SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD
Cast Members of Note- Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, Alan Van Sprang, and a bunch of other Irish people named O'Shea and Flannery.
Directed by- George Romero
What's it About?- Zombies. Didn't you read the title? I kid, I kid. But really, it's pretty much about zombies, George Romero-universe style. This time around we have a group of misfit soldiers gone AWOL that need a place to hide out, who happen to learn via the internet (?!?) that there's an island waiting just for them, to keep them safe and sound from the zombie apocalypse and the dangers of an impending court-marshal.
Little do they know that Safety Island is full of feuding Irish folk, who really like killing each other, and are trying to train the zombies to eat other things besides humans. Doesn't sound so safe to me... then again I don't trust the Irish. Never have. Sorry Grandma, I never trusted you! The point is, why get in the middle of an old Irish feud, zombie apocalypse or not?
It's not long before the stupid people and their stupid ideas get everyone into a heap of zombie trouble, and it's up to the soldier boys to crack wise and kick some zombie ass. If you have ever seen a Romero zombie flick, there really isn't much more too it than that. You know the drill; a wandering group of people encounter tons of zombies and face moral dilemmas that wake us up to the ills of society, and in the end we the audience learn a little something about how humanity sucks. That's a Romero zombie flick for ya.
The Good- If you like Romero's zombie style, the newest addition to his fold should satisfy you. It's a decent enough time killer that delivers the zombie goods, though not in very spectacular fashion. I guess with his latest movies I'm a little tired of the social commentary bit. I LOVED Land of the Dead, but Diary of the Dead gave me fits for various reasons. This one lands right in the middle of those two for me.
I love George Romero. He seems like a cool guy, doesn't take anyone's shit, has made some all time classic horror movies... what's not to love? There's a part of me though, that wishes he would just give us an all out zombie bloodbath of a movie, and stop trying to be topical. It's not really maverick film making anymore like it was in the 60's, 70's, or even the 80's, because today's audience "already knows" everything, and to me it feels like preaching that falls on deaf ears..
Also, I have to say that this movies hero, played by Alan Van Sprang, is nowhere near as bad ass as his character on The Tudors (Showtime.) He's awesome on that show, and not just because the eye patch looks cool. While we're on the subject, King Henry VIII had some issues. Just sayin'.
The Bad- After a worldwide zombie apocalypse that has basically crippled the planet, are you telling em that the internet is still up and functional, and that people are still updating their twitter accounts? Pirate radio or local TV I can buy, but to me it seems as if keeping the internet alive would be near impossible. Hell, I can barely get online half of the time now, and my cable company swears everything is working "right."
The Downright Horrendous- Shoot them. Shoot them all. Why in the hell would you want to attempt to train millions of zombies to eat animals, instead of just putting one in their heads? Do you know how long that would take, how dangerous it would be, and how much wasted effort would be needed? Kill them, and when a human dies, put one in their head to avoid the inevitable.
The Gory- SOTD is filled with most of your typical zombie movie gore; gut munching, flesh ripping, blood spraying, exploding heads, etc... it's just about in line with what you have come to expect from Romero and his horror flicks for the most part.
The Naked- Nope. This one is sexless save for one brief scene of a lesbian playing with herself while fully clothed. What a tease. Romero has never been known for making boob-filled sex romps anyhow, so it's not a big deal in this case.
What did we learn?- George Romero is not making the best zombie movies around anymore. Also, rehabilitation is bullshit. Pedo's, rapists, rabid dogs, zombies... just put them down and move on.
The Master Says- D Better than the annoying Diary of the Dead, but not as good as Land of the Dead (which I can't help but watch every time it's on cable), SOTD is a decent watch that should (might) satisfy most zombie lovers out there. It was a little on the campy side of things for me, as I prefer my zombie movies either creepy and gory, or funny, not both. Still, it felt mostly like a Romero movie, and although it's only the 5th best of the series (of 6), it's worth a watch.
Final Thoughts- What a cute little lass, or whatever the Irish slang for girl is.