Monday, February 22, 2010

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?: Survival of the Dead

Survival of the Dead (2009) - Romero
Screen Shot 2020-06-30 at 10.09.28 PM
A small military unit left over from Diary of the Dead gets a tip from a gadget (iphone) wired kid that the Plum Island off the coast of North Eastern seaboard is the safe haven from the zombies. They are joined by James O'Flynn (Kenneth Welsh, Windom Earl in Twin Peaks), an exiled head of the O'Flynn family. You see, O'Flynns and Muldoons have been warring factions on the island for generations and now, even in the face of zombie apocalypse. The thing is, O'Flynn wants to shoot any infected in the head, even if they were family members. Muldoon? Nah, they want to keep their living dead alive (like those old post-mortem photographs)- after all, they are family. Over time, they will surely want to eat something other than human flesh. Maybe horses?

Unlike many other Romero productions, Survival has a high production value, graceful camerawork and some funny snappy dialog. It also features some new inventive ways to kill off zombies involving a fire extinguisher and flair gun. It also features a dark-haired beautiful zombie (Kathleen Munroe) horse riding and some tasty bits of underwater zombie sequences which was solely missing from Land of the Dead. But it does have some unintentional hilarity involving hot twin sisters (Munroe as Jane- zombie and Janet- non-zombie). Romero had to give her more screen time I guess. It is thoroughly enjoyable and surprisingly light on in-your-face messages. I mean, Romero might be telling us it's Isreali Palestinian or Catholic Protestant conflict. The baseless hatred runs deeeeep, and no one's admitting the other is right- the follies of human life continues. All we have to do is wait and see if the undead would eat horses.