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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blu-Ray review: SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (2009)

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SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD
Directed by: George A. Romero
Distributed by: Magnet Releasing/Magnolia Home Entertainment
Production Year: 2009

Every Horror fan should be very familiar with the name George Romero. Considered the Father of the modern Zombie film, he brought us such classic movies as NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, and DAY OF THE DEAD. He then took a break from the Zombie films but 20 years later came back with 2005's LAND OF THE DEAD, then quickly followed that up with 2007's DIARY OF THE DEAD. 2 years later and we are given his latest entry into his 'DEAD' series, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD. Here is the basic plot from the Magnet Releasing website:

The newest film from horror master George A. Romero (legendary creator of the Night of the Living Dead franchise) picks up where Diary of the Dead leaves off. On a small island off the coast of Delaware, live two families locked in a struggle for power and control over the fate of the undead. The O’Flynns approach the zombie plague with a shoot-to-kill attitude. The Muldoons feel that the zombies should be quarantined and kept “alive,” in hopes that a solution will be discovered. For both families, existence on Plum Island is a nightmarish world where humans are the minority and zombies rule.

As stated above, this film takes off right were DIARY OF THE DEAD leaves off, and even contains some of the same characters. For those that saw DIARY, then it is really neat how it is tied all together, but what is great is that it is done in a subtle way, so that it is not the least bit confusing to those who haven't seen DIARY. You don't have to have seen the past few 'DEAD' films to get this one, but if you have, then that is a bonus for you.

I love Romero's original DEAD trilogy (NIGHT, DAWN, DAY), and was super excited when LAND OF THE DEAD was released back in 2005. Unfortunately, I was, like many fans, greatly disappointed in that film. I enjoyed DIARY OF THE DEAD a little more, but was still not 100% satisfied. Well, 3rd time's a charm apparently, as this latest film in the 2nd trilogy, if you will, left me with a smile on my face and a feeling like I had when I watched the films in the original trilogy.

The film has some great Zombie effects, and some great attack scenes. My only complaint is that many of the Zombie kills were done with CG, instead of practical effects. I guess it had to be that way though, as CG provides the effect you need at a fraction of the cost. Some great Zombie kills includes a flare gun to a Zombie's chest....heating up his insides until the Zombie's head burst into flames, and a hilarious death by fire extinguisher! Another great thing about this film is the humor throughout it. The Zombie fishing scene is especially funny!

One really cool aspect of this film is that while the O’Flynns just kill any Zombie they come in contact with, the Muldoon family is really trying to co-exist with the Zombies. In fact, they are trying to find a way where they can make Zombies eat things other than humans, such as animals. This is a unique twist on the Zombie genre that I have not seen before.

This film goes much deeper than most Zombie films, as it really makes you think about the 2 sides to dealing with the Zombies. The Muldoon's keep their loved ones shackled and chained, so that they can't harm anyone, in hopes that someday a cure will be found. The other family, the O’Flynns, have the opposite approach and kill off anyone that has turned, and sometimes kill them before they have even had a chance to turn. While Romero's films usually hold a deeper meaning than just Zombies, I can't help but wonder if this film holds a deeper sub-plot of how people deal with those loved ones who have terminal diseases or those that are comatose with no signs of waking up. Do you "pull the plug" so to speak, like the O’Flynns, or do you act like the Muldoon's and keep them around in their current state in hopes that a cure will be found someday and bring your loved one back to how you remember them being. While I may be reading way more into this film that I should be, it definitely makes you think.

A great story, great acting, and great Zombie action is the perfect recipe for a fun and entertaining Zombie film! This is one you will want to check out for sure.



CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the standard DVD
CLICK HERE to purchase the 2-disc Ultimate Undead Edition
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray

2 comments:

  1. Wow, hated this movie. Thought Land was okay, Diary was so so, and this was the WORST...really bad CGI, really lame story...

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  2. Wow! Interesting...I thought this was much better than Land or Diary....and yeah, the CGI was not great, but overall I still thought it was a fun zombie movie. I liked the struggle between the two sides with different views on what to do with the zombies....

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