|Title:||Survival of the Dead|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Dawn of the Dead
|09.26.09||Paramount||This Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2009|
After Cirque they made all of us go back outside just to come back in again. This created the longest and probably only line I'll stand in for this year's fest. Completely worthless. They're employing like 80 geriatric ushers all with wireless ticket scanners to stand in front of the doors and escort you to the seats, they can't have three of them do a pass of the theater real quick while others clean? Come on, now.
Anyway, George Romero came out and did a pre-screening Q&A in which he received thunderous applause (two standing ovations) and warm reception to every word out of his mouth. I completely agree with Tim League when he said that if/when there's a Horror Hall of Fame, Romero should be the first inducted. However, I also kinda agree with Jarrette who said afterward that he should just retire and executive produce more if he needs money. While this movie didn't have the handful of fatal flaws that kept Diary of the Dead from being successfull in any way (except i guess in video rental markets), it did have a noticeably lack of any of the stuff that made his earlier stuff great: scares, threat, edge. The zombies were more or less the comic relief in this movie... I guess it's natural for any genre to move from innovation on a steady slope toward satire but you wouldn't expect it from the man credited for "inventing" the genre himself. Leave it to a Wayans brother.
This really wasn't a zombie story at all. It's the story of a family feud between two Irish clans (except they live in delaware) who now disagree on whether to kill the dead or keep them around in hopes that they will regain some of their previous humanity. Romero answered a direct question earlier about how he's always been sympathetic and moving toward zombie humanity in all his films so I guess I can't complain about it, but it doesn't make me like it any more. I wish the ending of this movie was different.
The tone to this was also much much more comical, with self-confessed "looney tunes moments" peppering the occasional gore and c-level acting. Again, not as bad as Diary (not as many monologues, no camera-facing soliloquies), but not great either.
And finally, I know I shouldn't say this but after reading World War Z, I kinda feel like Romero had a few things wrong with this movie. In Max Brooks' thoughtfull novel, the beaches become the most dangerous places to be due to the unknown number of zombies lingering on the ocean floor. I don't think they'd just stand there as seen in this film. They'd walk to wherever you're going and walk up on the beach and be there. So an island is... not the best bet. Yet there only seems to be a handful of zombies on this island and tons of living people so... oh well. It's a shame but I think Brooks has advanced the logic of a zombie apocalypse a little further than Romero is willing to admit.
But then again, Romero's zombie movies have never really been about zombies. It's just kinda hard for a zombie fan to realize that sometimes.