Survival of the Dead (2009)

Survival of the Dead (2009)

📅03 April 2010, 06:44

More of the same really…

Survival of the Dead (2009)
Directed By: George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead)

The Prologue
Well, there’s only so much a man can do with zombies. I’m sure if I made six films on the matter I’d run out of steam as well. It happens with every film that goes past two or three sequels. It’s happening right now with SAW. There comes a time when things need to just stop and perhaps now is that time for legend George A. Romero.

He gave us three classics, an OK one, and one the majority hated but I’ll give props to because with the first person view of it. For that I thought  it did come across unique. But what is there to do now with Survival of the Dead? While possibly a step up from the last, I still think it’s becoming clear we aren’t dealing with the George of old.

The Movie
On an island off the coast of North America, local residents simultaneously fight a zombie epidemic while hoping for a cure to return their un-dead relatives back to their human state.

Remember back in the classic Day of the Dead when people were wanting to run and take their chances on an island? Well, we learn here that even places such as that, if there are people there, you still are in great danger. Add to that more danger when you’re stuck in the middle of two battling Irish clans. Both of whom believe their way is the right way. That right there should tell you where the most danger in this film comes from. Here’s a hint, it’s not the zombies..Which by the way are called “Dead Heads” here, Oh George you ol’ hippie. It should go without saying that as far as that name for them goes, I hate it.

But as always we get some pretty interesting characters packed in with the flesh eating. We get the two leaders of each clan who are pretty interesting in their own right with Seamus Muldoon (Richard Fitzpatrick) and Patrick O’Flynn (Kenneth Welsh). Patrick is a thief and a cheat and proud of it. He gives us more than one funny moments in a movie that uncharacteristically to the past films seems to have more funny moments than scares. Patrick’s daughter played by Kathleen Munroe does her part but I think the lady that stands out in this film is proud lesbian Tomboy played by Athena Karkanis (who you may remember from SAW funny enough). She isn’t introduced to us in the most flattering way possible but she’s fun while she’s on screen.

And just who would I be if I didn’t bring up the fact that Tomboy is of course apart of Sarge ‘Nicotine’ Crocket’s group. Who you may recall giving the kids in Diary of the Dead a pretty hard time. He’s a little different this time around as he still keeps the asshole part of him, but he’s a cool asshole. I’m just happy to finally see a solid connection between George’s films finally (Not counting the cameo by Savini in Land of the Dead).

Now as we’ve talked about on this blog before the movie is riddled with CGI and while I may have to get use to it, it doesn’t mean I have to like it. A gory scene at the start of the film is made into a joke with CGI and that takes away enjoyment for me. Now we do get a few actual gore scenes in this with the old school way and I dare say they are the best parts of the film, as far as blood and cool deaths go.

The plot for this film just doesn’t cut it for me either. Things seem to go pretty well up until it gets to these people just trying to train the zombies. I mean sure, you may get a zombie to eat something besides a human but who’s to say they’d give up human all together? I know I don’t eat just one thing, why should the dead be different? Either way, that whole idea is our main plot with a island based feud on top of it. Maybe it’s a little different, but trust me it’s not better.

While the film has it’s moments, it just doesn’t have enough of those moments to be a classic. It has that Romero social commentary that isn’t as strong now as it was in the 70’s. It has some gore, it has some new ways to kill zombies, but What it doesn’t have is a satisfying ending. Now while I see what we get as typical, It just doesn’t leave you too fulfilled. Not that George was always going to give you anything too hopeful at the bloody end anyway based on passed movies. This time however it just falls a little flat.

Over all it’s not too bad, not too good. I think there’s a wink at the crowd with the dead horse we see near the end of this film. I think even ol’ George himself knows this stuff just isn’t on the same level anymore.

The Conclusion
I did debate heavily on what I was going to rate this film. I didn’t hate, but I just don’t see myself wanting to watch it again anytime soon, which isn’t a good sign. While I do want George to keep making movies because after all, he IS George A. Romero, I just don’t think he needs to keep beating the dead horse that has become his style of zombie flicks.

And it pains me to say that, it really does. While it’s worth watching, it’s hardly worth remembering. So that being said, I’m give Survival of the Dead a score just above average.

The Rating (6.5/10)

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