Land of the Dead Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2013
George Romero had been on a self-imposed hiatus before 'Land of the Dead' but he strikes back with a vengeance in this brisk fourth installment. Romero always infuses his spine-tinglers with a blast of ripe social commentary and 'Land of the Dead' explores the post-apocalyptic class system, the distraction tactics of wartime (the zombies are inordinately fond of fireworks) and the underestimation of the enemy (zombies are pawns for amusement). Some people were appalled at the learning curve of Big Daddy and his throng of followers but I thought it was a fresh and revolutionary upheaval of the status quo in these movies. We are actually engrossed in the evolutionary process of the zombie's pilgrimage to Fiddler's Green and their emergence from the silky-black water is iconic. The film contains several sublime in-jokes including the reprisal of Tom Savini's biker zombie from 'Dawn of the Dead'. As with most of Romero's walking-dead films, the characters' deaths are creatively indelible such as a zombie whose head is dangling by a lone nerve fiber and a zombie who tears out a belly-button piercing for easy access to the intestines. The jaunty undead epic 'Land of the Dead' may not be as renowned as the previous three films in the loosely connected franchise but it is by no means inferior.
Super Reviewer
½ February 6, 2007
A post apocalyptic society has evolved in the wake of the zombie holocaust with the inevitable mix of haves and have nots fighting for what's left of the world's resources, little knowing that the undead are getting organized...Land Of The Dead feels the least like a Romero zombie film of the series. It actually has a lot more in common with the likes of Escape From New York or Mad Max than Night Of The Living Dead, forsaking the smart social commentary and invention of the earlier films for generic action sequences and gory effects. The C list cast certainly don't help, as all are rather bland and uninteresting as they go through the sci-fi action motions of running around shooting zombies with big guns. Fans can spot some cameos by various undead characters from the previous films and it has enough going on to stave off boredom, but as a whole it looks far more like an imitator than a bona fide instalment in the original series.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
George found himself unable to leave his zombie universe as just a trilogy. Originally he wanted to make a film for each decade, but some crap came up, and he couldn't get one in for the 90s, but ended up compensating by making this, the first of three films for the 2000s

The social commentary focuses on the have and have nots, and there's lots of post-9/11 George W. Bush kinda stuff going on. Nice. Also, the zombies have become far more advanced, which, depending on who you are, might not be cool, especially since the lead zombie tends to "emote", which, I kinda liked, but it came off as a bit silly at times.

No matter though, because he's got some actual stars in this films like Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo. Asia Argento is also in this, but she's still not quite as known to U.S. audiences. Simon Baker is also here, and this was right before he also became more well known, even if this wasn't his first film effort.

The gore is plentiful and looks awesome, and there's some nice cameos from SImon Pegg and Edgar Wright as a thank you to them for their reverent "Shaun of the Dead". Also very cool.

I liked this film, even though there are maybe about five too many jump scares. It has immediacy and relevance, but I don't see it as ever being as iconic or memorable as the first three. You should give it a shot though, because it's damn entertaining, and pretty well done.
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2012
George A.Romero has returned from a mysterious disappearance and has delivered his latest entry into the world of the undead. This time he focuses on how the corrupted governments try to make more money and power out of a world full of fear. However, some of the undead have developed and have become smarter than ever before. The violence in 'Land of The Dead' does meet up the the originals. Instead of being like Dawn of The Dead' and being slightly comical, this new instalment choses to be more grittier and realistic. For zombie fans; the Godfather of the Dead has returned.
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2007
A B-grade movie inside and out concerning a zombie-ridden planet and how the city of Detroit, now walled, attempts to keep the walking dead outside. Although miles away from the legendary 1978 film "Dawn of the Dead", Romero still gets a lot of things right. He packs the gore, scares, and dark atmosphere in altogether the way a zombie film should be constructed. The acting is pretty decent as well, especially Simon Baker and John Legizamo as mercenaries leading the way. Dennis Hopper comes in for about a fifth of the movie and turns a gloriously hammy performance, the way it should be. The story itself is predictable, and Romero breaks some of his own rules by having the zombies adapt and learn on the go, which shouldn't be possible because they are after all completely brain dead and not able to possess any form of creativity outside of walking slowly or pounding on things brainlessly. Still, fun enough while it lasts, but not worth a full recommendation. Pretty entertaining but certainly missable. Stick to Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" if you want blood and gore combined with a subversive take on society and consumerism.
Super Reviewer
½ February 12, 2012
Kaufman: In a world where the dead are returning to life, the word "trouble" loses much of its meaning.

"The dead shall inherit the Earth."

Land of the Dead is a decent film from zombie master George A. Romero, but it doesn't touch the best of the genre. There's definitley some cool and inventive stuff going on here, but it never seems to all come together to make a satisfying movie with the likes of Night or Dawn of the Dead. Still when it comes to the zombie genre you could do a whole lot worse.

I liked how the zombies are actually learning and able to take advantage of human inventions now instead of only relying on their teeth and hands. I also liked the cast, especially Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo. Eugene Clark also gives one of the cooler performances as a zombie that I have seen.

It may seem like I disliked the film, but really I enjoyed it for the most part, it is just that there are so many of these movies out there. In order to be completely satisfied by these types of movies now, I have to see something that is different from what I've seen in the past, and this doesn't do that.
The Gandiman
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2011
"Land of the Dead" is never coherent or interesting enough to work.

George Romero evolves the undead into learning monsters - but as they learn - greedy survivors get dumber and dumber and, moral of the story, become the real monsters. It's up to a band of moral upstanding survivors to battle both sets of monsters.

It's nothing original but it could have been a pretty decent film if it weren't for the amateur-grade dialogue and gratuitous gross-out shots. Where "Dawn of the Dead" expertly skewered consumerism and "Day of the Dead" tragically showed how lack of common humanity can create chaos, "Land" is clumsy in its attempt to deliver a message about the growing divide between the rich and the poor.

Nonetheless it has parts that work well - and "Land" while not the best addition to the "Dead" series still gets a honorable mention.
Super Reviewer
½ May 31, 2011
By now in his career, George A. Romero has already established that he is the undisputed king of zombies ever sense his groundbreaking classic Night Of The Living Dead. Ever sense the creation of that masterpiece, Romero does everything to establish the mythology of his zombies while making smart satire horror films. This film does expand the mythology and has that great satire, but has to be one of the more idiotic films in the franchise. First lets start with directing. I have to hand it to Romero: He knows zombies. With this film, he adds a little something to the zombies that is about time they were given: intelligence. What, to me, shocked me about this film was how these zombies were able to work as a complete unit and function while the humans acted more dead than a doornail! Hmm. I guess that is one of two points Romero is trying to make. Another aspect of this film is the main satire that this film is. If one was to look around in the real world, they would notice one thing: Rich versus poor. Threw out this entire film, almost everything is reflected and moved around that one idea. Zombies vs. People. Upper class survivors verses lower class. This film is filled with them with one important message: until everyone is treated equally, there will always be constant battles between classes. Now, one thing I have to severely applaud is the special effects and make-up for the zombies. One thing that this entire franchise is known for is the make-up and this film does not disappoint. The make-up is fantastic, grotesque, and adds something new while making each zombie unique in their own right. Now for the acting. Personally, the acting was horrid in this film. I mean, no one took this film seriously and that created a negative impact. Romero, do yourself a favor: Get good actors for now on to star in your films. I mean, I can handle mediocre acting once in a while, but I would like to see some damned effort here! Now, the score to this film is decent to say the least. I mean, there are a few pieces that I enjoyed completely. But other then that, there is nothing worth mentioning. Finally for the script, I like how it took the satires and moved them around plus the advancements with the zombies, but I would have liked more meat. I would have liked it if we got a chance to explore the world that they reside in and understand the entire economic ladder with the humans. Things like how one makes money, who really gets to live on top, and why this world reminds me so much of the MAD MAX films. Overall, this is not the best in terms of story elements for the series, but great in terms of evolving the zombies and the make up effects.
Super Reviewer
March 25, 2011
four stars...
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2010
An unnecessary fourth entry to the zombie trilogy, even if it presents another interesting social commentary. With poorly written dialogue and characters we never care about, this film will probably please those looking for new ways of dilaceration, slaughter and blood spewing.
Super Reviewer
½ May 19, 2007
This is an exceptional film and returns Romero to the genre he created with vengeance. Simon Baker leads an all star cast that includes the mesmerizing Asia Argento, the witty John Leguizamo and the perfectly demonic Dennis Hopper. The post September 11 themes are buried within the script and the character development is better than expected. The overall concept is a bit weak, "they just want somewhere to go" is a bit stretched and I'm glad that he kept with his traditional ways of having the zombies move slow as sin. Romero has always been a dramatic-concept director and not an overly flashy choreographer of elaborate and beautiful sequences (i.e. zack snyder's wonderful remake of "Dawn of the Dead" was a great film unto itself and he did an extraordinary job modernizing it?but without Romero's initial vision, the film wouldn't exist.) It's unfortunate that audiences didn't embrace this entry into the "dead" series. Anxiously awaiting World of the Dead.
Super Reviewer
June 29, 2010
it was good but not anything special. B
Super Reviewer
June 8, 2010
Land Of The Dead, the fourth entry in Romero's zombie series a very different take on zombie films of the past. It seems with this film, zombies have a thought pattern and are smarter than your average living dead. What better way to give an upgrade to the zombie genre than mister George Romero Himself. Ever since the release of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, Zombie are even more deadlier than what we've seen in the past. Which is the case in Land Of The Dead, Romero's zombies are smarter and a bit more deadlier than his previous film, its quite the departure from his previous works. For example, just to show how smart his zombies are in this film, one of them actually fires a machine gun. It's a very intriguing new take in the zombie genre, and I'm sure we have Danny's Boyle's film to thank for that. Thats what makes Land Of The Dead a very good film, it's originality and it's refreshing new take on trying a different concept, i.e smarter, deadlier zombies make this film a wicked original along with 28 Days Later. Land Of The Dead has a strong cast of actors complimenting this new tale of zombie mayhem, Denis Hopper, John Leguizamo, Asia Argento and Boyd Banks. A thrilling new take on zombie film created by the man who started it all, George A. Romero.
Super Reviewer
½ November 17, 2009
I really enjoyed it, definitely a step up from Day Of The Dead. The effects were great and didn't rely on cgi like other horror movies have began to. It went with what made Dawn of the Dead great, a great story and characters. You gotta love John Leguizamo, Asia Argento and Dennis Hopper, a great addition to the series. I was really proud of Romero for not being influenced by other popular horror movies that have come out, his formula is perfect and doesn't need to change. This was a lot more apocalyptic oriented, which was different, but it worked.
Super Reviewer
April 22, 2007
Another Romero masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2008
OK entry from George Romero in his Living Dead saga. Civilization has totally collapsed and the world is ruled by the undead except in a walled city that is-shock-split into a class system that provides as much drama as the zombies do.
Romero actually gets some big name talent for this installment (John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper being the top stars) and a higher budget to give us a glossy and polished dead film that screams of social commentary (as did the first three). What makes this film different from those is that the undead are learning and remembering their old human behaviors. They can solve problems instead of drooling their way into some pretty young things jugular which gives and interesting take to the genre that Romero has invented.
I wouldn't call this the best film of the Dead saga, though it seems unfair to call it the worst either. It is the weakest of the saga, but the one thing you can give George Romero credit for is that he has the ability to recreate his creation every time he steps into that world of rotten, walking flesh. A true genius at his creation. Land of the Dead isn't his greatest work, but compared to some of the other horror product (and regurgatation) that's in the market today it is vastly superior.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2007
A masterpiece. It's extroadinary and magnificent. Director, George A. Romero has done it again with his true visionary and vintage style mixed with the technology of today. A blood thirsty and character driven story. Brilliant in every way. A horror movie dream come true. Blood, gore and bone chilling excitement. A true visionary epic come to life. It's like Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead. One of the most outstanding horror films in the last few years. It delivers in every way that it should with a stunning story and gripping characters. It's heart-racing, freightning and exhilerating.
Super Reviewer
½ July 1, 2007
20 years after "Day of the Dead", George A. Romero finally returned to his highly revered series of classic zombie films with this enjoyable and respectable horror / action film. In a world where zombies are higher in number than ever, some folks (basically, the have nots) are forced to fend for themselves, while the others live in relative safety inside a fortified city. Meanwhile, the zombies themselves are evolving, learning how to use tools and weapons and becoming capable of creative thinking, and end up being mobilized by a hulking zombie named "Big Daddy" (Eugene Clark).

Our main plot has Riley (Simon Baker) forced to go after former comrade Cholo (John Leguizamo) after the latter embarks on a vendetta against arrogant fat cat Kaufman (Dennis Hopper), stealing an awesome-looking truck named "Dead Reckoning" and intending to obtain payment from the rich jerk by threatening to destroy his stronghold. With sidekick Charlie (Robert Joy) in tow, Riley picks up other cohorts along the way, including Slack (Asia Argento).

Although the very slickness and Hollywood feel of this project go against the appeal of Romeros' earlier entries, there's no denying that this serves a fair dose of rousing entertainment. The unrated version on DVD delivers a marvelously outrageous amount of gore and violence, the kind guaranteed to leave some viewers quite satisfied. The moody photography, excellent sets, and great locations add to the overall impressive look of the film. Romero gets solid performances out of his cast, all of them low-key (even Hoppers') but effective. Best of all, the director hasn't lost his touch at injecting his material with intelligent commentary on various social issues.

While not as memorable or as potent as Romeros' earlier works, "Land of the Dead" is, I think, worthy of some respect, and is pretty fun to watch. I consider it a treat to see the man get back to doing what he does best, and his love and dedication to this particular niche is always welcome.

If you haven't seen it, be sure to look out for the cameos from Tom Savini and "Shaun of the Dead" boys Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2008
Had anyone other than George A. Romero directed "Land of the Dead", its critical reception would probably have been more enthusiastic. Unfortunately, having virtually invented the thought-provoking horror picture, Romero couldn't fail to disappoint by delivering a dumb horror/action flick, good though it may be. The worst thing I can find to say about "Land of the Dead" is that it is anonymous; excepting a couple of half-hearted references to the War on Terror, the satirical signature of Romero's best work is conspicuously absent. The film is also too slick for its own good, sanitizing the gore effects and nullifying their shock value, which is probably why it didn't even achieve an '18 certificate' in the UK.
Super Reviewer
½ January 27, 2007
Groovy, sexy zombie fun. It's not even a patch on Night or Dawn of the Dead, but inches out Day of the Dead by a hair - there really isn't a need to compare the four, though, except for personal reference.

Land of the Dead is interesting because it kind of marks a departure from the classic horror genre for George Romero's zombie movies. Twenty years after his previous zombie iteration, it's as if Romero realized that the conventional zombie doesn't really have what it takes to scare audiences. Instead of fighting in vain to make the movie into a tale of horror, he instead molds his craft into a dark, hilariously gory action film with an astronomical body count. Sure, there are still touches of horror (jump scares aplenty), but the intent is to engage and rile the audience more than scare them.

A lot of Romero's die-hard fans are disappointed in this movie. You know, THOSE zombie movie freaks - the ones who probably straight-up smell like the living dead. The ones who get all anal retentive because zombies CAN'T BREATHE OR THINK OR WHATEVER. God, I hope they can find forgiveness in their heart for their traitorous messiah, who retconned a genre he single-handedly popularized just a teensy bit. (And it's not even like he didn't hint at it - remember Bud from Day of the Dead?) If the zombies were inert, shambling husks, they wouldn't have been able to do anything amidst this movie's setting. It's a tale of post-apocalyptic geopolitics, two bigger words than anything you'll hear in the script, and idiot flesheaters wouldn't have been able to break the barriers that humanity had established in their wake.

The performances are mixed. Simon Baker is dull and John Leguizamo doesn't really offer anything new. Dennis Hopper is overstated, but the performance calls him to be, and he isn't nearly as hammy as he was in Blue Velvet, so he's all good. Asia Argento's a decent actress, but she has a shitload of presence. She is almost always the first thing you focus on on-screen, and not even for her looks (though I'm sure those don't hurt). Robert Joy is good in a likable/lame character.

I don't think I'll understand why Land of the Dead gets the drubbings it does, short of rabid idiotic fanboyism. It is an eminently watchable gore movie, a fun and frenetic actioner, and an hour and a half well-spent. This is the kind of movie that you watch with a few good friends after x amount of drinks. Maybe that's what the others are missing.
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