Every time I write about Survival of the Dead I
read complaints from a select few jokers who seem to think that they
know zombies better than George Romero… you know, the guy who invented the genre. I guess their hours
playing Resident
Evil
or
something gives them a wealth of knowledge, especially about the rules
of zombies. These are the folks who complain about Big Daddy in Land of
the Dead
carrying
a gun, for instance.

But if they had actually been watching
Romero’s Dead films
they would see that Big Daddy in Land wasn’t an aberration – he was the
logical conclusion of where the films started. And Survival continues beyond that, with
characters trying to see if they can train zombies to eat something
other than people.

The next time somebody bitches about
Big Daddy and his gun, or about the zombie riding a horse in Survival
of the Dead
, just direct them to the following:

Cemetery
Zombie.
The very first zombie
on screen uses a rock to break a car window. The very first zombie, and
he’s using tools!

src="http://www.youtube.com/v/SDfJ5z1eUrQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&start=131"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always"
allowfullscreen="true" width="480"
height="385"/>


Karen Cooper. The little girl in the basement who kills her parents? She does it with a trowel.



To be fair, Romero admits that when he made Night he didn’t have any of the ‘rules’ in mind. But then came Dawn, which is arguably the movie that really set the rules in stone. All during Dawn we see that zombies keep doing things from their lives, having a sort of primitive reflexive response. But then at the end there’s this moment:



That zombie isn’t just carrying a gun for the heck of it, or because he recognizes the feel of it in his hands – he makes a decision to drop one gun and keep the other!

But it all comes to a head in Day, and the story of Bub the Zombie seems to be what Romero has been playing with ever since. Bub isn’t just the best zombie in the franchise, he’s the one that proves that the undead can be trained. He has an appreciation for music, he has a sense of loyalty to Dr. Logan, and at the end, in the final zombie assault, he uses a gun.

Anybody who says that this scene isn’t one of the best in all of Romero’s films simply isn’t a fan of Romero’s Dead movies:



In summation: every single entry in Romero’s classic Dead trilogy includes a zombie using tools or being aware of their use. I’m sure there are a couple I’ve missed and you’ll let me know about them in the comments below, but the important fact remains:

George Romero knows zombies better than you do.