This week I’m having a look at some of my favorite zombie hunters and killers.
When we think of Dawn of the Dead we think a lot about the long wait and the survivors holding up in the mall but the real action was all happening in the outbreak stage early in the movie. The early scenes say the most about Romero’s reflections on our culture and how zombies fit into that world view.
One aspect of that reaction to the outbreak was of course the news and media coverage which we had seen in Night of the Living Dead; since our culture is so engrossed with TV our reaction to emergencies is to head to the old boob tube and await further instructions. In Dawn we get right into the TV studio with the “experts” as they dicker about what’s going to happen and debate the moral ambiguity of how people react to the dead walking.
We first meet Peter in a more practical setting as he’s doing a sweep and clear of a tenement building where we see for ourselves what people are really dealing with as opposed to listening to a group of academics dicker over what the rest of us should be feeling and doing. Right away we see Peter has the training and the skills to deal with what’s going on around him. For the first time we see someone who isn’t just a hapless everyman but a trained professional with the weapons and support to get through anything. Through the course of the film though we see how all of this weighs on him and eventually wears him down to the point of wanting to end it all. Fortunately for us, and for him, he comes to his senses, picks himself up by his bootstraps and throws himself back into the fray just in the nick of time.