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Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's…

Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's Visions of Hell on Earth

by Kim Paffenroth

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And you thought all those movies were just about zombies!

Paffenroth, a professor at Iona College, looks deeply into Romero films (including the non-Romero remake of Dawn of the Dead) and gives a theological perspective, using Dante as a conversation partner.

Paffenroth discusses the complex ways Romero handles race, gender and basic relationships between human beings. For example, one of the protaganists of Night of the Living Dead is African-American, but at no point in the film is race made an issue, even when this character is in conflict with other characters in the movie.

Paffenroth also hands out tidbits of information for casual viewers of the movies (Night, for instance, was shot in black and white because the director could not afford color...that is also why Dawn takes place in a mall.)

Paffenroth gives plenty of time to the two films I thought weakest in Romero's ouvre, Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead. He gave me some new insights into both films, and while I still think Day was a major disappointment, based on Paffenroth's work, I am willing to give Land a second chance. Surprisingly, Paffenroth takes on the remake of Dawn of the Dead, and does it justice, I believe. ( )
1 vote Arctic-Stranger | Jan 10, 2008 |
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Romero's first zombie movie is one of the greatest success stories of film history.
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"For nearly forty years the zombie films of George A. Romero have presented viewers with hellish visions of our world overrun by flesh-eating ghouls. This rigorous but entertaining study shows how these films use Christian imagery from the Bible and Dante to probe deeper questions of human nature and purpose, while also giving a chilling and darkly humorous critique of modern, secular America that should be heeded by Christian and humanist alike."--Jacket.

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