Saturday, April 9, 2011

Zombie empowerment

Night of the Living Dead was a very confusing movie watching experience for me. On the one hand, I really enjoyed it as a classic zombie film, and can certainly understand its many merits in that regard. On the otherhand, the social messages it exuded were just crazy... while it did seem to be commenting on the civil rights movement of the time, it was also the literal most sexist movie I have ever watched.
Zombie-wise, I thought this was a very fun movie. As one of my first zombie movies, I actually appreciated the multiple, long shots of just various zombies chillin around because it is really interesting to admire the various types of zombies. In this regard, seeing the various types of zombies, their clothing, the extent of their mutilation, and what they are actually doing is like admiring an art form... there is a lot of room for experimentation, as zombies can be children in tattered nightgowns, or businessmen, or old frumpy ladies.
However, I just was so astonished by the level of sexism and oppression towards women. I realize that this was the mid-20th century and they were only beginning to acknowledge racial tensions in movies, but the blatant discrimination towards women seemed so comical it almost seemed intentional. I really have to wonder if, in the 1960s, men really still would have been lamenting about having to escape with the burden of "a hurt child and TWO WOMEN!" Not a single woman in the film really acted on her own accord at all... while the wife did speak up to her husband somewhat, she still didn't dare actually DO anything herself...
I think the most empowering moment in this film, therefore, was when the zombie girl ate her father.

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