Before I start this analysis, let me clear something up. I am one of the biggest Romero fanboys on the planet. If the title of our blog didn’t tip you off, Romero is one of the biggest influences on me, and my quest into the horror genre. The past two films in his “Dead” series has severely divided the fan base. A lot of people loathed both Land, and Diary of the dead. For me though, I was still on board. While they weren’t Romero’s best zombie films, they were better than most other films that were being entered into the sub-genre. Land, to me, felt like the logical next step after Day. My point is, I’ve always been on board for the dead movies, even with those that were met with critical attacks, but I just can’t hang in there with the new entry, “Survival of the Dead.”
Survival of the Dead follows ‘Sarge Crocket(Alan Van Sprang) of the U.S. National Guard, whom you may, or may not remember making an appearance in “Diary of the Dead.” Survival follows this group of guardsman who’ve gone rogue, robbing, stealing, and killing their way to survival.
The main problem, among many, with “Survival” is the script and screenplay. Some terrible performances all around. Cheesy, out of place dialogue, unwarranted, violent outbreaks of screaming rage. There are no likable characters in the film. Everybody is in the wrong, there’s nobody to root for, and you wouldn’t really mind everyone just being shot in the face. Another problem with the film is that we’re treated with some of the worst CGI FX I’ve ever seen, especially in a Romero film. Most of the gore looks like it was drawn in by the creators of Dr. Katz. It doesn’t blend, it’s not attractive, and it kind of makes your stomach hurt to think about it. One of the things that always stuck out in my head with Romero films were the amazing practical effects. Granted, we have mostly Tom Savini to thank for that, but regardless, there are plenty of FX crews out there, capable of creating jaw dropping effects using practical means. Had Romero went the practical way, I might have found myself enjoying the film more than I did.
If you’re as big of a fan of Romero’s original trilogy as I am, you’ll more than likely be left sorely disappointed with Survival of the Dead. If you’re one of the detractors of Land, and Diary, you’ll be guaranteed to absolutely hate Survival. As harsh as this review has been, Survival still manages to sort of feel like a Romero film, by which I mean, a Romero zombie film at it’s worst, is still better than most zombie films. It’s worth watching once if you’re as huge of a fan of the man as I am, but remember, I warned you. If you can’t handle disappointment very well, you may want to skip it. All I can say is, I hope this doesn’t end up being his last film. George is getting up there in age, and I hope he has one more chance to send the dead saga out with a bang.