Survival of the Dead (2009)

March 18, 2010 - 5:14pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: dead, george a. romero, survival of the dead, undead, walking dead, Zombie Movies

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George A. Romero
Alan Van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, Devon Bostick, Richard Fitzpatrick, Stefano Colacitti, Athena Karkanis

A couple years after Romero delivered the disappointing Diary of the Dead, he now brings us Survival of the Dead, a film that originally started off as a sequel to Diary, but ended up as a spinoff following the "Colonel" character that the leads briefly encountered in Diary. In this movie the Colonel and his group of ex-military are still scavengers and raiding anyone they come across. Eventually they meet a young survivor, who tells them of a small island called Plum that's supposed to be a safe haven against the walking dead, which naturally becomes their next destination.

However unbeknownst to them, the island is inhabited by two feuding Irish families, where one side are the  Muldoons', who believe if their deceased loved ones are simply chained and kept confined that one day there might be a cure and they will return to normal (uh, they're dead!!). On the other more rational side are the O'Flynns', who will put down any zombie, no matter who they once were. Regretfully this is pretty much the entire story of the film. Romero opts to simply focus more on the drama between the two families instead of them trying to survive through the ordeal and kill any remaining zombies on the island.

I enjoyed Land to an extent, while I found Diary decent, but also incredibly annoying for a number of reasons. Survival isn't much of an improvement over Diary, but it is an improvement none-the-less. At least in this movie we don't have silly narration in every scene or social commentary shoved down our throats. Survival also offered some interesting, but poorly executed ideas. For instance I liked the idea behind zombie heads being put on spikes, detailing the inhuman aspects of some survivors, but the scene was almost completely ruined by bad-looking CGI.

Speaking of which, Romero's early zombie efforts are not only known as classics, but also as very gory films in general. Though it seems that which each new entry to his "of the Dead" series he decides to use less and less of it! The gore in this movie doesn't even appear until literally the last 15 minutes! WTF!! Before that we have a lot of bad-looking CG. Oh George, *shakes head* what happened to the practical effects that made your films so great?

As I stated earlier, the movie primarily focuses on the feud with the rival families on the island and the zombies more as background noise and a minor nuisance, which wouldn't have been so bad had I cared about any of the characters. Well that's not entirely true, as I enjoyed the quirky Patrick O'Flynn character, who was the head of the family that chose to shoot down the dead. The other characters, on the other hand, I didn't care much for.

Surprisingly we don't really get any good zombie horde action until towards the end of the movie and in my opinion, by then it was just a little too late. It honestly didn't really feel like a Romero movie until those last minutes and up to that point just seemed like a family drama that just so happened to have zombies in it. Though, regardless of all the negative, I enjoyed bits of the film and it kept my interest for the most part.

Another disappointing entry in Romero's "of the dead" series. The film focuses less on zombies and more on a silly feud between two Irish families and whether or not the walking dead should be killed permanently or simply confined. Although a step above Diary, it's still not much of an improvement, and is lacking in a lot of departments that made Romero's earlier efforts so great. As a zombie movie it's decent, but as a Romero movie it's rather disappointing.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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