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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dawn of the End

So I've been thinking about the ending to Dawn of the Dead, and realized that I always felt there was something off about it.It's just too happy, and everything previous seemed to be setting up for something different. So you've got the black guy with a gun to his head, the girl just about ready to take off, with little to no hope of him coming back, and all the zombies approaching necessitating a quick departure. Then the black guy runs through all the zombies, and manages to hop on the helicopter before it flies away, in a seemingly impossible display.

Now I've read that the original ending involved both characters committing suicide which also doesn't sit right with me, because the girl has an easy escape, it wouldn't be easy but she had a non-zero chance of surviving. Admittadely she was going to kill herself with the blades of the helicopter, sticking her head up into it, which is pretty awesome, and apparently her head would have gibbed like the guy who's head was blown off by a shotgun. So it would have been awesome, but still wouldn't have made a tremendous amount of sense, now the black guy's suicide made perfect sense.

Over the course of several weeks he had seen the world fall to shit, with zombies taking over a huge amount of territory, something which his fly-over in a helicopter would have shown him extremely clearly. So the world has gone to hell, and the raider gang would merely confirm this, showing that even the surviving humans were not the best sort of people. He had also seen his best friend be bitten due to his arrogance, and then watch as he slowly died, knowing that at some point in time he would have to kill him, and that inevitably they would all become zombies.

Not only had his best friend been killed, but the guy who was quickly becoming competent and he had actually begun to like was zombified, and again he was forced to kill someone that was important to him. In the end all he had left was the girl, but the likelihood of him getting to the helicopter was so small, that he should never have attempted it. Suicide would guarantee he wouldn't become a zombie, and while I don't know if it would further the message much it would certainly contribute to the grim message the film puts on.

Now as for the woman, she had lost everything, it is true, but she is also in the helicopter, and the black guy sacrificed himself so she could live, so it would be disrespecting his sacrifice, making it pointless. She should have lived, had the tools to live, and had a baby on the way which I'm sure would add to her survival instincts more so. She had also been trained in firearms at least a little bit, and in piloting a helicopter, so she had been set up as the survivor for much of the time, especially with her hanging back from most of the actual conflict.

When a man puts a gun to his head with the intention of killing himself to avoid the zombie apocalypse, he should do it, and when a pregnant woman is all set to escape from a near certain death, then she should. You can almost sense where the change was made, and it seems so contrary to what had been built up before. In short, the ending of Dawn of the Dead should have been worse than it was, with only one survivor, with one in the oven.

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