By Kim Paffenroth
Winner of the silver medal in pop culture for the 2006 ForeWord booklet of the yr Awards. This quantity connects American social and non secular perspectives with the vintage American motion picture style of the zombie horror movie. for almost 40 years, the movies of George A. Romero have awarded audience with hellish visions of our international overrun by means of flesh-eating ghouls. This examine proves that Romero's movies, like apocalyptic literature or Dante's Commedia, transcend the outside adventure of repulsion to probe deeper questions of human nature and function, usually giving a chilling and darkly funny critique of contemporary, secular the US.
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Additional info for Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's Visions of Hell on Earth
55 It is a vision at which any sane person should cringe, but let us not be too quick to dismiss the contemplation of death as an essential part of religious thought and maturity. Two of the antidotes most commonly prescribed for these human problems of death and meaninglessness are the exercise of human reason—a natural, human solution, if you will, even if one acknowledges that reason is a gift from God; and the acceptance of faith—a supernatural solution given by and oriented towards God. Since the eighteenth century, these two have often been perceived as competitors or enemies, with many in the modern, western world preferring the solution of human reason to divine revelation and faith.
6 The film’s success, however, has not only been commercial, but also critical. Reviewers began to recognize that the film did not just shock and disgust, but that it disturbed and perplexed viewers, and demanded more of them at some deeper, more thoughtful, and more introspective level. ”7 Critics would also subject the film to detailed and scholarly analysis. S. 9 No false modesty from the fledgling director Romero; I think any viewer will have to admit that his premonition of how meaningful and influential his work would be proved entirely justified.
In the opening sequence, Johnny mocks his sister for her praying. 56 Later, as the survivors watch the television, a doctor offers a similar dismissal of religion in his advice for how to dispose of dead bodies: “The bereaved will have to forego the dubious comforts that a funeral service will give. ” Again, religion is dismissed by a hard-nosed rationalist as foolish, irrational, counterproductive superstition and sentimentality. Reason alone can save the day. But as with the official pronouncements that zombies are “misshapen monsters” and “assassins,” this description of them as “just dead flesh” is also not accurate.