SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD: ALMOST, GEORGE, ALMOST

survival-dead-poster

Upfront honesty here Mr. Romero, I don’t pray at the altar of your alleged greatness. I think Night of the Living Dead is your best work (out of all of your movies) and every single zombie movie after that one has a sharp decline in quality.

Yet I still go and see your movies. Why you might ask? I think the reason why is because I like apocalyptic movies. I see them as a situation I could shine in. So I go into your pictures nursing the flickering flame of hope that this time it will be different and you will make a good movie and by god George R. Romero, you stuck it to me again. This one is particularly painful since you had about ten minutes of a good movie. Yes, you read that right, I said a Romero zombie flick was decent for around 10 minutes. That is a marked improvement in quality over the last batch of bad zombie films Romero’s made including the one that this movie is spun off of.

Survival of the Dead follows, more or less, a squad of National Guardsman that were first featured in Romero’s previous zombie movie, Diary of the Dead (awful, awful movie). These jokers decided to go rogue and were ripping off people on the road. That is until their leader “Sarge” Nicotine Crocket’s face gets plastered all over the still functioning Internet (one of myriad of problems in the movie that will be dealt with later). We don’t meet “Sarge” and his red shirts until about eight minutes into the film although “Sarge” does do a voice over bit at the beginning. Instead we start with one of the better characters in the Romero zombie universe, “Captain” Patrick O’Flynn on Plum island.

“Captain” O’Flynn, along with his extended (I guess) clansmen and retainers (yes you read that correctly ) are killing zombies on Plum Island. “Captain” O’Flynn is a colorful character equipped with a broad Irish brogue for some reason. I say that because the island in question is off the coast of Delaware for Christ’s sake in 2009. We also meet the other side of a long running Hatfield and McCoy situation on the island, Seamus Muldoon, who also comes equipped with an accent so thick it sounded like he and O’Flynn just got off the boat from County Cork yesterday. Muldoon manages to get the drop on O’Flynn and ejects him from the island after O’Flynn’s horse riding daughter brokers a deal. Did I mention that this movie is also, for some inexplicable reason, a western? That’s right a WESTERN that takes place on AN ISLAND OFF THE COAST OF DELAWARE IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2009.

SURVIVAL-articleLarge

There were some more things that happen and a big fight and then the movie was over. Frankly, after the first 10-12 or so minutes the Survival of the Dead completely falls apart and I can’t muster enough interest to review the rest of the story. Instead I am going to do the good/bad thing in bullet form because I don’t want to waste any more time with this crap.

THE GOOD (which amounts to about 10-12 minutes of the movie)

  1. Patrick O’Flynn (for the whole movie) played by Kenneth Welsh. This guy got it. He played his sleazy character with a level of malicious glee that was fun to watch. He is also the only person in the whole movie that can act and he realized the movie stank so he figured he should amuse himself by joyfully chewing every bit of scenery he gets his teeth into.
  2. Like I said the first 10-12 minutes with the scenes on Plum Island and with “Sarge” and his red shirts showing how they survive the Zombigeddon. The “Sarge” character could have been an interesting protagonist but then in typical Romero fashion, he has to shoehorn in his stupid ham-fisted social “commentary” so he forgets about developing and using the character so “Sarge” languishes in unformed mediocrity for the rest of the movie.
  3. There is nothing else.

THE BAD (which is most of the movie)

I’m not kidding about that so I’ll just list the things I found to be the worst of the worst. There are some spoilers, if you care, so read at your own risk

  1. The writing, acting and directing. The lighting, the continuity, SPX and the music. Everything technical actually.
  2. Seamus Muldoon is a one note character that started off as an interesting idea, the guy who wanted to save the zombies, then ham-fists strike again. Muldoon then disappears for nearly a half an hour and when he reappears he’s killing Zombies willy-nilly AND trying to get them to eat something else besides humans? WTF?
  3. The world has collapsed and there is nothing to buy so why should characters worry about the 1.3 million dollars in the armored truck the guardsman are riding around in. Talk about dead weight. Paper money at that point is just green paper worth precisely nothing. Plus, dummies, YOU HAVE GUNS. You can take what you want LIKE YOU HAVE BEEN DOING. (Ham meet fist)
  4. This one is personal but it’s not the 1950s and nobody calls an NCO “sarge”. It was fucking grating on my ears to hear that. Also, I know you don’t have a big budget for the movie but again, it is not 1950. The US Army and NG DON’T use WW2 JEEPS anymore and haven’t since the early to mid 80’s. You couldn’t rent a Humvee for an hour or two?
  5. The uniforms of the NG. You couldn’t pick up a phone and find that A.) there is insignia on them because they are in the Army and that B.) the Army and NG don’t wear the woodland pattern Utilities anymore and haven’t for like 4 or 5 years.
  6. Romero’s jones to have zombies “learn.” They’re dead, right? Romero spent a lot of time saying this. You’ve said over and over again that there isn’t any electrical activity in the Zombie brain and that the body is completely dead. So how does a zombie “learn” or for that matter “remember” being human? Their brains are dead completely.
  7. Grenades don’t explode with a fire ball that will take the front of a building off. Again, phone call.
  8. For a guy that made his bones on practical effects, you rely heavily on bad CGI this time out. Specifically when killing zombies on the ferry. How the hell does a flare do that kind of damage let alone the foam from a fire extinguisher?
  9. I mentioned that this was a western right? Characters wear cowboy hats, dusters and carry single action Colt pattern revolvers, lever action rifles and side by side shotguns. Also they ride horses, rope zombies RIDING horses all the while LIVING ON AN ISLAND OFF THE COAST OF DELAWARE IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2009.
  10. Why do some of the characters sound like they just got off the boat from Ireland yet others don’t?  You went to the trouble of making sure your viewers knew that people had been living on the island for hundreds of years, that they have the Internet and TV and that characters easily come and go from the island. Why do they sound like recent immigrants?
  11. One more weapons related gripe. The M-16A3 rifle isn’t fully automatic, it fires a three round burst. Again, one phone call George, that’s all it would have taken.
  12. Zombies riding horses? Zombies remembering they have grudges with other zombies and have duels with them? Jesus old man, you have slipped into dementia.

I could go on for a hundred more entries but by now you get the idea, the movie sucks. Don’t watch it, don’t support Romero and his shitty movies. The movie is awful and it could have been good. There was a glimmer of hope after all. I can’t in good consciousness give Survival Of the Dead anything but the dreaded giant orangutan double eye poke fuck you times 3 to this movie. Retire George, retire right now.

Mahalo,

Xiphos

Tags: , , , , ,

About Xiphos0311

Sporadic genius but mostly IDGAF.

70 responses to “SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD: ALMOST, GEORGE, ALMOST”

  1. lordbronco says :

    Right.

    This motion picture sounds like it’s a bit off.

    Stiff Upper Lip, and all that.

    Move along people, there’s nothing to see.

    Except, that is, Irish Cowboys-hmmm.

    • Continentalop says :

      Actually a lot of cowboys were Irish.

      Just not on islands off the coast of Delaware in the year of our Lord 2009.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        That’s true half the ranches around ours were owned by folks with Irish names, ours included.

  2. Continentalop says :

    Xi, do you ever look at George Romero’s director credit and say “I wish I could quit you”?

  3. Continentalop says :

    I imagine Xi would be very good in an Apocalypse scenario.

    Which one do you think you are best suited for: zombies, Nuclear, Road Warrior Energy crisis, or Cannibal ala the Road?

    • Continentalop says :

      Actually there is a series of article I would read in a heart beat: Xi’s top 10 pieces of advice to help you survive the (fill in the blank) Apocalypse.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        The one only piece of advice is to be armed at all times with several different types of weapons on your person and vehicle. Also if you can get a hold of a Russian BMP 1 you will be alright.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I go back and fourth between Zombiegeddon and The road warrior type of scenario.

  4. xiphos0311 says :

    There was one other scene I should have listed under the bad category because Romero lifted it directly from Police Squad. Yes Romero rip off the two foot gun battle, fucking hack.

  5. Droid says :

    Sounds dreadful. And just ask any 15 year old kid and he’ll be able to correct you on number 11.

    Modern Warfare 2 – Teaching kids that guns are fun!

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Guns are great fun!

      Not getting the reference about #11 though.

      • Droid says :

        It was a bit cryptic. The M16A3 is one of the assault rifles in the game Modern Warfare 2, which despite it’s 18 classification is rampant with kids as young as 10 playing it. In the game it’s correctly a 3 round burst.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Thanks for clearing that up. I don’t play video games so I was a bit stumped by what you were saying

  6. Jarv says :

    A triple orangutan Poke!

    I refuse to watch another Romero Zombie movie after Diary. Which was the film that finally got me to the shelter.

    Why does he insist on having them learn? Why?

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Honestly I wasn’t planning on seeing it but I flew across country twice this past week from North Carolina to Washington State and my choices were talking to the Air Force dudes or talking to my Units Executive officer(which I had to sometimes anyways. That asshole is a perfect imitation of Gareth Keenan from the UK OFFICE but with a Boston accent) so I opted to watch this mess on my laptop instead. What I should have done was hit myself in the head with a blunt object.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Jarv at the end of the movie there was a scene of Zombie O’Flynn and Zombie Muldoon facing each other holding pistols and pulling the trigger over and over again like some duel in a western town. Also they were back lit by a full moon.

      how’s that for learning and it furthers my point that this is a freaking western.

  7. ThereWolf says :

    I’ll wait for the DVD. “Why, Mr Romero, why, why do you persist?”

    ‘Diary’ was the only one I outwardly disliked – except for the Amish bloke halfway through, he was good.

    Cheers, Xi.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Yeah the Amish dude was funny.

      That’s the hard part of watching Romero’s movies for me. They all have some point in the movie that had potential and if somebody with an ounce of creativity was involved those flashes of competency would have become a good movie.

      Thanks Wolf.

  8. Tom_Bando says :

    Xiphos: is the gal up there a Zombie yet (or becoming one?) what exactly was the scenario there? Looks like Toby Keith has his hands full.

    Jorge Romero retired and was replaced by a fanboy some years back, Drew something I think is the name of the screenwriter now on all his movies-

    • xiphos0311 says :

      She’s a Zombie and a really dumb plot device. You see she is a twin but that knuckle head Romero tried to hide that fact and roll it out as an AHA! moment. She got lassoed out of the saddle by Toby Keith.

      What I want to know is if Zombies can barely walk how are they able to ride a horse or get into the saddle?

      So McWeeny wrote this?

      • Tom_Bando says :

        Oh okay thanks for the info. I was thinking she was a Zombie but you really can’t tell by, you know, just looking at her(Nice make up/prosthetics work there, uh, George) that was funny.

        If Drew didn’t he shoulda as this sounds about up to his demonstrated ability….

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Yeah that make up job wasn’t good but when you first see her riding around the island endlessly that scene had a good look to it. Well what ever they did to her eyes was cool.

        which also lead me to wonder, does she gallop her horse the whole time like Romero implied? That’s how you get laminitus in your horse which isn’t a good thing as you well know.

      • Jarv says :

        Wait, wait, wait. Zombies ride horses?

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Yes sir you read that correctly A zombie rides a horse

  9. Tom_Bando says :

    Maybe it was a Zombie Horse?

  10. Tom_Bando says :

    Should have told her it’s a Mongolian Pastry(TM). Would’ve worked.

  11. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    good review Xi. I saw this awhile ago and almost completely forgot about it. You are right though, it’s one step away from being ‘The Quick and the Undead’ by the end. So amazingly stupid. The horse-riding zombie was dumb, yes, but as you pointed out she was probably the most interesting looking zombie, with the foggy eyes.

    I published a review sent in from a buddy a few days ago that hates it as much as you do. It’s over at PCN:

    http://popcultureninja.com/2010/05/28/now-playing-survival-of-the-dead-review/

  12. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    also, between your review and the PCN one, thats twice now that George has been openly addressed to retire.

    Honestly, Im not sure what he could do to the series to further destroy it, but I’m sure he’ll find a way.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I’ve been calling for Romero’s retirement since Dawn of the Dead.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        since Dawn of the Dead? ha!

        You’re worse than me. I liked Dawn, but started dislking his work with Day and everything since then has been worse than the one before it.

        When I look back over his resume and think that Monkey Shines was the last decent, watchable thing, you know there are problems.

  13. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    Xi, you mention the money in the truck being useless. That dawned on me too. One of the most enjoyable zombie stories I ever remember reading was a one or two page little ditty where a group of mercs are barreling their way through a Road-warrior esque future with zombies, and battle across the wasteland to get a special payload to a solitary town.

    The mission nearly goes tits up but they manage to unleash destruction on the zombies, and get their cargo to where it needs to be. The townspeople come rushing out, rejoicing, as if there are precious meds or water on the truck.

    Turns out the mercs are carrying pallets of toilet paper, a rare commodity in the future.

    They however, aren’t being paid in money for it, as the town still has it’s own brewery and trades the mercs beer for toilet paper.

    End of story.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      The money issue was more of romero’s ham fisted social commentary BS. They were doing what any sane person would so in that situation, take from the dummies that didn’t have any weapons are were too weak to use the weapons they had.

      Food water ammo clothing what ever you needed to survive was there for the taking if you had some gumption and a back bone. Of course raiding gun shops and Wal-Mart would have been a BETTER idea at first but we can’t expect good ideas from the likes of Romero.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I can see that. when you are at dawn of new society good and services would be valued more then most things expect for maybe gold or jewels.

  14. Tom_Bando says :

    Needs Giant Robots (Zombies).

  15. ThereWolf says :

    Anyone seen a zombie film called ‘Colin’?

    Read about it a bit back. Any good?

  16. Barfy says :

    From now on I’m using “The Zombie Rode the Horse” for film franchises done one or two times too many. God knows there’s enough of them to deserve their own phrase. Thanks Xi.

  17. kloipy says :

    Great review Xi. I knew I wouldn’t like this one from all the TERRIBLE trailers. Just looked like shit

    • Jarv says :

      Much like Land and Diary did.

      Nope, I’m over my battered wife syndrome with Romero- Diary was the miscarraige-due-to-beating that I needed to get my ass in the shelter.

  18. Continentalop says :
  19. Continentalop says :

    Try this…

  20. Continentalop says :

    Figuring out how to post a fucking picture.

    • Jarv says :

      oh. Okay- like this:

      img src=”https://moonwolves.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/23727.jpg” alt=”God of War 3 Aphrodite and handmaidens”

      but between pointy brackets. The second pointy bracket has to have / before it.

  21. Continentalop says :

    Ok, I’ll give it a whirl:

  22. Continentalop says :

    OK, it is official, I’m an idiot.

  23. Continentalop says :

    Wait, just realized something.

  24. Continentalop says :

    I don’t have an asterisk anywhere in my thing.

  25. Droid says :

    Try that again…

    You need to insert at the start a less than symbol.

    At the end you need to insert a greater than symbol

    after the src=” paste in your image address

    after alt” type in a name for the image

    img src=”http://idreamedmovies.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/the_breakfast_club.jpg” alt=”The Breakfast Club” /

  26. Continentalop says :

    Lets try your directions droid

  27. Continentalop says :

    Fuck it. I’ll let you guys do it. I’m going to post it as a reply to droid in the Rec Room.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: