Film #253: SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD
Survival of the Dead
2 out of 5 stars
Sometimes I feel the need to go back and look at films that I initially didn’t like just to see if I may have missed something; maybe I was ‘in a mood’ and that colored my perception of the film. Who knows? This is one of those examples. OK, so… that said. Off the bat, I’ll say that Greg Nicotero is the only reason to see this heavy-handed mess of a zombie flick. His work is, as as it is on THE WALKING DEAD, exemplary. The rest of it… oi! From the rickety script which features absolutely no character arcs of any kind, to how there's nothing close to believable dialogue here, and enough wild coincidences to border on the ludicrous… Well, I could go on and on, but you get the idea. To think… that George was so bereft of ideas as to dust off the old “Hatfields vs. McCoys” storyline… it’s embarrassing. While not cringingly bad as DIARY OF THE DEAD, it’s pretty close. The “message” of the film is driven home with a sledgehammer and, when we get there, it is utterly groan-inducing, and so, we really don't care. The zombies… well, they’re reduced to stumbling jack in the boxes that possess no real menace and tend to pop up exactly when and where they’re needed to showcase either some gore or to further the limping script. While this remains necessary viewing for any and all zombie film fans, let’s be honest… it’s simply not a great film - not even by Romero strandards. And it deserves to be. The zombie paradigm is ripe for a good storytellin'; one which offers a unique platform in which to construct a compelling and interesting morality play. Sadly, each and every opportunity for such things is squandered. Romero has been a visionary in the past, but his recent output just reeks of someone trying to cash in. There is no “vision” left in this visionary or so it seems if we are to believe what we’re seeing as of late. Still, I hold out faith that ol’ George will find his story - his white whale, if you will - and make something as relevant as NIGHT. DAWN, or DAY OF THE DEAD once again.