Espantobre – Day 32 – Day of the Dead (1985)

By: Claudio “just a brain driving a meat armored skeleton” Cortés

By 1985 the impact of Romero’s seminal movie, Night of the Living Dead  could be felt throughout the film industry from the use of non-voodoo hoards of zombies to the use of said films as heavy handed allegories for any topics d’jour. Romero’s 1978 Dawn of the Dead was about consumerism, and today’s final installment for Espantobre 2020, Day of the Dead  is about a fear of that which is seemingly far yet so close, it is about the cold war as it stood in Reagan’s america and about the loss of hope. The villains in today’s film, apart from zombies of course, are the ultra nationalist order following for the sake or order following ‘army men” using anger and force to take control over the well meaning scientists who are trying to find a solution to the plague ravaging the world. This movie is often criticized as being too bleak, which makes sense when you consider the ultra campy nature of other zombie movies of the time that followed a relatively formulaic narrative about a band of survivors. Day of the Dead takes place in a time after hope has been completely lost, the humans that we do see on screen represent what is left after the end which amounts to a few well meaning people and the over the top brutish assholes whose use of force allowed for survival. If this movie was remade in 2021 it would be seen as a far too heavy handed allegory for the anti science reaction to COVID-19 in American Society.

You can watch Day of the Dead on HBO Go 

We chose Day of the Dead as today’s movie pick because today, November 1, 2020 is Día De Los Muertos, for the sake of the non hispanophones in the crowd, that translates into English as Day of the Dead…get it? I want to use this moment to make a few points about Día De Los Muertos, that have likely already been made, but merit repeating. 

  • It’s not Mexican Halloween 
  • Its a contemplative celebration of life, not mourning 
  • The day of the dead “parade” was invented in 2016 after someone in Mexico City saw the idea in a James Bond film and ran with it. 
  • Living people’s names do not go on the sugar skull 
  • If you vote republican you are not allowed to partake in any of the rituals, including anything sugar skull related and the consumption of Mexican food…ever

The final musical accompaniment for Epantobre 2020 is … La muerte chiquita by Café Tacvba. If you know a little French you know exactly what the little death is, and so we have it, we leave you with a wikipedia rabbit hole of your own to scurry down. 

You can listen to the entire Espantobre 2020 Playlist, we encourage you to listen to it, dance to it, invite your friends to do the same –   Here

What did you think of Day of the Dead? What did you think of Espantobre 2020? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

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