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Survival of the Dead (2010)


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 84
Fresh: 25
Rotten: 59

Critics 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

Average Rating: 4.1/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 21

Critics 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


Average Rating: 2.4/5
User Ratings: 7,772


Movie Info

A group of rogue soldiers seek shelter from the zombie apocalypse on scenic Plum Island, only to become caught up in a bitter feud between two warring families. Sarge Crocket (Alan Van Sprang) and his motley crew of military abandoners are searching for a safe place to rest when they cross paths with Patrick O'Flynn (Kenneth Welsh). O'Flynn has been banished from Plum Island, where his family is locked in a longtime quarrel with the Muldoons. The O'Flynns see the flesh-eaters as subhuman, never … More

R (for strong zombie violence/gore, language and brief sexuality)
Directed By:
Written By:
George A. Romero
In Theaters:
Apr 30, 2010
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Survival of the Dead

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (59) | DVD (6)

Even Romero's staunchest fans might conclude their hero is going through the motions here. Yes, almost like a zombie.

Full Review… | August 20, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | August 19, 2010
Toronto Star
Top Critic

George A. Romero's entertaining new zombie feature shows that you can't keep a good man down.

July 7, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Steeped in fan-pleasing gore but woefully thin on ideas, originality (beyond new zombie-offing methods) or directorial flair.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 7, 2010
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Survival of the Dead almost never snaps into focus. Even its oxymoronic title doesn't work. It feels marginal, like an extended footnote.

Full Review… | June 1, 2010
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Are George Romero's late-career ghoul operas fatigued retreads of his seminal zombie classics, or eccentrically satirical twists on the genre tropes he pioneered? Survival of the Dead isn't about to clear things up.

Full Review… | April 22, 2011
House Next Door

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review… | December 17, 2010
Movies for the Masses

"A man dies, he gets stupid," someone observes in the film. Maybe if a man makes too many films about the dead, the same fate awaits him. Mr. Romero, you are on notice.

Full Review… | October 15, 2010
Film Threat

Romero has freed his story up for a lighter, more amusingly misanthropic take on the worst tendencies of people.

Full Review… | September 12, 2010
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

An exercise in beating a dead horse as well as eating a dead horse, the film demonstrates that the metaphorical usefulness of the zombie genre has reached a state of near rigor mortis, if not putrefaction.

Full Review… | August 25, 2010
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

The creator is still driving his old Model-T to the ground.

Full Review… | August 20, 2010
Jam! Movies

There's something here for enthusiasts to enjoy, but to newcomers or those lacking an appreciation for Romero's work, Survival of the Dead is a zombie soap opera.

Full Review… | August 14, 2010

A sad confirmation of if not George Romero's complete creative bankruptcy then certainly his wildly diminished gift for imparting glancing metaphorical dread.

Full Review… | July 5, 2010
Shared Darkness

Maybe it's due to the fact that Romero's work never struck me as particularly exciting or important in the first place, but I mostly enjoyed this newest entry.

Full Review… | June 17, 2010
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Survival is crawling with weird ideas that make no sense, but Romero treats them as gems of life-changing import.

Full Review… | June 17, 2010
Kansas City Star, often witty...

Full Review… | June 2, 2010
Brand X

At last finds the great Romero with nothing new to say about zombies.

Full Review… | June 2, 2010
Antagony & Ecstasy

Feels like one of those goofy old Star Trek episodes in which Kirk and Spock go back in time to make some sort of baldly allegorical point.

Full Review… | June 2, 2010
Philadelphia Weekly

..has at least one great image: a zombie woman on horseback endlessly galloping around the island like some Gothic, Bronte-inspired ghost.

Full Review… | May 31, 2010

A decent zombie film

Full Review… | May 30, 2010

Audience Reviews for Survival of the Dead

The sociological message George A. Romero usually applies to his film seems to be confused or at least up for interpretation. Personally I wondered whether it was a statement on religion versus science although no religion or science is discussed, it could be argued the two mindsets are explored. The 'atheists' in the middle being our protagonists, one quite cleverly being actually religious. Faith and superiority seems to be the dish of the day anyway, with the counterbalance of stubbornness, ignorance and a closed mind tipping the scales to the ugly once more. The lovers of gore are more than catered for too, almost too much so though (and more so than the previous zombie films) which detracts from the main story somewhat but actually makes up for some of the quieter moments. It's not perfect but I quite liked the characters, especially Patrick O'Flynn played by the brilliant Kenneth Walsh. They also got over some of the cliches that have weighed heavy throughout the series which was a relief and certainly steers the franchise in the right direction. Long may it continue.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


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.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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.

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

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.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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