Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ryne Barber and the Case for Dr. Logan from "Day of the Dead"

Every once in a while I come across a horror lover that is also an excellent writer. Such is the case of Ryne Barber, author of the blog, The Moon is a Dead World. Barber takes the stance that Dr. Logan is the best character in Day of the Dead (DotD), and then goes on to explain why. While some may argue that Bub is the best character of DotD, I think it's important to point out that without Dr. Logan, the lovable zombie Bub wouldn't exist at all. In fact, he would've been shot and killed (again) shortly after the survivors got a hold of him. Bub is important because he is the most human of the characters, and he is one of the main driving forces behind the plot.

However, if Bub is the undead face of humanity, Dr. Logan is it's backbone.

The Mad Scientist Archetype

At our basest instincts, we want to know how things work. We want to dissect, manipulate, observe, and understand. This is why Dr. Logan is such a crucial character in DotD, he represents one of our primal psychological archetypes; that of the curious inquisitor. 

Barber's essay, "The Mad Science of Zombies: In Defense of Dr. Logan from Day of the Dead" explores the mad scientist archetype and supports the argument that Dr. Logan is the best character in "Day of the Dead." The essay is written quite well. It is an intelligent examination of characters that is not often found on horror blogs.

Here's an excerpt from the essay:
"Everyone around him is horrified, giving him the nickname Frankenstein as a way to define the outrageous methods he uses during the process. Even our main character Sarah, who is also a scientist working on explaining the zombie outbreak, is at odds with Dr. Logan’s work after seeing the gruesome remains.

One must question, however, if the nickname Frankenstein is actually one that Dr. Logan accepts as a compliment; he is a man who is unafraid of the criticisms inherent in his work, and much like the scientist of Mary Shelley’s novel or the men who often populate the works of H.P. Lovecraft, he is delving into an area of science that borders on the mystical. To be compared to Frankenstein is to be at the forefront of scientific study, to work on something no man has ever seen before. And Dr. Logan, as he rehabilitates Bub from zombie to human-esque, finds that the research and gory ethical quandaries are worth the effort because they do yield results."

To me, one H.P. Lovecraft character in particular comes to mind when being compared to Dr. Logan, and that is Charles Dexter Ward. He pretty much has the same outlook as Dr. Logan- he is fearless in the face of criticism. He disregards his peers, while ruthlessly pursuing his scientific goals with an almost boyish enthusiasm that his theories will work. He'll do anything to get corpses to experiment on, and thinks nothing of using the freshly dead bodies of his peers in the process.

Such is the case with Dr. Logan.

Watch this clip from Day of the Dead to see what I mean.

Dr. Logan is one of the most important characters in DotD, and it's easy to see why. But you don't have to take my word for it, click here to read Barber's entire essay! You won't regret it.

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  1. Hey Cassie, I've nominated you for The Liebster Award, Good times!

  2. Wow! Thanks Damian! You're the man! Definitely good times my friend!