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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

MLM: Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead 

Day of the Dead begins when the end of the world has already come and gone. No longer are we on the verge of civilization’s collapse, getting a good long look at what awaits us over the cliff’s edge as we did in Dawn; it’s all said and done now. What was last night’s great big party has become this morning’s hangover, and it’s a doozy.

Day is claustrophobic. It traps us in a bunker with a small group of scientists and the soldiers meant to protect them, placed there to seek a solution to the zombie problem by a government that likely no longer exists. The desperation and close quarters has not been kind to their sanity, and inevitable factionalism results. Dr. Logan, the head scientist, wiles away his time studying the physiology of the undead and conditioning his favorite pet zombie, “Bub,” in the mannerisms of the living. Captain Rhodes, de facto leader of the soldiers, is interested only in enforcing draconian order. Why? We can hardly say, and neither can anyone in that bunker – everyone seems perpetually on the edge of admitting that their mission is lost. Their survival instinct prevents them from going over.

The dissolution happens about as you’d imagine, and the legions of dead on the ground above finally get inside the bunker. Even the handful of protagonists who escape at the end – via helicopter, of course, just like our protagonists at the beginning of Dawn – have no idea what they’re escaping to. The tone of the escape is oddly optimistic, but we know better. A world choked with the hungry dead means there is no escape, only a change in scenery. Same shit, different pile.

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