måndag 22 mars 2010

Survival of the dead (2009)

Finally, George A Romero is back with another zombiemovie. I will admit I am a huge fan of his movies and have been waiting for this for a long time. So, is the master back with another great movie? Diary of the dead was a fine movie and the initial dissapointment that was Land of the dead was blown away when I recently watched it again. It shames me to say this, but this is Romeros worst by far.

So, what is wrong with this movie? The story is fine, with one of the soldiers that popped up in Diary of the dead now having his own movie, trying to escape the zombie apocalypse by going to an island outside the US coast where two Irish clans are duking it out over what to do with the undead. One side wants to destory them, the other save them just in case a cure arrives. An interesting plot but the problem here is that Romero never does anything interesting with this. The headhoncho of the the clan that wants to keep them alive still goes around shooting zombies in the head whenever he feels like it and the plot never gets anywhere. I get the feeling that huge chunks of story were cut out of it. To make matters worse, the movie is full of totally unfunny gags where a zombie appears out of nowhere to be dispatched in a "funny" sort of way, a practice that is repeated way too much. My girlfriend even asked me if we were watching some kind of slapstickmovie. My biggest gripe with SOTD though, is the fact that there is never any sense of doom or desolation, something Romero perfected in his earlier movies, especially Dawn and Day of the dead. Our characters just travel from place to place, never encountering more than a couple of zombies at a time, which is weird for a world where 50 million people becomes undead every day according to the introductory narration(or something like that. I dont remember exactly). Big dissapointment.

But, on the other hand, this is a George A Romero movie, which means that while it might have a huge number of flaws, it is still better than most movies of its ilk. Romero gets good performances out of his cast and the story (however truncated and flawed it might feel) is still way more interesting than most. Part of the reason that I was dissapointed with this movie was, as I stated earlier, the high expectations but Romeros story feels like a filler episode in a tv-series and has none of the desperation of his earlier zombiemovies. That is what I miss most.

SOTD is by no means a failure, just a bit mediocre which isnt forgivable when it comes to Romero. I am used to high quality from the man and when he produces something like this, well, I get dissapointed. I just might watch it again later to see if I will like it better then, just like Land of the dead but in the meantime, let us hope that his next movie will redeem him.

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