Survival of the Dead (2010)
Critic Consensus: Survival of the Dead offers glimmers of Romero's savage wit, but not nearly enough to make up for his unusually uninspired directing and a lack of new ideas
Watch it now
as Patrick O'Flynn
as Seamus Muldoon
News & Interviews for Survival of the Dead
Critic Reviews for Survival of the Dead
Even Romero's staunchest fans might conclude their hero is going through the motions here. Yes, almost like a zombie.
What we've got here is a just a B-movie western with buckets of gore, which might be fine coming from a Romero wannabe but not from the genuine article.
Steeped in fan-pleasing gore but woefully thin on ideas, originality (beyond new zombie-offing methods) or directorial flair.
Big set pieces showing how atrophied Romero's cutting and tactical framing have become is depressing to anyone who has valued his films for more than just splatter.
Survival of the Dead almost never snaps into focus. Even its oxymoronic title doesn't work. It feels marginal, like an extended footnote.
Audience Reviews for Survival of the Dead
A squad of AWOL soldiers happens upon a remote island inhabited by two feuding clans with very different ideas of how to deal with the zombie holocaust. I'd love to say that the latest in George Romero's spiralling Dead franchise has finally stopped the rot, but I'd be lying. Survival Of The Dead's recipe of weak slapstick comedy and cartoon gore turns the once fearful zombies into something of a deeply un-intimidating joke and I wish that just ONCE, a Hollywood casting director could actually cast an actual Irish actor instead of just assuming that an American drawling "Oi'm frum Oireland t'be sure" is good enough. The uninspiring small screen cast are very difficult to care about and I would describe the amateurish feel of the whole thing as "TV standard" if The Walking Dead hadn't come along and proven how high "TV standard" has become over recent years. Instead of witty, insightful satire Romero has chosen to turn The Dead series into a cross between The Munsters and The Beverly Hill Billies and the addition of a half-baked message about nationalism at the very end just doesn't cut it. Easily the worst of the series and I'm sad to say that it's about time he called it a day because it's just getting a little embarrassing now.
Not my favourite zombie movie at all, in fact it was pretty terrible and even if your a huge zombie fan you may want to avoid this movie.
Well, he did it. George A. Romero finally somehow managed to make a zombie movie that I can't bring myself to recommend. It's sad too. I mean, Land and Diary weren't as good as the original trilogy, but they were still pretty decent movies all things considered.
Depending on certain factors (since I'm a little wary of change), I kinda like it when a band or director I like does something different. And that's the case here, where the film is basically The Hatfields and McCoys plus Zombies. Also different is that there's little if any real subtext here, unlike the previous films, and this is also the closest that the series has come to having a direct sequel since the main characters here plaed a small role in the previous entry.
This film follows a group of mercenary national guardsmen (and lady) who robbed the protagonists of hte previous film. Here, they are deserters just looking to find a better place and situation. They make their way to an island off the coast of Delaware inhabited by two feuding Irish families who have differening views on how to deal with the zombies.
This all could have been some very compelling stuff, but it never turns out to be that way. The film feels unfocused and incomplete. There are traces of substance, but no real hardsocial commentary, and what is there comes off as half formed.
There's some humor here, whic his fine, but more than I fiured there'd be, and tonally, (and I hate using this comparison) this feels A LOT like Jason X. The humor also comes off as silly and doesn't work that well. Also, the acting is all over the place.
So, with all of that, you might be wondering why I've not given it a lower score. Well, it's got violence and gore, and some rather interesting ways of killing zombies. A couple of the kills have some painfully bad cgi effects, which sucks, but still, they are at least creative. Also, I kinda liked the pseudo sequel idea. There's some okay ideas here, but it just feels like George has really run out of ideas and confirmed what many have known for a while now that he's pretty much just phoning it in. I did like that there's a random and pointless scene of the female soldier breifly masturbating though.
Sigh. It's odd. This isn't that good of a film, but I was never really bored. That's especially odd since this film isn't always that interesting. Maybe it's just my love for the man and his past films. See this only if you're a completist, or if you feel you really have to. Otherwise, just pass.
Discuss Survival of the Dead on our Movie forum!