Democrat focused at. Not that I am a Democrat, but you know what I mean. Left leaning, I can't vote y'all, I'm basically just a spectator is the worst fucking spectator sport. I digress. My point is that this woman had come in to teach our class about social justice movements and literally in one breath, from talking to social justice to saying but I don't mean those trans people. That's terrible and like I'm not going to call the pronouns that they want me to call them because that's like she didn't say oppressive to me, but I kind of take effort or lost it on her, and thankfully, a lot of my peers did as well.

Speaker 2:

So I would like to believe that to George. But or not? George, I'm calling you George. Now I am George. I'm calling you calling Brandon, josh.

Speaker 1:

Zombie wean. I am now George Romero.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but like I hope so. But you remember the time like Massachusetts had only just passed same sex marriage in 2003. Pretty much no politicians would acknowledge that they were OK with same sex marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act had been passed in the 90s, not that long before the Defense of Marriage Act those who don't know for you, straight people out there who never had to worry about this. The Defense of Marriage Act was basically saying that marriage is only between a man and woman, and it's what kept someone like me from my first marriage to a woman, from actually being able to get married and legally stay in the country. So it had real disastrous effects for real people, aka me. So that's why I'm passionate about these things, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean I, you know, I don't know how much I should talk about things like this, but I will say that I owe it to my brother that I have the stance on trans rights that I do. I don't know where I would be, I mean, as long as I'm with with Leah, she probably would have educated me.

Speaker 1:

That's very kind of you to say Leah teaches me a lot that I don't think I would learn otherwise Not on my own, but because of my brother who is trans and lived with me for a very long time. You know I have a different view of it than I think I would have if that had never happened Because, like, I do think that it is kind of confusing for somebody like me who's straight and hetero and the gender that I always believed that I was, you know, to be able to put themselves in the shoes of somebody else.

Speaker 1:

Be like what if I didn't like this?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's so hard to be a white straight man. You know figuring out all this stuff. People are different from you, and that's okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm coming to terms with it.

Speaker 2:

Oh, you know, I think I do think it's like in a world where you have been the centerpiece and had so much power and I don't mean every white guy listening to this has all the power. That's not how power works. But you do have like skin privilege and male privilege specifically. I have lots of privileges to being white myself and coming from a solid white family.

Speaker 2:

I am, but like I think, at the end of the day, that I forget who said it to me. It was early in my journey of like learning about this as well because, again, like other than me being queer, I fit a lot of the boxes that are considered like the quote unquote norm in the society, so I have lots of shit to sort of work through to. But someone said to me, basically, like you don't have to understand who someone else is because, like that's impossible and never know each other that well, but you can just respect it, and I was like, yeah, I don't have to get this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I think that's that's where I came to is like, like I'm not going to fully understand my brother's experience, like and I don't have to like, I just have to accept that it is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah and like and that he's clearly happy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I will say this I don't think that my I don't understand why anybody would want to watch deeply action oriented, gore related zombie apocalypse films, but I respect that this is a classic and I may have a very different opinion about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, let's move on to survival tips. Yeah, there's probably more survival tips from this move than this, but we, we brought, we came up with a few, a couple top three yeah, number one get inside and lock the doors. You know this, this movie really like once they leave the, the, the mall. Yeah they really paint a picture of just how desolate it is and impossible to survive. It would be outside of that, and the fact that they have, like, reinforced plexiglass doors is really the only reason they're alive.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, something to do with skill, yeah, luck that they want to go to the mall. Why did they go to the mall in the first place? I forget already.

Speaker 1:

I forget his name, his name, andy, the the leader, the leader guy. No, andy is the gun store guy. Fuck Michael. Yeah, that's the one TV man, the TV, the TV salesman. You know they, their groups kind of like, clash together and you know they tell him don't go, don't go that way, there's lots of zombies. We're going this way, we're going to the mall, and that's how they decide they're going to the mall.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I thought that was a good call. To go to the mall, like if you had, if you have to leave your house for some reason, and the mall seems like a pretty reasonable place To be. If here's my, here's my criterion, though, speaking of survival tip go to the mall. If the mall is closed when the outbreak occurs, then you can go to the mall. If you have access to, I'll be the other thing because nobody's going to be there. Also, like I don't think at libraries would be great too, but a mall, especially because you have comfy beds, you got food, you got good music.

Speaker 1:

I think a school would also be a good, a good place.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there'd be some food there, but no beds.

Speaker 1:

There'd be a lot of food, like they've got a whole cafeteria and they feed thousands of children, so they'd have. They'd have a lot of food on hand if you're just a small group.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but they would only have like one cot in their office, which is just not yeah, you have to.

Speaker 1:

Arts and crafts yourself.

Speaker 2:

Lay down all the paper.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it makes sure that it makes a mess.

Speaker 2:

Oh my god, I will say this, though like it's not just getting inside along the doors when the apocalypse happens, y'all you should lock your doors, even if you live in a place like where we live, where nothing ever happens. Because I was listening to a true crime podcast because now we do that sometimes and they were telling a story of a serial killer who actually is not from Vermont but would travel to Vermont frequently and his only criteria for who he would kill he's just walk around and see whose doors fucking unlocked.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's it If their door was unlocked. He considered that an invitation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I don't remember the guy's name is, but doesn't matter. The point is is lock your doors.

Speaker 1:

Second survival tip Don't use a chainsaw inside of a moving vehicle.

Speaker 2:

Is that really like? I want to believe that that's common sense.

Speaker 1:

Well, apparently not. Also, they had a ladder. Why did they have a ladder in there? Because to get to the escape exit escape hatch in the roof so they can throw propane tanks out Right To blow up the zombies. So definitely don't use a chainsaw on the ladder inside of a moving vehicle. They were on a ladder when they were doing that?

Speaker 2:

No, but it was a combination. Also, don't stand under ladders when somebody's standing on a moving vehicle, especially the chainsaw.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a bad idea.

Speaker 2:

How did they get that chainsaw from?

Speaker 1:

Probably the hardware store in the mall there was a hardware store. They had welders, they had steel and building materials and paint and chainsaws and all kinds of stuff.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I have another survival tip Always have a second exit, no matter where you are.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Because Anna would not have survived if it wasn't for that window in the bathroom that she escaped through. You always have to have a second and figure out make sure your window is big enough that you can get out of it, because that was a small window.

Speaker 1:

Also, if something happens that you could never conceive of like your, like your fiance dying and then returning a minute later as a zombie, while a zombie child that used to be a kid that you used to rollerblade with you know, have have the clear thought process to grab your car keys before running into the bathroom.

Speaker 2:

That wasn't impressive. I was like I don't know that anybody in a panic with a zombie coming out you would know to do that. Yeah, it wasn't even like a muscle reflex, Like no, she looked at it and she looked at it and she's like I need those keys.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, If you know, if she didn't grab those keys, there wouldn't have been any movie for her.

Speaker 2:

If she just locked the door so that the zombie child couldn't just wander fucking inside, they would have been able to hang out Her boyfriend, fiance, but guy would be alive.

Speaker 1:

They didn't lock their door and they also didn't close their bedroom door.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean we don't always close their bedroom door.

Speaker 1:

We usually do because you're afraid of vampires.

Speaker 2:

That's true. I do keep my covers all the way up to the top of my neck. It's a childhood thing.

Speaker 1:

We. We woke me up in the middle of the night once and said there's a dark figure standing at the door, can you close the door? And yeah, I'll always remember that.

Speaker 2:

Was there a dark figure? No, not that I could see, but I could.

Speaker 1:

So you know those. Those were additional survival tips. Our third real survival tip that we wrote down was don't trust a Steve, including doing simple things like opening a door or keeping a door open. I don't know Steve will leave.

Speaker 2:

That's a great rhyme to remember. Steve will leave, steve will leave. My biological father's name was Steve, oh my God, and he definitely leave.

Speaker 1:

He left.

Speaker 2:

He left.

Speaker 1:

Steve left.

Speaker 2:

Steve's, Steve's leave.

Speaker 1:

You know I can. I can say for sure, of all the Steve's that have been my biological father's, 100 percent of them have been unreliable people.

Speaker 2:

You know, my favorite Stephen is a not spelled, the typical Stephen, so I think that he's exempt from the survival tip.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this is STEVE, so if you do it with a pH, you're okay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, nna also is okay, but you know, I think this is really Steve. Because I wonder, you know, in 20 years we'll look back at this episode and we'll think, wow, we really, we were really derogatory towards the Steve's of the world and that was not kind.

Speaker 1:

Well, you know what? Maybe they need to make a new zombie movie that has a Steve. That's not a total piece of shit.

Speaker 2:

I guess that's a start. I'm just saying we're doing our own form of budge. This is how Stereotyping and Discrimination starts.

Speaker 1:

Leah. What are the best parts of this movie?

Speaker 2:

Oh well, I'm going to do a slide out of order of our list. Here's Sarah fucking Pauly. Okay, yeah, sarah Pauly is Canadian and she was the star of a show called Road to Avonlea. Please let me know if you've watched this show, because it's very Canadian. And if anybody listens, watches this show, I will send you a surprise in the mail. I don't know what it will be it might be a merkin, but I or something, because I fucking love that show as a kid and Sarah Pauly, again, was the main character. So at first I was like who is this person? I couldn't, couldn't pinpoint her. I was like this is an Ooma Thurman, but it looks like Ooma Thurman, I know her face. And then I realized it was Sarah fucking Pauly, who is a brilliant actor and director, and that made me more interested in the film that I think I would have been without Sarah, and specifically Sarah as Anna in the opening sequence, which was fucking amazing. I think it's probably one of the best opening sequences of a zombie film.

Speaker 1:

I was paying attention. Number one, best part yeah, you were paying attention right at the very beginning.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and right at the end. Thank you, I appreciate your applause, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I think I think almost anyone would agree that the absolute best part of this movie is the opening sequence, Like the depiction of how society falls apart and just the the absolute chaos of it, Like nothing had been done on that scale before. And one thing that everybody loves is seeing how a zombie apocalypse tears apart society. That's almost exclusively everyone's favorite part. In fact, I recently read a subreddit about people bitching about movies where it picks up like a month after society has collapsed and there's already zombies and the person who's the main character has like amnesia or was in a coma and they're like I'm tired of this. I want to see. I want to see it start. I want to see the beginning. And you know, like World War Z is the same thing. Best part of World War Z was the very beginning. Yeah, but when I first watched this I was not a fan of like country music or folk music.

Speaker 2:

Wow, I didn't know where this is. This is interesting. Where is this?

Speaker 1:

going and the intro sequence has Johnny Cash. Oh, when the man comes around and it, it's a great song. It really changed my mind about Johnny Cash, because I did not like Johnny Cash. I didn't like it.

Speaker 2:

I don't like New Country, but Johnny Cash, come on.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, I didn't have an appreciation for it. That would have been like the first Johnny Cash song I ever heard.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay.

Speaker 1:

You know the man in black and it is such a perfect fit because it just, it just gives you this dread feeling of like with all the imagery that's happening in the opening title credits with that song. It's like this is very, very out of place and upsetting.

Speaker 2:

I haven't noticed the music, but that's a really good point. I just liked how swiftly it went from her sleeping in bed with her husband, boyfriend, fiance, to a little girl being a zombie eating her husband, boyfriend, fiance, and then her having to escape through a window and get in the car Like it was so fast, and then I thought, okay, this is going to be good. And also there was like some foreshadowing in the hospital scene at the very very beginning I actually thought there would be like more of some kind of connection to that foreshadowing.

Speaker 2:

I think that's kind of a missed opportunity.

Speaker 1:

But what do I know. There's like some news bulletins that pop up on the radio and on the TV. When she gets home that like she misses because she's not paying attention. Like the radio broadcast they're talking about like outbreaks of, like people going crazy, she changes the radio station, not paying attention. She's like where's the good music?

Speaker 2:

That's another tip. Listen, I mean just spend five minutes listening to the news.

Speaker 1:

That's all you need.

Speaker 2:

You don't need to like listen to it all day, but keep yourself five minutes and listen to a few different sort, maybe, okay.

Speaker 1:

Stay off the 24 hour networks.

Speaker 2:

Good God.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. They're just for entertainment at this point. Number three best thing about this movie is the sheer number of zombies Like they really paint a picture of. Like this isn't like five zombies standing outside of Starbucks being like let us in, we want to eat your face. No, there are like a thousand zombies in that parking lot.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they had a big zombie budget.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and also, like on that note, like I remember seeing like the behind the scenes on the DVD that I owned way back in the day with the extra scenes and all the stuff, is that they because everything's practical effects one thing that they did is they hired every actor they could that had like an amputation or some type of really yeah, some type of like a deformity that would keep them from being on screen. You know, like people that normally aren't asked to be in movies. Yeah, they called them up because they're like we got a. We got a movie for you.

Speaker 2:

We want you to be breaks my heart. Yeah, we need more representation of people, disabled people. Actually there should be like. I wonder if there is a test, like for disabled people.

Speaker 1:

Anyways, they wanted. They wanted people that had missing limbs, so that all they had to do was just attach some, some like fleshy looking stuff. Yeah, looks like they got their army.

Speaker 2:

I mean it was the zombies were very convincing looking and it definitely painted the scene of like you're fucked, yeah, you're leaving. This wall is a really bad idea, which they eventually do. And I've got to say like, given some of my lack of attention span in the middle parts, the very end was also excellent. I had this like Blair Witch vibe, where they you know they do actually escape, which is miraculous. They get to the boat. Anna's love interest is bit, so he stays behind and there's like a half a moment of something there, but it wasn't really that.

Speaker 1:

Well, you missed the other half moments of something to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I'm just because you were paying attention. Strings A little bit, yeah, a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they had a moment when they were building the zombie buses, where, where he was showing Sarah Polly the ingenious thing that he came up with the chainsaw portholes and he says he says, here, I want to show you something. I've been working on this all day and he shows it and he's like he puts the chainsaw and he's like cool huh. And she's like that's possibly the most romantic thing anybody's ever shown me. Wow, being sarcastic, of course. But then they have a moment where he's like yeah, well, you know, I'm trying.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay, and it's like and it's.

Speaker 1:

It is very subtle, but it does show that like they're, they are having these moments and they never really fully like get together and that maybe the tragic part is that like they don't hook up, they don't bang, they don't take their tops off and make movies and yeah, the only sex was just like random.

Speaker 2:

Steve, it was just Steve, steve, I appreciate that there was sex in the apocalypse.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Because I think that would be. If you're stuck in a mall and a zombie apocalypse, banging is one way to pass the time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but uh, but yeah, there was something there. So, like it does, it does leave that that space for Michael at the end to be like kind of like a tragic sacrifice.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean that was sad, but I've got to say like that, at the beginning of the end it's a great song, by the way at the beginning of the end there's like a moment of hope, even though he is the sacrificial lamb and that you know that trauma bond, love, relationship is quashed. I think like, oh, they're in the boat, they're going to be okay. But then that's when the credits come in and like, honestly, the credit moments where it had this Blair witch vibe of finding Steve's camera and then recording over it and they're like desperate, they're running out of food, they're running out of water. They finally see an island. It looks empty. Then they get off the boat and they are fucking eaten real fast. Nobody survives and I appreciate that because I know that's very realistic.

Speaker 1:

And also the only warning that you have is that it sounds like a stampede. You just hear. You just hear the footsteps and I love that. That is definitely one of the best endings to a zombie movie, because Romero movies always end like the characters, the few characters that survive they escape in the helicopter or whatever the fuck and they just fly off into the sunset and you just kind of use your imagination as to what happens.

Speaker 2:

I like it when everybody dies at the beginning.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and this is like oh, you want a happy ending, no, no sequel for you. And it's interesting that you mentioned the found footage aspect of the title credits because, like I mentioned in the intro to this episode, this movie definitely paved way for three George Romero sequels to his original zombie movies 2004,. Donna does not cannon in the Dawn of the Dead universe. But he made three more movies after a total of six, and one of them was a found footage movie called Diary of the Dead.

Speaker 2:

That sounds really interesting. I'd like to see that.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to admit here.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to admit right now and right here that I only got into zombies Probably. I mean I did enjoy. 28 days later I did enjoy World War Z, which I think came Zed God, I think that came up for Walking Dead, right, dan?

Speaker 1:

No, no, two years after.

Speaker 2:

OK, well, either way, walking Dead was really when I like found my love of zombies and I feel a little ashamed of that and like worried I got kicked out of the book club, that I have never watched a single George Romero movie. Please forgive me, I'm working on it. Ok, I have a literal podcast, so we're going to get to it.

Speaker 1:

Leah has a hard time with old movies. I do because my attention span and this in this movie might have been just barely too old for Leah to enjoy.

Speaker 2:

It's, it's real, you know. In fact, before we get into the worst parts of the movie, let's do the new segment we're going to have, which is Leah's attention span test, and I'd have to give it a. Well, I said 70 percent, I paid attention for 70 percent. What grade is that in school in America?

Speaker 1:

The legacy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I give it a solid C. Like I did pay attention some of the time but I got easily distracted because it was just like too much, too much action. That was mostly not scary and for me that's kind of like watching sports, which I also don't like because I think my brain just sees like colors and lights moving around and it just stops processing and then gets bored.

Speaker 1:

I think that you deserve a much lower score for your attention span, because I was sitting next to you and, in some cases, behind you, and you know you were. It was I was texting people. Yeah, there was a time where I was trying to time how long you would pay attention to something and it was like 30 seconds when you'd put your.

Speaker 1:

You would literally put your phone down on the coffee table like I'm not going to look at my phone anymore and then I'm like, ok, clock starts now and 30 seconds later you picked it up again and started texting your friend, you know. And on your attention span test, I understand what you mean. That like, if something doesn't, doesn't maintain your focus, then that is a critique of what it is. However, I feel that there's a lot of things that if you're, if you're not paying attention, you're, you're not giving it a chance to keep your focus. I know that's hard for you because you have ADHD.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

I, on the other hand, I must have a different ADHD because, like, like, I turn the world off and the movie is the only thing that I'm experienced.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you hyper focus on on film, and that does happen to me sometimes if, for whatever reason, I find it really compelling and I don't know the magic sauces. But I think this is the moment where I was like, yeah, action, like action. If it's primarily action and gore, which this movie was, it's not going to hold my attention because it's like asking me to watch football or hockey. There's just like, literally, lights and colors moving.

Speaker 1:

But what's interesting, though, is that you only see the, the action in gore, because you're not paying attention to the subtleties that you wouldn't if you, if you were paying attention. So it's double edged sword.

Speaker 2:

It is, but I'm OK with it. Remember that one time I was really high and I was were you watching the walking dead? Yes, and I was like holy fucking shit, like I could. All of the lighting was really incredible, the dialogue was incredibly acting, what just seemed unbelievable. I was riveted and I just looked at Dan and I was like, is this how you experience Experience TV in movies? Because it's my first time and it was like amazing. Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen when I'm high. Most of the time I get really overwhelmed and can't follow anything. Yeah, I'm trying to watch.

Speaker 1:

And then you said can we watch that episode again?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was so good, I want to watch it again, sober and see how I feel about it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but, but wrapping up my attention span test, I guess I will say for me it was like watching the first season of the reality show Survivor or RuPaul's Drag Race, like in their moment and in this moment. I'm sure it was a groundbreaking film. It made a headway for a lot of others to have to come, but it's just not the. I mean, I think you have to give me this it's not the quality of zombie storytelling that we are getting today. Like it is not last of us comparable. It's just not. No, it's not the last of us comparable.

Speaker 1:

That's a hard thing to compare something to, but that's where we're at now.

Speaker 2:

That's true. Like Black Summer, is not Black Summer comparable either?

Speaker 1:

But you also have to consider that so few zombie movies actually do even reach the bar, I'd say. I'd say that this is definitely above the bar for even even at modern standards. But like I've watched so many really fucking bad movies, why do you suffer like?

Speaker 2:

that.

Speaker 1:

Because I love zombie movies and I want them to be good, so I give them a chance. So Zack Snyder, who directed this movie not too many years ago, directed his sequel to this movie called Army of the Dead. It's fucking terrible. I won't even watch it. I mean, I will if we do an episode on it, but I've just heard a lot of really bad things about it and it's like it's like all the things, all the things that Zack Snyder did great in Dawn of the Dead because he was the director. Like all of the moving action forward stuff. Great. The writing is not there because James Gunn didn't write it. Oh, that's unfortunate.

Speaker 2:

I mean I'm willing to watch really if it's like it can't be. It can't be mediocre, bad. It has to be really bad, as in it's so bad it's entertaining to me.

Speaker 1:

I will say that it is. It is basic by today's standards.

Speaker 2:

I don't think it's bad, but you know, I'm saying it's like mediocre, and then that's just not really interesting.

Speaker 1:

I wouldn't say it's mediocre.

Speaker 2:

But it's not going to get canceled.

Speaker 1:

It's not incredible by today's yeah it's not the it's not the last of us.

Speaker 2:

So, on that note, there are two parts that we said were the worst parts.

Speaker 1:

Oh OK. And I'm going to get to the last best part. We didn't know, we didn't talk about the zombie, baby, yeah, the zombie baby.

Speaker 2:

Ok, you got to tell this story because it really was a good part. I was riveted for this entire scene, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So Andre, the character played by Mackay Pfeiffer, has a subplot with his wife, luda, who's pregnant, and you know he talks with Kenneth and his whole redemption story is that like sure, he did a lot of bad shit before, but he feels like he is still on this planet to do one thing and that's to bring this child into this world, and you feel for him in that moment. But the thing is is that Luda, right at the beginning of the movie, gets bitten and hides it. They both of them know about it and they hide it. They didn't know that the bites transmitted the disease and she only had a little bite, it was only a little tiny scratch.

Speaker 2:

It wasn't even a bite, it looked like a scratch. I don't think. Well, I guess it was his mouth that was going for her arm, so, but it was truly a very. It looked like a paper cut, but a long paper cut, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean it looked like a, like a, it looked like a slash. You know it looked like it was done by like maybe a fingernail or a tooth, something jagged. But yeah, it was enough to infect her. But she, she died slowly because of it. And Andre doesn't take it well and he starts withdrawing from the group. You know, you don't see him like interacting with other people. He's just like kind of off on his own and you know, people are, you know, asking about him, like how's, how's the wife doing, how's the baby?

Speaker 1:

And he's like they're fine, they're fine and he's just like he's just looking for, like you know, some lemon flavor shit to bring back to Luda to make her happy, and you don't really see anything going on. But what's going on is he has, snm style, strapped her to the bed.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I don't think it was for good times, like.

Speaker 1:

I said it might be. This was precautionary because he knew she was going to die, become a zombie child. He learned that, that she is infected and she will come back from the dead, but he wants to deliver that fucking baby, hoping that baby will be not a zombie.

Speaker 2:

I'm not even sure if he considered that it could be a zombie.

Speaker 1:

I don't think he considered, I don't think he was in the right frame of mind to consider anything.

Speaker 2:

That's true. There's is the true, tragic love story that was so sad.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think he was like you know what? My wife is a zombie now and we are going to have to get past this. We're going to have to learn to come together as a family and raise this fucking zombie baby.

Speaker 2:

I don't remember because I was paying attention, but I remember this is my other ADHD wonderful trade his lack of memory. Did he pull the baby out or did he like seeception her because she was dead?

Speaker 1:

She delivered it. She died and then, as a zombie, she delivered it. Yeah. And then she shot a bunch of blood and shit out of her vagina and squeeze that baby out.

Speaker 2:

But didn't he shoot her before they came out?

Speaker 1:

No, so he she delivered the baby and he was holding the baby and she is still a zombie in the bed. Norma the truck driver comes in to check on him because you know he told Sarah Pauli he doesn't want Sarah Pauli to come by and check on. She's doing fine.

Speaker 2:

Which is wild. That's obviously a sign something's all right. You don't want the nurse to come.

Speaker 1:

And so Norma comes by to drop off some stuff, she sees a zombie wife strapped to a bed and Andres holding some kind of thing in his arms and she's like, oh my God, that's a zombie. She pulls out her gun and Andres like are you trying to kill family? And then they blow each other away, they shoot out and occurs the zombies get dead, and then they all discover that he has a zombie baby.

Speaker 2:

A zombie baby, zombie baby.

Speaker 1:

And and they, they have to shoot it in the face, which I kind of wish they showed that part. That's awful. You know, what's not great about that scene was the PlayStation 2 era visual effects of the zombie baby.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it wasn't a very convincing. I was the same level of convincing as the Goosh zombie baby. Yeah, the prize for zombie, you look like. Goosh. It did just a much smaller Goosh yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean imagine. Imagine, though, if it was a four foot tall Goosh.

Speaker 2:

What I really want to know, though, is like would that baby have been able to just full on chew on people, or would it only need like blood, kind of like a vampire in the beginning and out of a bottle?

Speaker 1:

I think it would have to be bottle fed because it didn't have any teeth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but in the girl of the gifts they chewed their way out.

Speaker 1:

They grew teeth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but this baby, we don't know if they did a teeth All the gifts.

Speaker 1:

They inside the womb. They grew teeth and then they ate their way out.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I just forget that babies don't have teeth when they're born. Babies are fucking weird. Anyways, they are. I don't know how the hell we get from that to being fully fledged adults. Yeah, we're basically just toddlers and adult bodies, but it's making a baby teeth.

Speaker 1:

You know, what I think is super weird is that we lose all of our teeth once and then, when they grow back, we don't get any more.

Speaker 2:

It's true.

Speaker 1:

What decides that? It's like oh, that tooth is gone, let's make a new one, but no more.

Speaker 2:

Well, they don't make a new one. Have you seen an x-ray of a child's mouth before? Oh my God, it is way more terrifying than the zombie in Dawn of the Dead.

Speaker 1:

If you can actually see.

Speaker 2:

So they had their teeth that are out, and then you see all the teeth that are above their teeth waiting to come down. It's gross. Google it. Honestly, it's fucking terrifying. Bodies are so weird. Why do we have to beat? Can we do something else? The worst parts Dan does not want to go down this rabbit hole of me talking about being a ghost, okay.

Speaker 1:

You know, one of the worst parts is something that, like I think for the time this wasn't a super common thing, but it's something that I talk about a lot when I'm talking about books that I read and things, which is the zombie power fantasy. At the very beginning of the movie they do a really good job of making these characters absolutely helpless. Even with guns and training the police officer person and military people can't really hold their own to these zombies. They are a nightmare to deal with. But towards the end of the movie it becomes a power fantasy where they are now just like wholesale slaughtering zombies, headshots across the board. Yeah, they're pros.

Speaker 2:

Pro zombie killers.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they somehow went from never firing a gun in their life to headshots every time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they didn't even get like a zombie training camp, like zombie verse.

Speaker 1:

They were just suddenly really good. Yeah, and like it does take a lot of that fear aspect away that's something that movies like Night Eats the World did super well is that he never became proficient at killing zombies. It wasn't until the third act of that movie that he even tried to kill a zombie.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that is true, because the night the world is way scarier to me than Dawn of the Dead and like. One example of a power fantasy is Sarah Pauley as Anna basically being first of all like one being. I guess maybe that's plot armor. Sorry to interrupt my own. I'm interrupting my own dialogue here, but my point being is like she's immediately able to figure out how to get her keys and get out, and then she is able to like swiftly kill zombies, like when that woman that she's trying to treat becomes a zombie, she just like immediately stab. What did she even stab her with?

Speaker 1:

Like a fire poker.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she just like has a fire poker at hand and like doesn't even flip. They're in like a bed, bath and beyond kind of place.

Speaker 1:

So I understand. I understand why they would have a fire poker nearby.

Speaker 2:

I have never seen a fire poker at a bed bath and beyond.

Speaker 1:

Well, this is a different, a different brand, some other kind is sure.

Speaker 1:

But like I don't think that the first time you kill someone you're going to be that proficient and also that untraumatized, yeah, I think that scene could have been a lot better if, instead of Anna immediately just going for the eye socket Like, instead, like you know, go for the fire poker. That's okay, but but it would have made more sense if she went for a torso shot because she had no time to react and if it instead turned into a wrestling match where there's a zombie like trying to claw her face off and the only the only thing she could do is stab it through the stomach or something and somebody else had to come by and clobber it in the head to finish it off. That would have been a much more interesting scene.

Speaker 2:

It would have felt very realistic and way more scary.

Speaker 1:

You know I'm going to add a scene to our worst parts, okay, which I always forget about. And when they first get to the mall, michael and Andre split up to clear out the mall. First of all, dumb idea. Second of all, michael goes into a sporting goods store and he is armed with a pry bar.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, you got really upset in the middle of this happened. I remember you saying it.

Speaker 1:

Which I would say a pry bar, is a fantastic clobbering weapon. It has multiple purposes. You can open doors with it, you can smash zombie skulls with it, you can break windows with it. You can do all kinds of things. It's a multi-tool.

Speaker 2:

Multi-tool for the apocalypse yeah multi-tool for the apocalypse.

Speaker 1:

That's going to be one of my books and he puts it down and picks up a fucking croquet mallet Stupid.

Speaker 2:

Shame on him.

Speaker 1:

Who would think that's a good idea. Shame on him. I could understand if he picked up a baseball bat or a hockey stick Something that makes a little bit more sense but a croquet mallet is the absolute worst weapon. I would rather have my bare hands than a croquet mallet. And you know what? At least they realistically showed what would happen if you went up against a zombie with a croquet mallet, which is? The zombie clobbered his ass and broke the croquet mallet in half, which he then had to stab up through the roof of his mouth into the brain to kill him.

Speaker 2:

Which is also a good survival tip. Stab through the soft palate. Yeah, soft palate. That makes sense. But yeah, I think that's fair. I don't think I would have even picked up on that happening if it wasn't for you. So this leads me to my most important question of the episode how many zeds?

Speaker 1:

Oh, I always hate this part.

Speaker 2:

Nobody's going to be surprised by my answer.

Speaker 1:

You know what I do acknowledge that it's dated, it has some problematic messaging and it's not the greatest character development for a zombie film, and there are things now that are much better. But also I feel like it definitely paved the way for all the things that we have now, and without it we couldn't have it, have those things, we couldn't have World War Z, we couldn't have the walking dead, we couldn't have the last of us. But nobody who puts money into movies would have said yes to any of those things if it weren't for the commercial success of this movie and for the time. It definitely was a fantastic movie and I'd still say it's a fantastic movie I'm going to give it eight zeds.

Speaker 2:

Eight zeds, I mean that was a good justification. My only comparison is just think about that very soft focus version of season one of RuPaul's Drag Race, which is fucking terrible lighting and it paved the way for everything else. I don't understand why you hold it in high honor, but I'm solidly going to give it a seven, seven zeds for me, and that's just because it was a C for my attention span. I mean, according to you I should give it less zeds.

Speaker 1:

No, I'm separately ranking your attention span. You got an F for attention span.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'll give it a solid seven. It was no 90th the world, it was no girl with all the gifts, but it was interesting.

Speaker 1:

Girl with all the gifts was fantastic.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yeah, those two were, I think, probably my favorite things that I've watched this year that are zombie related.

Speaker 1:

Oh, but there's. There's so many Train to Busan.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Busan's great to hashtag alive, yeah, zombie first, the best one of them all.

Speaker 2:

No, but I want to have something else just to finish up for our little chat today, which is the other thing that I think is going to get high marks, at least for me. I think we're going to have different opinions on this one but your zombie homework to get ready for episode 25, which is actually coming out on Christmas Eve. So if you're somebody who doesn't celebrate, On the 24th.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, excellent, december 24th, you can listen to this and a bah humbug, if you do celebrate Christmas, I still think you should listen. It's going to. I'm sure it's going to be.

Speaker 1:

You should sit the whole family around the iPhone, the glow of the iPhone. You should just sit grandma down, get all your aunts and uncles and everybody just sit silently around the glow of the iPhone and listen to episode 25 about Glazar. That has nothing to do with Christmas, but I guess there's some like biblical, biblical ties. Yeah, I like the names and it's an arc.

Speaker 2:

I feel like everybody should have to read at least one Octavia Butler book. If they're serious about the apocalypse, yeah. And if anybody is not serious about the impending apocalypse, what the fuck are you?

Speaker 1:

deluded. So just have them sit around your phone for seven and a half hours while you listen to the audience or you would just listen to us talk about it, which would be maybe an hour and 15 minutes.

Speaker 2:

But just as a reminder, it's an extraterrestrial zombie story. It's actually the third book in a series, but you can read it on its own. The series is actually like set in, like she writes them in different years, not even in the order it's recommended to read them and I'm three chapters in and fucking hooked. From the very first line I was like what the hell is going on. But I will say it's a different kind of zombie and a different kind of zombie story than you might be used to, but I think it's fucking excellent so far.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm two thirds of the way through. I'm not going to say anything.

Speaker 2:

Oh, leaving it up for system suspense OK.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know, it does make me want to read other Octavia Butler books.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean we have to give Parable the. So or is attention at some point?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Don't forget guys to subscribe and rate and review so I never have to go back to work. Make us a podcast success. We'll sell you all kinds of Casper mattresses and shit.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, surprise Markin. Hey, don't forget. If you've watched Road to Avon, lee, yeah, and you know the character and you can describe the character Jasper to me. I will send you a Markin or some other fun thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, we'll send you a subscription to Markin Box.

Speaker 2:

I should say the first person, just in case there's, like some secret, every correlation between Road to Avon Lee viewers and this podcast. The first person gets a press.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Markin Box. They send you a Markin every month and also a lot of Markin paraphernalia like t-shirts.

Speaker 2:

Is there any Markin related use during the apocalypse?

Speaker 1:

To keep your genitals warm.

Speaker 2:

That's true.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know. If you get cold genitals during the apocalypse, put on a Markin.

Speaker 2:

I should have a backup, markin.

Speaker 1:

We do live in a cold climate. You never know, and there might be like a zombie virus that makes all of your pubic hair fall out.

Speaker 2:

Sorry, I was not expecting that Well y'all. Thanks for listening. Follow us on Instagram and threads Subscribe. Give us a five star review. If you are rating, If you hate us and if you love us, please give us an actual review. There's a link tree down in the description. Also, don't forget to go and show some love for Joshua Grantz film the husk in his fundraiser campaign, and we will see y'all another time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, have fun guys.

Speaker 2:

Bye everybody.

Speaker 1:

Bye, don't give it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, ok, we'll be back in a couple minutes for ya.

Discussion on "Dawn of the Dead" Movie
Zombie Ween Game Show Drama
Bechtel Test and Misogyny in Film
Themes of Racism and LGBTQ+ Representation
Survival Tips and Zombie Movie Highlights
Discussion on a Zombie Movie
Discussing Zombies and Attention Spans
Subplot and Zombie Baby in Dawn
Zombies, RuPaul, and Octavia Butler