Hideous creatures converge on a mall. Shambling, they go through the motions of life but are really brain-dead beasts trapped in a loop of semi-cognition. Then blood splatters the tiled mall floors; hordes bang on store windows, violence spills into the food court. It’s Black Friday in America, the post-Thanksgiving day where people line up for a handful of discounts at 5am and battle to grab a toy or a computer off a shelf.
But that also sounds a lot like George Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead, where survivors flee to the safety of a mall, which is also home to zombies doing something that was important to them in life - shopping. I wonder if Romero was poking a little fun at Black Friday, a term that originated in Philadelphia in 1966; being nearby in Pittsburgh you would assume he was familiar with the concept.
Dawn of the Dead also happens to be my favorite horror movie of all time, and is probably one of my top three favorite movies - period. Dated, sure, but who cares? Films are products of their times, with all the restrictions that implies. I like that Dawn feels like it is of a certain era; as actual storytelling it’s almost perfect, and the themes resonate even stronger today than they did in 1978.