Of Romero’s Dead movies I’ve only seen Land in theaters, so after watching Night in the best edition I’ve ever seen, I figure why not follow up with the others. This opens with real chaos in a TV studio, then the weatherman takes his girl Fran and two cops Ken Foree and Roger in the weather chopper and get the hell out of there. Despite the zombie apocalypse Romero wants to be utopian: when another cop at the station is being racist and violent, other cops kill him before he can shoot more civilians.
After setting up in the mall storeroom they go on risky missions to enforce their position. Blocking the main entrances with trucks, Roger has an unpleasant close-up encounter with a Z and goes kill-happy then gets bitten twice. The TV couple toughens up and learns to shoot, and while he’s teaching Fran to fly the chopper Tom Savini spots them and gathers his biker raider crew to take the mall. Flyboy is enraged that they’re stealing what he stole and starts shooting. Ken takes out Savini and they’re winning against the bikers, but the Zs have overrun the mall again and they swarm Flyboy in an elevator.
News team in red:
Cops in blue:
Besides all the action we get some good comic moments – I liked Flyboy checking the price of a jacket then putting it back on the rack – and the music is often pointedly ridiculous. Lonely despair is also addressed – the chopper lessons were an attempt to break free from their shut-in depression, and Ken considers suicide before joining Fran in the chopper at the last second. All lead actors were solid. I’ve recently seen Ken in Lords of Salem… Flyboy went on to Basket Case 2, Roger did Knightriders and the Dawn remake, and Fran did Creepshow and Madman.