October Horror Gauntlet Film #8
Survival of the Dead
Directed by George A. Romero
Do I really have to write this review? Not that I'm the first to say it, but it feels more like a eulogy than a review, and I hate to have to do that. Romero is kind of a personal hero of mine. He was able to, for all intents and purposes, create an entire genre. And it's a genre that has spawned some of my favorite movies, to boot. He created (or at least brought to prominence) all of the modern mythos behind zombies, for crying out loud. The man is legend. But, like Stevie Wonder, U2, Francis Coppella, or Robert De Niro sometimes legends lose it in their twilight. It seems to me, after the debacle that was Diary of the Dead, and now this, that Romero's time in the sun may be over.
I can't begin to describe how disappointing this film is. My first gripe is how uncinematic the movie feels. I might as well have been watching a webisode on someone's blog as watching a feature film. The script is completely hamfisted, the acting is brutal, and the effects (mostly computer) are cheap and silly looking. Somebody please call Tom Savini!
I can forgive most of the problems - the acting, the grue, sure it's a low budget picture. Not everything is going to be A grade. But the script...the script is in need of some serious work. It's not just the dialogue, which is bad, but the plot is so stupid - it's the Hatfields and McCoys on an island during a zombie holocaust...plus some army guys, and a kid! Really? This is the story you want to stick with, George?
The only redeeming qualities to the film are 1) that it is a Romero zombie film, so you automatically have to give it at least one cool point and 2) the few practical effects that are in the film look pretty good. Other than that, I don't know if I would waste my time with the movie.