I know it might be sort of contrary to everything that Dawn of the Dead really stands for, but I can’t help fantasize how awesome it would be to have the complete run of a fully stocked shopping mall. Fleeting as the pleasure may be, it’s an exciting prospect to imagine all your material desires at your fingertips. I think this comes from a lifetime of seeing desirable things in stores and knowing that it’s out of my budget. To throw those restrictions away would be enticing. It’d be like winning the lottery without the headache of taxes. My head tells me it’s no good, but my gut wants it all.
Of course, an updated version should probably take place entirely in a Wal Mart as they continue to devour towns across North America, but that’s neither here nor there. What matters is what our heroes in Dawn of the Dead do when they have access to nearly any material possession imaginable. They attempt to create a paradise somewhat like the pre-zombie apocalypse world where they can take loads of cash, put on expensive clothes, play video games, and (most importantly) drink whatever the hell liquid they pack olives in like it’s going out of style.
My favorite part though, comes right after all the white folks marvel at Peter’s ability to dunk. Everyone’s shopping for food when Stephen pulls out a modest sized loaf of bread and asks Peter what he thinks. I don’t really know why he felt he needed to ask – he literally grabbed the most ordinary thing in the store. Peter ruminates on this a moment before reaching out of the frame and grabbing the most comically large loaf of bread I’ve ever seen. The thing is bigger than my leg. How did Stephen miss it when he was looking through the baked goods?
It’s what happens next that earns this moment permanent residence in my collection. Peter responds, “Manger!” followed by the most delightful laugh in the history of motion pictures. There’s one piercing “HA!” followed by about 4 or 5 smaller aftershocks. This laugh was seriously so wonderful that it can make a world overrun by the living dead seem like a wonderful place.
I can easily make a list of the shittiest days of my life and every single one of them would felt like a breeze if Ken Foree could have popped around a corner with an enormous loaf of bread and said, “Manger! HA HA HA HA HA!” You try being in a bad mood when he’s doing that. It cannot be done.
It’s moments like this that I really wanted to focus on when I started this collection. It’s only a few seconds long and very easy to overlook. This collection allows me to indulge my silly little whims and take a few moments to appreciate the beauty of the little things in life. Some people may find a sunset sublime, but I’ll take something like this every time.