GEORGE A. ROMERO’S
SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD
No-one does Zombies as good as George but the days when the franchise ….of the dead was big business are long but gone and sadly the sixth chapter of the series went to the unthinkable route of straight to dvd which is a rotten shame as this is for me is a much better effort than Diary in which some of the characters from that film appear in this.
Five days have passed since the dead walked the earth and like the last films, the survivors are still fighting to save themselves from any attacks. Remember the scene in Diary when the roadblock occurred, well here we get a different perspective as we see what happens to the soldiers who stopped the car. They are on their way to a safe haven which leads them to the remote island of Plum which as been divided by two clans. The O’Flyns believe that the dead must be destroyed while the Muldoons want all the loved ones of the dead to be saved and put to use until a cure can be found for this outbreak. Into this mix comes the wandering National Guard and a stand off soon occurs……..
Its quite clear from the outset that the budget for Survival is seriously low. Some of the effects and CGI is dodgy to say the least and it makes you think how Romero could have made an effect so startling in the 60’s and 70’s seem so ropey in a decade just past the noughties.
In fact its Romero the legend that is to blame for this overall dull Zombie fare. While he gets away from the grand scope of Land and the camcorder riff of Diary and just concentrate on a more a small area, trying to establish maybe a Dawn feel to it all, the horror comes across as weak and tired, offering nothing fresh to the franchise apart from some cracking kills that lighten the movie and shows Romero as not quite lost his touch.
Maybe that is the problem with Romero. Having done two classic Zombie flicks and now four more on top, there is nothing left to say or do and it seems the old man as ran out of ideas and just milking his association to the genre. The biggest flaw to the entire film is that the characters are not given enough time to develop and we are left with no one to sympathise with, a must need for all horror films and a watching viewer!
To say the film feels a bit flat is an understatement. Zombies have been back in the groove since a certain Shaun wanted a pint in the Winchester and Survival just feels like another movie grabbing on the tail end when it should be more than that, especially the franchise involved.
Also with all of these films, Romero as always had some kind of hidden subtext to each film. For example, Diary was about the youth obsession with all things tech but its hard to pin out what kind of satire he is intending for the sixth movie, which again goes to show the kind of fallings the script brings.
Its not a complete disaster. There is some inspired dark comedy moments that make you chuckle and goes to show how touches like that could have made The Crazies re-make a heck more than it was. But when you mentioning Romero, Zombies, and a new film in the same sentence, the word “its ok!” should not be followed. As that is what Survivial is…..ok! and shows a clear case that maybe its time Romero who had given so much to a genre, now stepped away from it. There is nothing more he can bring as the endless gun shots to the head that litter this movie proves………its time to move away George and come up with another idea and show you fully deserve the title of legendary Horror Director…..
OVERALL: While more enjoyable than Diary, its still a weak addition to an ever fading franchise.
[pt-filmtitle]Survival of the Dead[/pt-filmtitle]