Monday, August 16, 2010

Review: Survival of the Dead

Dir. George Romero; Starring Alan van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Athena Karkanis, 2009

Review by Troy King

George Romero is back with the 6th of his ‘… of the Dead’ movies, or the 3rd of the modern day trilogy. But this latest effort falls flat with cheap CGI, obscure storyline and bland performances. The traditional humour is there but boarders on silly while the regular social commentary is practically transparent. Is this worse than ‘Land’? I would have to say so.

When the dead have taken over the world, where else would you go to but a small island off the coast of America. Here the local farmers are taking to the outbreak like they do their livestock- round ‘em up and shot the diseased. But on this Irish descent land there is another side that wants to do things a different way and instead of killing their once loved community members, they want to study them, teach them. Keep them safe until a cure is found. So when the former kill hungry group are driven off the island, they head back to the mainland to gather support. It is here there is a connection with ‘Diary’- the reinforcements they get are the group of army mercenaries that briefly appeared in ‘Diary’ when they robbed the main characters. They all go back to the island to take back the land. A modern day Irish western ensues and bloody mayhem reigns.

It is this dodgy CGI gore that really affects the film. With previous entries like ‘Dawn’ and ‘Day’ producing possible the best visual effects of its time, it is such a letdown to see the standard fall so low. In fact the themes are quite similar to ‘Day’. The social commentary may be a comparison to the US in Iraq, trying to teach democracy. Or maybe it’s the suggestion that as a society we are too quick to use killing as a way to solve the problem. Either way it’s boring. There is unevenness to the plot and the film just doesn’t flow. But having given us such classic masterpieces as the afore mentioned, we can forgive Zombie King Romero just this once. Just don’t let it happen again!

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* Image copyright Billy Tackett