I guess it was officially announced as happening around April/May, but George A. Romero is working on getting another zombie movie going. The screenplay has been written and it’s being shopped around in Montreal later this month at an international film festival where Romero will be seeking financing.
Honestly, I’m not too excited for it. I was very excited for Land of the Dead (went to see it opening weekend at the movie theater), less excited for Diary of Dead, and then even less excited for Survival of the Dead. Those entries into Romero’s ‘Living Dead’ series range from disappointing to god-awful, so I’m not too sure if Romero really has anything left in the tank.
Further giving me mixed feelings is the fact that Romero isn’t even directing. He’s a co-writer and co-producer, so it leaves me to wonder if we can really call this a Romero zombie movie since the film’s director Matt Birman also gets a co-writer/co-producer credit. Maybe this is actually a Birman zombie movie?
To me, the film sounds like a mix of Mad Max and Death Race 2000, but it’s being described by Birman as a mix of Mad Max, Ben-Hur, Rollerball, and NASCAR.
Uh… okay. That doesn’t help sell it. This sounds like it’s going to be really hokey cartoon horror.
It’s Romero and it’s zombies, so I’ll give this movie a shot, but I’m expecting very little from it. What I would love to see is Romero direct one final entry into the series. Get back to the bleak & nihilistic vibes of Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, but end the film on a hopeful note. I don’t think that will ever happen though.
George A. Romero’s Survival Of The Dead (2010)
It seems like this movie came out forever ago and just recently finally made it to DVD. I know I read a review for this movie near the end of 2009, possibly in October, but Wikipedia claims it hit theaters and video-on-demand Spring 2010.
Let’s be honest here — Romero’s first three Dead movies are the Holy Trinity of Zombie Flicks. The three Dead movies that have come after those have been less than satisfying. Land of the Dead was okay, more of a brainless (no pun intended) action/horror flick than the usual horror/drama from Romero but really the fact that I actually got to see a Romero zombie movie in a movie theater was the most positive moment for me, Diary of the Dead was touted as a return to the franchise’s “indie” roots and also a “reboot” but was really just another zombie movie full of stupid people doing stupid things and I hate that title, and now that leads us to this movie — Survival of the Dead.
Survival of the Dead is the very first direct sequel in the series but it’s really more of a spinoff to get technical because it features a group of soldiers that popped up in Diary of the Dead. Honestly, I can’t remember how much screen time those soldiers had in the previous film or if these are the same actors playing them. Diary was just that forgettable. I could look it up… but I’m lazy.
Survival is easily the worst zombie movie Romero has made yet (and more are on the way) and it pains me to say that. I’ll admit, I’m hooked for life on Romero zombies. The 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead (rented by me in 1998!) is where my zombie obsession started. I bought the hugely overpriced DVD of Dawn of the Dead at Suncoast Video, I ordered Day of the Dead from Columbia House DVD per my membership “obligation” and I bought a used copy of the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead at a pawn shop. All four of those movies are very important to me so as long as Romero makes zombie films, I will watch them. I just won’t always enjoy them apparently.
I won’t go into the details of the movie but the plot was just awful, the characters were mean/stupid and there are a couple of “WTF?” moments throughout. Hardcore Romero fans are gonna watch this one regardless, but do yourself and rent it (like I did from Netflix), don’t buy it. When I first read those reviews last year, I thought “oh, it can’t be that bad”. But it is. This October, if you want some Romero zombies, stick to the first three movies.