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October 25, 1990 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-25

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The Michigan Daily -Thursday, October 25, 1990 - Page 7
Plight of what's been said s , N
'N','
s %,'e N'e a

Night of the Living
dead
dir. Tom Savini

by Jon Rosenthal

The recently dead come crawling
out of their graves looking for a
quick bite of human flesh. They sur-
round a deserted farm house and
smear their icky undead faces all over
the clean window panes. Meanwhile,
inside, seven people struggle bravely
to keep themselves off the Zombie
uienu. Yes, it's George Romero's
Night of The Living Dead following
the 1990 tradition of - "Why come
up- with a new idea when there are
Sdth a lot of neat old ones?"
The bright and scrapped-together
Night of the Living Dead that be-
came a cult classic has been remade
into an inconsistent and basically
unsatisfying movie with the tone of
Holiday Inn painting. The film
Rails around on the screen like an
octopus on bad speed, without ever
going anywhere. The movie is half
over before the audience even finds
out those drunken, bumbling zom-
bies don't chase the magnificent
seven around because the zombies
RECORDS
ontinued from page 5
drained of romance.
World Clique is dripping with
romance. For example, "Power of
Love" is wonderfully naive with its
mokka-mokka rhythm guitar all over
the place; "Good Beat," which boasts
the simple mantra, "I just want a
good beat," is pleasing with its
dragging cymbal rides dnd stubborn
pacing. "Try Me On, I'm Very You"
is musically excellent; the opening
sample is clever while the beat is
very big and sloppy. The tinkling
piano keys are stupid and sticky, and

are resurrected Avon representatives
but because they are cannibals.
Although the film does not en-
gage the viewer's higher brain func-
tions, it does hold one's attention
cinematically. Both the direction and
the acting provide elements that pre-
vent Night of the Living Dead from
sinking into oblivion and keep the
viewers in their seats. Director Tom
Savini uses the farm house setting
to his advantage and keeps the gore
down. For example, the scene in
which Sarah, the teen zombie, glee-
fully tears her mother's throat out in
the closet-like basement only in-
volves a slight splash of blood.
Tony Todd plays the courageous
Ben, battling both decomposing
zombies and bad script writing with
ease. Patricia Tallman portrays Bar-
bara and, though forced to dress like
Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, avoids
a motherly attitude.
The movie raises some interest-
ing questions. Why do the zombies
find poor Ben so attractive that he
has to battle for every step like a
football player inches from a touch-
down, while Barbara can just waltz
through them like they're asking her
to dance instead of trying to rend her
limb from limb? Why, with zom-

bies running willy nilly across the
countryside, do the people at the re-
lief station have time to hang them
from trees and use them for target
practice? How can the moon rise
twice in one night? We may never
know the answers to these and other
questions but we do know that zom-
bies "lack the capacity to reason.
They do not respond to commands or
authority."
The humor of the original, a key
element in horror films because it
breaks the tension, is weak in the
remake. The instant enmity between
Harry Cooper, played by Tom
Towles in the remake, and Ben ex-
emplifies the failure of the remake
where the original succeeded, in both
humor and concise characterization.
Cooper's line in the original,
"You're telling me, we gotta risk
our lives just because somebody
needs help?" characterizes him bril-
liantly and Ben's amazed "Yeah" in
response is funny and subtle. In the
new film they simply yell at each
other.
What subtlety exists in the re-
make is inappropriate. For example,
a sign by the farmhouse door reads
"M. Celeste," a reference to Mary
Celeste, a schooner found drifting,

Jesus Christ watches serenely as dead people return to wreak havoc on these poor people who have had the
misfortune of starring in the remake of Night of the Living Dead.

abandoned, with breakfast half eaten
on the table and no signs of a strug-
gle. The crew just vanished. Neat,
but what's the point, in relation to
the movie? When the rescuers find

the house they find people and very
definite signs of a struggle. It ends
up reiterating the overall problem
with the remake - what's the
point?

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
descends upon Briarwood and
Showcase.

at long last, the Horny Horns have
been reset in a musical medium that
truly does, them well.
But wherever I forward or reverse
on World Clique, there is a
consistent intelligence and attention
to aesthetics. The sampling is very
inspired; it becomes incomprehensi-
ble as to what tracks were played and
which were snatched. The current ul-
timate party tune, "Groove Is In the
Heart," features Q-Tip from A Tribe
Called Quest doing a typically com-
prehensive and overpowering rap de-
livery and somehow fitting perfectly
into the light-hearted jam. And emi-
nently funky as always, Bootsy's ut-
terance of one word, "Dig," at the

beginning of the tune, is a distinctly
great moment.
World Clique is easily the best
contemporary dance album I've
heard, most notably because it defies
the status quo. In the mind-warping
video for "Groove Is In The Heart,"
Kirby and her deejays dress in outra-
geous '70s clothes. It is this kind of
attention to house's predecessor,
disco, that creates a silly, romantic
tone on the album. And this mood,
far from the nihilistic, mechanical
motorvation of today's dance music,
makes World Clique a huge suc-
cess.
-Forrest Green III

Save the LP!
. :Daily Arts
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