The sparing of the zombies and Big Daddy. WHY?This seems like a curve ball of the biggest order. Riley, before the ending, cared about the people in the town, the town itself and people in general, Jerkass nature aside. But at the end of the film, Big Daddy turns and looks at him, and instead of ridding the world of the threat of tool-using, sky flower-immune zombies, he lets them go, stating "They're just looking for somewhere to go." Bullcrap. They weren't looking for somewhere to go. They're either wild animals that just slaughtered most of your town, or they're thinking people, who just declared war on you and tried to eat every last one of you. Killing the former is putting down a dangerous beast, the latter is ridding yourself of a deadly enemy. Sparing them works in neither account.
- But neither interpretation is correct. When the zombies started the assault they were only on the verge of regaining a semblance of sentience, and were driven only by the half-understood desire to avenge their brethren killed by Dead Reckoning. In the end they've gotten their revenge, and started to understand that there's more to unlife than killing and eating; they see Dead Reconing and hundreds of survivors, but after a moment of hesitation just shrug and move on, deciding that it's no longer important. This was a mutual armstice by the two sides, neither capable or interested in destroying the opposing side any more. The most important reason for sparing the horde however was undoubtedly the hope that they could teach other, feral zombies that they come across, reaching a situation where the undead would no longer be a threat to the remaining living.
- OP here: And how was Riley supposed to know that? All he saw was that the Stenches(their term for zombie) just killed and ate a whole lot of people. All he saw was Big Daddy look at him, something zombies have done in the previous films before putting on a hostile face when about to attack. There was no armistice. It's not like Riley and Big Daddy went to the bridge and sat at a table to hammer out a treaty or something. They glanced at each other, that was it.
- Didn't one of the minor characters living in the slums mention something about retaking Fiddler's Green at the end? I think it was the dad whose son was sick and was given medicine by Riley earlier in the film. True, the rich people living in there were zombie chow, but the main surviving cast saw that essentially the entire group living in the slums survived. I think he also cocked a rifle as if ready to go shoot up some zombies, and Riley and his crew were simply more interested in getting out of there for a hopefully less infested place.
- The simple fact that Big Daddy's group are seen moving away from a plainly-visible bunch of living people, in itself, proves that something fundamental has changed about them. If they'd remained the same old single-minded, hungry horde, they'd never have left the area once they'd overrun it.
- A key theme of Romero's zombie films are that ultimately, the zombies aren't really the problem, it's humans that are the real problem. Zombies are dangerous, sure, but it's often suggested that they're actually a perfectly manageable danger, and the only real reason they manage to cause the apocalypse is because humans can't get over themselves enough to either work together to deal with them, or just keep screwing up. In this case, it's made clear right from the start that the zombies are ultimately perfectly happy to just mill around and are clearly not especially interested in hunting after humans; it's only because humans swoop in and start killing them for no reason that they ultimately take the fight to Fiddler's Green. At the end, Riley sees that the zombies are walking away, realises that they clearly have no interest in going after the survivors of Fiddler's Green, and thus there's no reason to go after them and pick a fight when ultimately both sides can just leave each other alone.
- Also, just simple practicality. The zombies have just soundly kicked the ass of the humans, and are now just walking away. Given how the humans didn't exactly win the last battle, and now have an opportunity to not pick a fight and get eaten any more, why not take it?
Zombies are sympathetic?As noted under the YMMV page, while partly due to Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, there's a very real sense that we're supposed to sympathise with, not the humans, but with the zombies. Seriously, what the heck? Romero's "__ Of The Dead" series have always been somewhat misanthropic, with Humans Are Bastards being as important to the plot as the Zombie Apocalypse, but did anyone else think that this crossed the line to being insufferably preachy about the Humans Are Bastards element?
- Short answer: Yes. Long answer: It's part of a long present but growing trend of this sort of thing, where we're supposed to feel some sort of guilt just for existing, and to look on the possible extinction of the human race in movies and whatnot as if it were a good thing. Call it Human Guilt.
- It may also be just a Grey vs Grey Morality scenario as in that there is not "good" vs. "bad" (you know, like in real life), not every movie need to have black hat villains.
How does the economy of Fiddler's Green work?
- Near as I can tell, the people in the tower don't produce anything or contribute to the economy. The main source of supplies are the people outside the tower scavenging from the countryside and bringing things into Fiddler's Green to either sell or give to Mr. Kaufman. But what do Kaufman and his cronies provide in return to the scavengers?
- The same thing any rich person does; they have the ability to get people to do things and in turn it means they can charge for what they get those people to do... so they in turn can keep getting people to do things for them.
- Near the start of the movie proper, Cholo goes into an apartment to find a man who'd hung himself, yet no explanation is given for why he committed suicide, and the fact that the man's son tries to get him down, is it just apathy that makes these people clearly have no clue how zombies work?
- The scene is probably there to explain a lot of information. The short answer is that it highlights the classes differences at play. The rich people of Fiddlers Green have become so disassociated with the realities that the threat of zombies has been lost to them. They have no contact with them and see them as a non-threat. As for why suicide well its not important why but its probably a petty, financial related reason. Suicide in such circles is very high today. Which again highlights the disconnect between the practical Cholo and the rich family. Plus its also a convenient reminder to the audience that any death can make you a zombie in GR film. Pop Culture Osmosis may lead to people thinking only bites do that.