Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Survival of the Dead (2009)

I'm kinda over the slow-moving zombies, and I'm more scared/a fan of the quick-moving brain-eaters a la 28 Days Later.  However, I do understand that George Romero is the father of the zombie genre, and his earlier movies are classics.

That said, what the fuck is Romero thinking these days?  I thought Land of the Dead was pretty meh and that ridiculous garbage Diary of the Dead must have been some sort of fluke.  But alas, along came Survival of the Dead, which is truly the worst thing that's ever come from Romero.  I might get crucified for saying this, but the zombie landscape has changed.  With the advent of spastic racing zombies from 28 Days/Weeks and the proliferation of zombie comedies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, the slow, staggering, moaning zombies just are not making people lose sleep at night anymore.

I sort of understood the statement that Romero was trying to make with this movie, although this really wouldn't be the first time we've seen it.  Although a lot of people would kill off family and friends that turned into zombies, but what would happen if you decided to keep them alive and wait for a cure?  Or try to get them to eat something else besides humans?  These are the issues we confront in Survival.

Where this actually could have been addressed in a pretty interesting way, Romero takes a wrong turn and makes Survival into a hokey Hatfield/McCoy type of drama with lots of weird accents.  You see, there's this island, Plum Island to be exact.  There aren't too many people living on the island, but that doesn't make it zombie-free.  In fact, the zombies residing on the island are causing drama amongst the residents.  Half the people (led by Patrick O'Flynn) want to destroy the remaining zombies and live happily ever after, while the other half (led by Seamus Muldoon) wants to keep them restrained and wait for a cure.  Meanwhile, a group of survivors gets a transmission urging people to travel to the safety of Plum Island.  When the group arrives on the island, they are attacked by Muldoon and decide to fight back. 

The zombies in this movie are so un-scary, it's laughable.  The extermination of the zombies is akin to swatting flies, as they just seem to be a bit of an annoyance to the survivors.  There are zombies raking and zombies delivering mail.  And even though Romero has publicly spoken against fast zombies, he apparently thought it was okay to stick one on horseback.

I have no doubt that Romero is a great movie maker.  I just hope that in the future, he steps away from the zombie genre and applies his talents elsewhere.  This one was an epic fail.

photo source


Maynard Morrissey said...

you're totally right. It's enough. He should step away from the mediocre zombie stuff and so something completely different