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Survival of the Dead (2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: George Romero

Starring:
Kathleen Munroe /Janet / Jane O'Flynn
Richard Fitzpatrick/Seamus
Athena Karkanis /Tomboy
Alan Van Sprang/Nicotine Crocket
PLOT-CRUNCH
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!
THE LOWDOWN
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.
GORE
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!
BOTTOM LINE
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!
BULL'S EYE
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".
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9:38AM on 06/15/2013

Pretty good movie, at least as good as Land

You know, after Diary of the Dead, I almost gave up on Romero. With the reviews for this installment being as mixed as they were, I decided to give it a pass altogether, not wanting to reduce my opinion of the zombie master any further than Diary had already done (man, that was a seriously bad movie). So it took me all this time, until 2013, to see this movie. And you know, it's a damn shame that was the case. This was an infinitely superior movie to Diary....I can barely believe you gave it
You know, after Diary of the Dead, I almost gave up on Romero. With the reviews for this installment being as mixed as they were, I decided to give it a pass altogether, not wanting to reduce my opinion of the zombie master any further than Diary had already done (man, that was a seriously bad movie). So it took me all this time, until 2013, to see this movie. And you know, it's a damn shame that was the case. This was an infinitely superior movie to Diary....I can barely believe you gave it such a bad review, Arrow. It's a damn fine piece of zombie fiction, I wish the gore was more practical and less CGI, but aside from that I have few complaints. It was clever and original, in just the same way I expect Romero zombie movies to be. Great stuff, recommended for sure!
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4:47PM on 08/31/2010

I thought this was really entertaining.

Very underrated Zombie movie from George A. Romero. This is actually an spin-off to "Diary of the Dead". Since an character did appear briefly in the 2008 movie.

Alan Van Sprang appear as the character was in "Diary in the Dead" and before that, he did appear in "Diary of the Dead", although it was meant to be a different role.

This movie has strong characterization and good Widescreen cinematography but it is Kenneth Walsh did steal the show as the second lead in the movie.

Yes,
Very underrated Zombie movie from George A. Romero. This is actually an spin-off to "Diary of the Dead". Since an character did appear briefly in the 2008 movie.

Alan Van Sprang appear as the character was in "Diary in the Dead" and before that, he did appear in "Diary of the Dead", although it was meant to be a different role.

This movie has strong characterization and good Widescreen cinematography but it is Kenneth Walsh did steal the show as the second lead in the movie.

Yes, Romero is running out of ideas. I would like to see Romero taking an break from Zombie movies for awhile to make something new. He might remake "Dario Argento`s Deep Red", we will see it, if the movie (If made) will turn out great.
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11:43AM on 06/26/2010

Dull, Stupid, ETC.

As usual Mr. Arrow you're pretty much spot on. I watched this last night and it basically just pissed me off.
As usual Mr. Arrow you're pretty much spot on. I watched this last night and it basically just pissed me off.
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10:41AM on 10/13/2009

SAD

This makes me sad as balls to read this review. I realize that I get to base my own opinion, but man... I also wasn't a Diary of the Dead fan. So I feel like we are in the same boat. I was really hoping this one would kick Diary's ass. I guess I can enjoy the gore, set my sights low and hope for the best. I'm glad I talked this out.
This makes me sad as balls to read this review. I realize that I get to base my own opinion, but man... I also wasn't a Diary of the Dead fan. So I feel like we are in the same boat. I was really hoping this one would kick Diary's ass. I guess I can enjoy the gore, set my sights low and hope for the best. I'm glad I talked this out.
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