|Title:||Land of the Dead|
|Director:||George A. Romero|
|06.24.05||Alamo South Lamar|| Wow it's been a long time since Romero's done a zombie movie. Just the way his zombies walk seem so much more classic than all the other non-running zombie movies out there. That and they're actually about something which I think gives them longer legs than just the thrill flicks.|
This one's no different. Yeah the gore is there and it's awesome (there's a few gags in there that I think will become classics just like the neck bite and helicopter scalping in Dawn), but there's also a thread of zombie evolution which I think is pretty creepy. It's never the actual zombies that creep me out in these movies, it's the feel that society is just over... and there's no happy ending ever. It just never stops. So the idea of the dead starting their own society brought in thoughts about I Am Legend and all sorts of things... it would just really suck to have zombies around.
Anyway, I really liked the movie. It felt like a retired kung fu master has been sitting in the background, watching cocky students try to break the boards and being like "yes! look at that crack that i made! did you guys see it bend!?" and finally standing up, clearing his throat, and breaking the board into splinters with his pinky.
Funny enough though, the movie ends with a thematic point, leaving the actual characters and plot in a pretty vague place. As i was sitting through the credits, I heard some of the sold-out midnight screening crowd say it was lame. I was a bit sad but also not surprised. The main reason why most movies are sucking these days is because the audiences are sucking. Cinema as a populist artform is really down in the dumps these days, and we as an audience cannot leave ourselves out of the blame. So yeah, some people will probably go in expecting something directed by a music video vet and be disappointed because that's not what this is. This is like... a "pure" zombie film. I think the people that have problems with it now will come to love it in 6 months or a year or two.
My one complaint is that Asia Argento wasn't used as much as I would've liked. Of course, she was way better in this than she was in XXX, where she was pretty much wasted and not used to any effect at all. Still though, I am waiting for that neo-Bunuelian fetishistic director somewhere to really use her to her full potential. Just her Angel tattoo... I want a full five minutes of film close-up on that thing writhing and dancing up from her waistline. Someday it'll happen. I hope.
I saw this at the Alamo South Lamar at a midnight screening. The pre-show was a bunch of trailers for obscure mostly-bad zombie flicks, along with a few other oddities like a japanese "Zombie Family" thing and a great text-only trailer for a movie called Carnivorous that claimed to have real authentic footage of cannibalism and at the end the voiceover dude said something about no religious beliefs being able to comfort or save you from the terrors inside the movie. Great stuff. They also showed an extended preview for Zombi 2 (USA title: Zombie) with all the noteworthy scenes: the girl getting the wood splinters in her eye, the zombies coming up from the ground all wormy and maggoty, and the classic zombie vs. shark scene that makes certain kinds of movie geeks shriek. Of course, I ended up sitting next to a pair of the worst kind of movie geeks who kept trying to pass off bad jokes during the pre-show and telling eachother erroneous info on each movie in an effort to out-geek one another. Luckily they shut up during the movie except for a few well-time geekagsms of gorish delight. It was packed though. All the gothy dyed-hair black bra/white tanktop Austinites were out in full effect. I love their angsty self-expression.