Friday, 5 October 2012

Pretty Dead for a Flyboy

This HAD to be done. There wasn't a chance I could resist paying homage to one of my favourite films of all time - George Romero's 'Dawn of the Dead'.

Along with Jason & The Argonauts, Dune, Bladerunner, Robocop and Star Wars, DOTD firmly embedded its teeth into my brain and conscience during my Primary School days - it really did strike a nerve. As a young sprout with an imagination, I was fascinated not only by the slobbering masses of  grey matter driven amblers, but the whole fantasy of being locked in a shopping mall - the tactics you'd have to employ, when to sleep, when to skirmish, what to collect. Everytime DOTD came on TV (and that was a lot during the 80's) we'd sit down as a family and watch the gore unfold.

Naturally, as a kid I was oblivious to a lot of DOTD's subtexts on religion, abortion and immigration. However, being from Dundee, one quickly saw the correlation between the masses of lost zombies and the vacuous bumbling crowds of The Wellgate. Romero's scathing social commentary and witty satire on the unstoppable growth of consumer America was as frightening as it was entertaining; perhaps even scarier that 40 years or so (!!) on people still have this inexorable urge to stuff their lives with unnecessary products and materialistic possessions in some sort of desperately blind attempt to forge meaningful and fortuitous lives for themselves. Anyhow, I digress. Seeing that one could refer to such people as 'half-loaves', it's only appropriate that I call my latest piece - 'Dawn of the Bread'.

Let's take a look at the original:

An absolute classic. I remember it vividly as a child. What amazed me was its minimalist approach with it's eye-catching gradient sky. There were a few variations on the colour scheme over the years for re-releases and video, etc. A lot of horror movies at that time (and especially the move into the 80's with Nightmare, Evil Dead, Basket Case et al) used photography or had incredibly detailed (or vibrant comic book style) artwork. The artwork on the American release of Fulci's infamous Zombi 2 was a photograph of De Rossi's iconic zombie whilst the British release was a striking painting of a huge decaying hand bursting from the ground. To this day I can't think of any other horror film that has been represented in a similar manner to DOTD. If anybody does know of one then please let me know.

Upon further inspection of the poster, I realised that the zombie isn't positioned exactly in the centre, the alignment of 'DAWN OF THE DEAD' is a law unto its own, and the last 'D' in 'DEAD' is different to the others - notice the bottom right of it.

Whether this was intentional or not I have no idea. Regardless, I decided to keep these little nuances in my poster.


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