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Plagiarism or hommage?

June 29th, 2003

This Salon review of horror flick 28 Days Later asserts that whereas

. the classic British dystopian sci-fi novels of J.G. Ballard and John Wyndham as influences, and they’re in there, all right …. [but] George A. Romero’s “Living Dead” trilogy, specifically the underrated third entry “Day of the Dead,” is so closely emulated here that parts of “28 Days Later” feel like a shameless rip-off.

In fact, the plot, as described in the review, is a carbon copy of Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids (except with zombies instead of carnivorous walking plants). The film version of this was pretty lame as I recall, but the book was excellent.

My question is, can a film be a shameless ripoff of two completely different sources at the same time? I guess it can be if it takes the plot from one and the cinematography from another. I don’t think I’ll bother going to find out, though.

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  1. June 30th, 2003 at 16:21 | #1

    Apparently it can, yes. Alex Garland, who wrote the film, has also cited Dawn of the Dead, The Evil Dead and The Omega Man as other films he ripped off (his words) for 28 Days Later. I’ll probably go and see the film, though it sounds like I won’t be giving up my George Romero collection for it…

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