Production Budget: $4 million
Worldwide Gross: $143,000
I’m easy. Okay, I maybe should explain that a little bit. When it comes to selling me on a movie I like to think I’m easy. I recently saw the Darkman trilogy again simply for the reason I wanted to see Darkman III: DIE DARKMAN DIE. Why? Because DIE DARKMAN DIE is one of the best titles for a sequel ever. The movie could have been about Darkman making quilts and I wouldn’t care because the title made me laugh. So trust me when I say it is hard to scare me away from a movie.
Survival of the Dead scared me, and not in the good way. Every time I would pass it in my Blockbuster (and yes, I still go to an actual Blockbuster store) I almost flinch as if the box will give me some electroshock if I picked it up. Diary of the Dead was so atrocious and showed how far Romero had fallen that I honestly did not want to see him fall any lower. It is not about seeing Survival and being pissed off, I didn’t want to watch it and be depressed. That being said, this is a box office bomb and, fuck it; let’s get on with the review.
So the main location of this movie is some island off the coast of North America. The inhabitants have it pretty good in that they can sustain themselves on the island by ranching and zombies can’t get them because of being surrounded by water. One of the family leaders O’Flynn, decides it may just be in the best interests of everyone if they killed the few remaining zombies left on the island. Because you know, I would feel a lot safer if I didn’t think my sleep would be interupted by a zombie eating my intestines like a four year old eats a plate of spaghetti. The other family, the Muldoons, thinks that is a monstrous idea and banish O’Flynn from the island. I then decided to rename the island Moron Island because I could not identify with any of the people or their actions. This is despite the director on his soapbox berating me that I should feel like he does. Romero seriously wants me to feel like zombies are people too and what O’Flynn is doing is so monstrous and yada yada yada. You know what I think is monstrous? Eating my brains and I see no problem with people defending themselves from that. This movie sucks.
To add insult to injury we then meet our “protagonist“ Sarge. He is the psychopath highway robber from Diary of the Dead because, because I could totally sympathize with someone with no redeeming qualities. The writing tries to backpeddle the character and make him some world weary badass looking for a home but it only left me asking: what’s the point? Was anyone flooding Romero with emails begging for a continuation of the oh so important character of “Colonel“ from Diary of the Dead? Just have someone else be your protagonist and don’t now try to pretend there is some continuity between the Dead movies. But even if I did forget what Sarge did in Diary, he is still an unlikable asshat who is not compelling in the least. This movie sucks.
This movie even has to find ways to upset me like including crappy CGI. The practical effects were some of the best things in early Romero movies but here we have terrible CGI gore. This is capped off by some of the most dreadful seconds in all of Romero’s flimography. A character grabs a fire extinguisher, puts it in a zombie’s mouth, and shoots him full of CGI goo until the goo comes out his ears and makes his eyes pop out in even worse CGI. That had me literally yelling in anger which, given the fact I was watching this on the go with my streaming iPhone app, I’m sure garnered me some strange looks and calls to 911. This movie sucks.
So Sarge gets convinced by O’Flynn to come to the island and kill Muldoon because it’s like the Hatfields and McCoys. You know Romero, you can’t make zombies a metaphor for everything. It has already been a message for racism, the 1%-ers in Land of the Dead, how media is bullshit in Diary, and now about wars and feuds. Are the next movies going to be about gay zombie marriage and zombie Obamacare? I don’t care about these characters and because of that I don’t feel any tension from the zombies. They are all so stupid I don’t care if they all get eaten by zombies. Everything about this movie is stale. The message is stale, the effects are at the very least a letdown by Romero standards, the acting is dull, and the action is nothing I haven’t seen a million times before in a now oversaturated zombie market. And yes, apparently Romero can sink lower because he wants to do another two Dead movies. Oh joy!
This movie sucks.