George A. Romero invented the zombie genre as we know it with this 1968 classic. One could argue that it’s that initial film that’s the only truly scary one, and that the five sequels to date are merely satirical variations. Indeed, thanks to Romero, social satire and allegory is built into the very DNA of the zombie genre, and follow-ups like Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead offer wry takes on consumerism or the politics of xenophobia that resonate beyond the shocks and jolts and perhaps even overshadow them.
Still, by the time you have whole armies of zombies marching, bent on eating flesh and destroying civilization as we know it – well, that has to give you at least a little pause. Besides, these brain-chompers are the inspiration for 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead, and World War Z, so give them some undying love.
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