Survival of the Dead (2009)

Posted: February 24, 2013 in Movie Review
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Survival of the Dead

Directed By: George A Romero

Starring: Alan van Sprang, Kenneth Walsh, Kathleen Munroe, Richard Fitzpatrick, Athena Karkanis, Devon Bostick

Subgenre: Zombies

Synopsis: Survivors of the zombie apocalypse attempt to make their way to an island which is rumored to be safe and free of the walking dead.

Thoughts: Survival of the Dead is the latest movie in Romero’s Dead series, and is a direct sequel to Diary of the Dead, even featuring some of the same characters from Diary. Although it is generally considered to be one of his worst movies, I think it is an improvement over Diary of the Dead.

The cast is a vast improvement over Diary of the Dead and features a good mix of bad guys and good guys.  I enjoyed the different factions within the movie, from Crockett’s group to the O’Flynns and Muldoons, plus I am a sucker for an Irish accent!  Even though I liked the cast, there were some pretty laughable lines throughout.  The script could have used a bit of polishing prior to going to production.

While Romero ditched the handheld technique and returned to his old standards, he still made heavy use of CGI.  I understand why Romero now leans heavily on CGI, as it allows for quicker shooting and trims costs, but I would love to see him work with Tom Savini on a practical FX zombie movie one last time.

Even though I think Survival is an improvement over Diary, it is still far from perfect.  The script is pretty rough and even the storyline is laughable at times.  Romero returned to his philosophy that the dead can relearn what they knew, but the angle with trying to teach zombies to eat something other than humans was a little weird.  Had he stayed away from the horse meat angle, I think this would have been a smoother movie, but still not great.  I did like the ending, which had Muldoon and O’Flynn still fighting one another as zombies.

There have been a number of very good zombie movies the last ten years or so, but sadly George Romero’s name is not attached to any of them.  Both Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead pale in comparison to the likes of Dead Snow, The Dead and The Horde.  I really hope that Romero gives it another go with a  zombie movie, but I hope he chooses to go old school and bring back the practical effects that he used so effectively in decades past.

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