Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Survival of the Dead (2009)

Survival of the Dead (2009) Dir. by George A. Romero

Two rival clans on a remote Island off of North America fend off zombies along with continuing a war with each other. One clan wants to kill all the zombies, and one clan wants to try to make them more human again.

Thanks to http://www.movies-links.tv/movies/survival_of_the_dead/ , I had the chance to watch this movie before it hit theaters. I'm glad I didn't wait to pay the ten dollars. First off, I fell asleep the first time I tried to watch this movie last night, and then I finished it today. The first half of the movie is anything but exciting, and the second half of the movie follows suit. If I had to place this movie somewhere in the line of Romero zombie film, I would place it as better than Diary and not quite as good as Land. It felt like an easy way out for Romero to get a paycheck. After watching Diary of the Dead, I was really excited for another comeback for Romero. Diary was such a worthless piece of garbage, and I wanted Romero to return to his roots. From the previews this movie really looked like it would be a return to the basics of Romero films. I didn't know the movie was going to be filled with sub-par special effects from the man who nearly wrote the book on zombie effects. Since when did overwhelming CGI blood spatters become acceptable? It felt like they didn't want to spend the time, so they used crappy CGI work. I've seen better work on SyFy channel movies. The one thing I did enjoy about Romero's new film was the western theme he had throughout the film. At first, I didn't care for it, and it seemed to make the movie dragged. It even made some scenes more cheesy than I am willing to accept. "This town isn't big enough for the both of us" really turned out to be a pretty good crack at a new style of zombie film. I didn't like how the first half of the movie was all about the two families, and not about the zombies. That's probably why I fell asleep, but I didn't really need that much backstory on the clans, nor did I really need to see every minor unimportant conversation between the two clans. Great idea, just could have been executed a little bit better.

The acting in this movie was definitely off, and I can't think only think of one person who did at least a half-ass job. That was Kathleen Munroe of TV fame. Her dual roles were the only thing that really carried this film, and she did well in both roles. The crossover from Diary of the Dead with Alan Van Sprang was pretty cool, but he is still a crappy actor.

The zombies in this film were far worse than any other zombies I have I have seen in Romero films. Most of the time time there wasn't any wear and tear on the zombies. They looked like regular people with white contact lenses. There was nothing scary about these zombies, other than one or two occasions where there was a mediocre jump scare. There was some dark comedy with them that was a miss. The zombie kills are too creative. It was almost as if they were trying to create the most rediculous death scenes ever, and they accomplished that. Some were even worse than the acid on the zombie head from Diary of the Dead.

All in all, this whole film was a great idea, just poorly executed. I think Romero's reign maybe coming to an end. I think it is time that someone else with a new idea comes forward and takes over. Romero will always be the godfather of zombie film, but it needs to be reinvented.

Entertaiment Value: 5/10 Headshots
Cinematic Value: 4/10 Headshots


A. said...

It really does look awful. I will likely still support it theatrically if it comes near my neck of the woods, but let's be honest, Romero is kind of overrated...yeah, I said it.

R.D. Penning said...

Chances are I will see it in the theater anyways, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see it early.

The Mike said...

I'm not reading it so I can stay fresh for when I see it. But I trust you've done awesome work as usual.

The Film Connoisseur said...

Im still gonna see it to make up my own mind about it...I actually enjoyed Diary of the Dead! But I can see how a director might not be making his best work during the last days of his career...still, gotta love Romero for sticking to zombie movies the way he has!

R.D. Penning said...

I have faith that Romero will have one last Zombie masterpiece before his career ends, but I would like to see some new and original ideas from other people.

Will Errickson said...

Wasn't holding out for much hope with Survival after seeing its trailer and the so-so qualities of Land and Diary. I wish he'd make another personal, non-zombie movie like Martin.

venoms5 said...

I was about ready to buy the R2 dvd of this. Not so sure now. Although I am one of the seemingly few fans of DIARY OF THE DEAD. I thought it was quite well made and loved the many long takes without a cut in the camera. I may just wait and rent SURVIVAL.