'Land of the Dead,' and why Romero's zombies are so disturbing

From Forum With No Name:

DJ Joe: Land of The Dead- George A Romero's latest zombie pic- I enjoyed it- Dennis Hopper is King Rat on an island sanctuary away from the stenches- the usual mix of funny gore kept me amused throughout B+

An especially vivid passage from Dickens' Oliver Twist gives us a clue as to why Romero's zombies are so memorable:

these fears were nothing compared to the sense that haunted him of that morning's ghastly figure following at his heels...He could hear its garments rustling in the leaves, and every breath of wind came laden with that last low cry. If he stopped, it did the same. If he ran, it followed--not running too--that would have been a relief--but like a corpse endowed with the mere machinery of life, and borne on one slow melancholy wind that never rose and fell.

See, it's those words it followed--not running too--that would have been a relief that nail it for me. Romero's zombies are frightening because they're never in a hurry; they operate on a different sense of time from our own, and we feel, no matter how fast we run, that they will somehow overtake us--if not now, later; if not today, tomorrow.

Today's running zombies, you feel as if a tranquilizer and a long hot shower would make them feel better. Not so with Romero's undead: they feel as inevitable as the cold that will someday creep up your bones, and invariably, inevitably claim you for its own.

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