George Romero's 1979 sequel to Night of the Living Dead is a more accomplished and more knowing film, tapping into two dark and dirty fantasies—wholesale slaughter and wholesale shopping—to create a grisly extravaganza with an acute moral intelligence. The graphic special effects (which sometimes suggest a shotgun Jackson Pollock) are less upsetting than Romero's way of drawing the audience into the violence. As four survivors of the zombie war barricade themselves inside a suburban shopping mall, our loyalties and human sympathies are made to shift with frightening ease. Romero's sensibility approaches the Swiftian in its wit, accuracy, excess, and profound misanthropy.
By Dave Kehr