That’s right, in honor of the World War Z movie release this month, we’re going to have a whole month full of zombies!
Matt will also be doing a simultaneous list of his own five favorite zombie moments on his blog, so that's ten moments in all for you undead enthusiasts out there! Yay!
And yes, I will most certainly be reviewing this upcoming movie adaptation of one of my favorite books (or, if the trailer is any indication, this unrelated but still intriguing zombie movie of the same name), but this week I’ll be defending a different, existing, and often maligned zombie movie, or at least one moment therein.
First point of contention about 28 Weeks Later:
Yes, it counts as a zombie movie! I realize the Rage virus carriers are technically still alive. So are brain damaged Voodoo zombies. The rage zombies are mindless monsters with no trace left of their humanity, no known hope of recovery, and no purpose but to destroy and infect the uninfected. From a storytelling perspective (this writer’s usual preferred angle), they’re absolutely zombies with just a little reimagining.
Second point of contention about 28 Weeks Later:
It’s a good movie. Really. It’s got some massive plot holes that stop it from being truly great, but other than the improbable laziness that allows the second Rage outbreak to happen in the first place, it’s good scary zombie fare with lots of good scary zombie moments. There’s nothing quite like the eeriness of the empty streets of London in 28 Days Later, but everyone’s already talked about how effective that moment was, right?
The moment that makes the number five spot on this list is 28 Months’ brief sniper POV shot.
In the buildup to this moment, England is being rebuilt after the events of 28 Days Later, people are being brought back in to resettle the secured area, and two kids very easily sneak into an unsecured area undetected. They bring back their mother, who’s carrying the Rage virus, and whom the soldiers then lock in the lab to examine. Lock in, yes. Guard, no. Her husband sneaks in to visit her, using what is essentially janitorial clearance, kisses her, catches the virus, kills her, and proceeds to infect the rest of the compound.
Wait, did I say locking them in? I meant sort of pushing them in and making a big show out of locking the front door, while overlooking the very obvious backdoor of this basement, which was presumably scouted and designated for this exact purpose.
So fresh zombies pour out onto the streets, along with the remaining people, and it’s the snipers’ time to shine. They’ve already been established as good guys, shown joking and bantering in a non-sinister manner, and we get a few heroic shots of them shooting zombies just as they’re about to bite people, but the virus was given the opportunity to spread to too many bodies during the basement fiasco, the power for the main lighting is out for no adequately explained reason, and it’s clear it’s a losing battle. The dreaded order comes in to exterminate the entire settlement to stop the virus from spreading further, starting by shooting everything that moves.
Instead we get this:
And for just a moment, even after the unintentionally ridiculous levels of negligence featured in the movie so far, indignation is overruled by the urge to OH DEAR GOD CARPET BOMB THE WHOLE ISLAND NOW!
If the juxtaposition of those two feelings doesn’t qualify as horror in the truest, most literal sense, I don’t know what does.