DVD Review – Survival of the Dead

Survival of the Dead poster

There is a fantastic image at the close of Survival of the Dead (2009) which is both poignant and apt. Sadly the rest of the movie feels like a rush to get to that image, as if it were the overriding thing in Romero’s head.

Sarge ‘Nicotine’ Crockett (Alan Van Sprang) and his rag tag bunch of soldiers catch youtube footage of Patrick O’Flynn (Kenneth Walsh), inviting them on to the island of Plum, supposedly safe from the zombies terrorising the rest of the US. What Crockett doesn’t realise is that O’Flynn has his own agenda, having been banished from the island by his local rival Seamus Muldoon (Richard Fitzpatrick).

O’Flynn believes that the dead should stay dead, shooting all the zombies on Plum, while Muldoon believes they should be protecting their own, saving them until there is a cure. Unsurprisingly, this is the last in a long line of feuds between the two men, and Crockett and his team end up caught in the crossfire.

It sounds an interesting enough premise, the focus on extremism to protect the land you love obviously has some current parallels, but any message here is blurred by shoddy writing, terrible editing and CGI so poor in places it felt like I was watching something made in the late 90s rather than last year. Furthermore Romero throws away one particularly shocking moment, with a previously unmentioned plot point that makes the audience feel poorly treated, if not downright disrespected.

Muldoon’s attempt to get the zombies to eat something other than human flesh takes a downright lunatic turn towards the end, completely ignoring other aspects of the plot, and none of the characters appear to be anything more than loose brush strokes and easy stereotypes. (The fact that all the residents of Plum are of Irish descent allows for an awful lot of cod Oirish “would you loike a potayto” nonsense, that becomes increasingly irritating).

I never thought I’d say this, but can Romero please stop making zombie pics now? He is effectively pissing on his own legacy, cheapening the franchise beyond all recognition. There’s very little that is good about Survival of the Dead and far too much that is bad. A waste.

This was originally posted on 7th April at my old blog and later at The Day Hollywood Stood Still

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on May 25, 2010.

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