Kingdom Come

Posted: April 9, 2013 by Emilio Garofalo Neto in Uncategorized
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The 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead was a hugh hit and brought Zack Snyder to the attention of the public at large (is it time for another remake? I lose track…). The movie is action packed, very violent and hilarious in some spots. Exercise judgment (no pun intended). The film follows the fast-zombie line of zombieness.

What causes me to discuss this movie today? The following use of music in the movie. You are, in some level, aware that music is a very powerful thing and combined with film it can have tremenduous result and greatly impact the viewer. What I find particularly interesting about this use of music, is how Zach Snyder used a famous Johnny Cash song to deal with the issue of a Zombie apocalypse.

See the opening here, but know that it is a little disturbing (so again, judgment). Notice the use of the song When the Man Comes Around.

The end of days is an obsession of mankind. There are inumerable stories produced in all kinds of media (movies, comics, books…) about how the end shall be. Snyder and the producers of Dawn of the Dead play with this idea, using a Johnny Cash song about the end times to begin a movie in which zombies rise to end the world as we know it. The idea is that the old expectaions of the end will be met with the harsh reality of flesh eating mindless creatures

Now look at Cash’s song lyrics. Notice how much Biblical imagery he uses from the book of Revelation and other portions of scripture.

“And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder. One of the four beasts saying, ‘Come and see.’ and I saw, and behold a white horse”

There’s a man goin’ ’round takin’ names,
And he decides who to free and who to blame.
Everybody won’t be treated all the same,
There’ll be a golden ladder reachin’ down.
When the man comes around.

The hairs on your arm will stand up,
At the terror in each sip and in each sup.
Will you partake of that last offered cup,
Or disappear into the potter’s ground?
When the man comes around.

Hear the trumpets hear the pipers.
One hundred million angels singin’.
Multitudes are marchin’ to the big kettledrum.
Voices callin’, voices cryin’.
Some are born and some are dyin’.
It’s alpha and omega’s kingdom come,
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
The virgins are all trimming their wicks,
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks,

Till Armageddon no shalam, no shalom.
Then the father hen will call his chickens home,
The wise man will bow down before the throne.
And at his feet they’ll cast their golden crowns,
When the man comes around.

Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still.
Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still.
Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still.
Listen to the words long written down,
When the man comes around.

“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts. And I looked, and behold a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death, and hell followed with him.”

There are direct references of Matthew 25 (parable of the virgins) and Revelation 6 and even Job. Cash’s song reveals some of the fear and of the trembling, but also the majesty of what is to come. The main thing to keep in mind when thinking about the end of days is not how scary, how difficult or how violent things may be. The main thing is to know that it is Christ’s victory and there is nothing to be afraid for his disciples. It is a fully controlled event. There is a story of a boy who came to a pastor saying that he had just read the book of Revelation. The pastor asked him “did you understand it?” “Sure” the boy replied. “Jesus is winning”. In the end it is pretty simple, a plan made before the foundation of the world unfolds in the ultimate victory of Christ, the consunmation of all things.

Is the coming of the kingdom supposed to be scary? It really depends. The Bible portrays the coming of the Lord, or the Day of the Lord as terrifying for those who rebelled against him, but joyful to those who have taken refugee in the world. And what will rise in the last day is the furthest thing you could get from a zombie; it will be a renewed mankind, clothed in righteousness and incorruptibility, similar to their master and savior.


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