Review by Choice Review
Like the cinematic excess of George Romero's zombie films, the academic excess of this volume may limit its appeal to an elite cult of aficionados. Making a surprisingly persuasive case that Romero's horror films are at least ideologically connected to the naturalism of Emile Zola, Williams essays to wrap the oeuvre of "living dead" films in a sophisticated vellum scholarly casket. He defends the genre of gore and excess and stands as both a champion of outsider, maverick filmmakers (e.g., Larry Cohen) and an astute critic of the thematic and conceptual elements of their marginal films. His excavation of the Pittsburgh aesthetic in such allegorical films as Dawn of the Dead exposes a rotting consumerism and rancid materialism in the American soul. Williams's careful and remarkably lucid prose represents the oppositional narratives of the film and breathes life into the cultural significance of determinism, violence, consumption, pessimism, and proletariat zombies as lower-class citizens of the monster world. The brave Williams has untaken a daring challenge and the success of this book is as ambiguous as the final status of Romero's heroes. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. T. Lindvall Regent University
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