Saturday, September 26

Your Favorite On-Screen Undead Sequence?

Softly stealing content from BoGD's next of kin, HorrorTalk, I pondered this no-frills question recently brought up on their forum. It's a tough call. So many grand scenes of carnage run throughout our beloved albeit rotting subgenre. I'd have to say I especially admire the conclusion of Fulci's classic Zombie (1979). Which is strange to say since I literally fucking hated il maestro's answer to Romero's Dawn upon my first experience. I saw it only as a quickie cash-in and an unauthorized sequel to George's second shambler coming. Though my appreciation has grown immensely over the years with many repeat visits. Zombie undeniably has its own identity and fantastic attributes that makes it just as much of a classic as Dawn but on different grounds.

Its ending is simply awesome. After the bang of the fiery zombie hunt rumble, we find our three survivors making the trek across the seas back to civilization. Poor Al Cliver is fading fast after a bite and is locked in the cabin below upon his death. As West and Anne make the decision to head back to New York, a radio newsflash tells of a widespread invasion. The two look each other in disbelief as the "reawakened" Cliver is heard groaning and banging on the door with the handle jiggling. Fulci's camera slowly pulling back. Then we see close-ups of zombies stumbling down the Brooklyn Bridge's center walkway in a bit of completely unapproved by the city shooting. The newscaster screams as the zombies invade the station and the credits begin to roll over a long shot of the undead-riddled walkway to Frizzi's thumping theme.

Like I said, its simplicity is awesome. I'd say it trumps Dawn's conclusion in respect it doesn't present any "forced" drama like having one of the character's strangely ponder suicide only to abruptly kick a tight roomful of zombie ass (to goofy hero tuneage) to make an escape. Yea, never cared for that awkward bit. Certainly one of Fulci's most chilling wrap-ups and a great example of giving the audience's brains something to chew on as the lights fade up in the theater.


Cory said...

Zombie would also get my vote in this for the underwater scene of zombie vs. shark. It still enthralls me to this day and everytime I watch it, I'm just hypnotized. If redone today, that whole sequence would rely heavily on obvious looking CGI, robbing it of most of it's impact.

Jayson Kennedy said...

That scene definitely had an impact on me even on my first viewing. I remember literally saying "wow" several times as that maniac in zombie garb fought with the shark. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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