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Friday, July 01, 2005

Land of the Dead

I really need to see this movie about 5 more time to make an adequate review, but my blog visitors await word from their Rotting Dead host. So here is my preliminary review. Beware! Here there be spoilers about, savvy?...

We have waited 20 years for George A. Romero's "Land of the Dead". This fourth and more than likely final installment of the Living Dead series finally arrived on June 24th (thankfully "Dead" fans did not have to wait until October which was the rumored release date at the beginning of the year). Most of you already know the history, but as a quick reference, there was Night of the Living Dead (Romero's 1968 genre staple started it all), Dawn of the Dead (The sequel that took 10 years to make), & Day of the Dead (Which graced our screens back in 1985, so very long ago).
Now we are in the Land of the Dead.

The film opens with the old black-and-white Universal logo, with the single prop airplane orbiting the globe. How great is that? We are taken back to a time of classics which sets the stage for the intro. A series of clips from "Night..." with sound bites that tell the story thus far, as the opening credits finish we are now in present day.Romero has done it again and with fantastic style!

Here is a world where zombies rule, and it seems that there is just one last outpost of survivors protected behind the walls of a fortified city (electrified fences, blocked bridges, and a river barrier), with a gleaming high-rise at its center. Enter a group of people from the city who go out and scavenge the surrounding suburbs for everything the city needs, medicine, food, and various other supplies. Armed with an assault vehicle aptly named "Dead Reakoning". (I thought this was awesome considering that was the working title way back in February 2002 when word first appeared that Romero was considering the project)

These raiders led by the confident Riley (Simon Baker) juxtuposed against an ambitious Cholo (John Leguizamo) work for a man named Kaufman(Dennis Hopper). He’s the mastermind who built the walls, hired the army and brought the city to it's current state, keeping the zombies out and the humans in. An gleaming sanctuay to many and a prison to others.

In Fiddler’s Green, a towering glass skyscraper filled with luxury apartments, restaurants and shops, Kaufman rules supreme. Those lucky enough, and rich enough, to be allowed residence in the tower are constantly reminded of how good they have it thanks to video monitors and audio announcements constantly advertising the upscale benefits of Fiddler's Green. The lower class occupy the rest of the city, making ends meet however they can and engaging in whatever entertainment Kaufman provides, like zombie fighting matches.

But things are not as simple as they seem. Cholo wants to move up in the world, and doesn't care who he has to piss off on the way there. Riley is looking to get out of the city and far far away where there are no fences. And of course, there are the zombies.

Romero sticks with the classic zombies that shuffle and walk slowly but persistently after their victims. Purists will love that fact and hopefully appreciate the evolution that the previous movies provided, remember Bub from "Day..."?, he was learning. As these zombies learn to communicate without words, one emerges as a leader (Eugene Clark), a gas station attendent in his previous life. This zombie is tired of watching the humans destroy his 'family' and leads the zombie masses towards the city for an old fashioned munch fest.

Speaking of which, Greg Nicotero holds nothing back in the special effects department. There are some fantastic gore scenes in this film that should make any zombie fan estatically pleased! Over the top, some might say, but I think it fits perfectly with the progression of the series. The zombies get smarter, and more violent!

What I didn't like: It was too short. An additional 30 or 40 minutes would have been great to see more of the zombies and enjoy the Land they now dominate. But with only that drawback, it gets a A+! After I have seen it a few more times, I may have to publish a retraction someday, but as it stands, Kudos to Romero "King of the zombie genre"!



  • Today's Cure song is "Trust" from the Wish CD-(1990) Love hurts so much when it is one sided.

"i love you more than i can say
why won't you just believe?
"

CJ

12 Comments:

Blogger Chica said...

I like the whole Zombies evolving thing. That alone makes it a reason to see it.

Have a great 4th!!

Saturday, July 02, 2005 9:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jessyka said...

Thanks for commenting. Zombies are total sweet, like ninjas.

Sunday, July 03, 2005 9:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Oh, I am SO seeing this.
Thanks for another great review, dawg.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005 1:34:00 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

haven't seen it yet, but I intend to.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 7:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Thanks for visiting. Enjoying your reviews. Have you done "Dark Water" yet? I'm interested in that one. Jennifer Connelly must bring some weight to the drips.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 1:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Great Review!!!

Friday, July 15, 2005 3:09:00 AM  
Blogger LaVarious said...

A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++. Oh Ralphie, you're my hero!!

Saturday, July 30, 2005 2:26:00 PM  
Blogger Lost LItle Girl said...

I really have to see that one, but I'm too lazy, and my all time most wanted to see movie just came out.

Thursday, August 04, 2005 2:39:00 PM  
Blogger Giggling Ghost said...

just dropping in

Friday, August 12, 2005 2:38:00 PM  
Blogger Chica said...

Where are you?

Monday, August 15, 2005 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

patiently waiting for an update, but patience is wearing thin. Where are you, Zombie-Boy?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 4:51:00 PM  
Blogger Ms. Lori said...

All right, where the hell are you? Put down that brain this instant, young zombie dude, and write something! ;-)

Saturday, August 27, 2005 7:47:00 AM  

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