Survival of the Dead (2009)
Director: George Romero
Kathleen Munroe /Janet / Jane O'Flynn
Athena Karkanis /Tomboy
Alan Van Sprang/Nicotine Crocket
AWOL soldiers (dudes that were in Diary of the Dead BTW) wind up on an island filled with Zombies and two feuding families (who should really learn to grow the f*ck up). One side is pro Zombie life, the other…well…is not…let the fun begin? Not for this jack-twat!
I’m in the “didn’t dig Diary of the Dead much” camp. I thought it was an uninspired retread of Night of the Living Dead but shot on DV and with bland characters. Now Romero has a new dead opus up his sleeve (will he ever do something else – doesn’t look like it) and its called SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD. Sadly, I can’t say I dug it much… if at all. Nurse! Scalpel! Bend over and let the dissection begin!
I will give the flick this; it had some potent bloodshed (lots of CGI but I let it go), able special effects for its obvious low budget, hot dames to relish in Kathleen Munroe & Athena Karkanis, an effective shoot-out at the end and a stand out performance by Kenneth Welsh (loved that dude). Furthermore, at least half of the cast was on the ball (the other half was meh) and the genre bending tendencies had to be esteemed on some levels. I mean it’s a Zombie/Western set in modern times… think about that one for a second… pretty ambitious…you definitely don’t see that everyday. So yup, I respected Romero’s attempt at doing something very different within a subgenre that he has done to death. Too bad I didn’t give a shit about the story and the bulk of the characters. And without that, you aint got much.
I mean let me get this straight – society as we know it is finito – the dead walk the earth and I’m supposed to sympathize with these clowns who keep wasting energy on some dumb ass never ending family feud? I am supposed to care about peeps that are driven by money while living in world where dough doesn’t mean a damn thing? Come on! Granted maybe the “hope” that society would go right again can explain these duh motivations but the flick didn’t do a good job at communicating that. I kept thinking throughout my watch “guys, you are in a world where the dead walk the earth…THEY WALK THE EARTH man…the f*cking DEAD! And you act like petulant toddlers???? Get shit in perspective! It made no sense to me. The same went for the whole “why” behind the family feud. It was so absurd! Wouldn’t you rather see your loved ones rest in peace than having them live in your home on a leash as mindless Zombies???? It’s a no brainer here no?! Is it just me??? Sigh...
The clumsy dialogue grated me as well. I expected more than this from Romero. Straight up, I had to double check that he actually wrote this thing. He did BTW... bummer. And what was up with the mishandling of this franchise’s eternal question? You know it well by now: do the dead deserve to live among us? Although I bought it in NOTLD up till Land of the Dead, here it was handled in such a half cocked and ridiculous fashion (look it’s eating a horse – oooouuu - wow - who gives a shit) that it came out all wrong. The fact that at this point, the big query is also akin to beating a dead horse (pun intended) didn’t help in that respect either. Add to that some shoddy framing, a left field “twin subplot” that failed to convince me, some bad editing to hide obvious lack of coverage and a score that leaned towards yuk-yuk more than horror and you get a big let down.
Somebody told me after the screening that maybe if I was expecting a comedy beforehand I would have enjoyed it more. Maybe.Yes I thought I was gonna see Romero doing what he used to do best. Didn't see this mess coming at all! This one deserves to stay dead.
We get nasty Zombie bites, a face ripped off, bullet hits (cool head shots) and some healthy intestine munching that reminded me of the famous Day of the Dead scene.
T & A
Nothing to see here. The horse was naked though if that means anything to ya. NOTE: Athena Karkanis really did it for me. Hot piece!
Maybe I just didn’t get it. Maybe I was expecting one movie and got another. But one thing is for certain; SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD wound up boring the Night of the Living Hell out of me. I couldn’t warm up to 85% of the characters, the dialogue hurt my ears, the themes brought up were not executed properly and common sense was out the door to f*ck somebody’s wife. Sure Kenneth Welsh was a hoot, the melding of genres a ballsy move, the pow-pow engaging and the red grub ample, but on a whole I hated this movie and hope to never and I mean NEVER see it again. Oh and one more thing; f*ck that horse!
Look out for a cameo by Canuck host George Stroumboulopoulos as a Talk Show Host.
The film was shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
At some point the movie was called "...of the Dead".