I’ve been a George Romero fan for a long, long time, starting with Creepshow, which was probably my favorite movie ever as a kid. My favorite movie of all time? 1978’s Dawn of the Dead. Next in line? 1985’s Day of the Dead. Yeah. I’m a Romero fangirl.
I didn’t see Night of the Living Dead until well after I had seen Dawn and Day of the Dead, but it has quickly risen to the top of my list of favorite horror films of all time. And I have to admit, I really like Land of the Dead. But as for Diary and Survival, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m less than thrilled. And it pains me.
I love George. I met him at Monster Mania Con 8 in Cherry Hill, NJ. Nicest guy EVER, hands down. The man gave me his home phone number at the end of the Con. (For the record, I did call him twice. He answered the phone himself. Boss.) He is the most gracious and kind man of horror I’ve ever met at a Con. I hate to hurt his feelings by pissing all over his hard work. But what the hell was THAT? I’m talking about Survival in particular.
Diary I mostly liked, excepting the lackluster acting provided by his leading lady, Michelle Morgan, who reminded me of highschool drama club. I thought the premise was good, but I also thought Romero was shoving the social commentary down my throat, whereas in Dawn, it was much more subtle. In Survival, I missed the point, if there was one, and I sat through it thinking, “Is this an Irish Western with zombies? Why are these characters so frigging dumb? A zombie on a HORSE? Not buying it.” It left me with a sour taste in my mouth and a pain in my heart, because…how could I, a Romero fangirl, have HATED a Romero movie? And a Romero ZOMBIE movie at that?
Sigh. I had really high hopes. But it seems George has gone the way of another of my very favorite horror people ever, Mr. Stephen King. I LOVED King. Still do. As long as it’s his pre-1996 work, because most of what came out later just plain eats it. And believe me when I tell you, that’s hard to say out loud, because I have the utmost respect for and awe of King.
I have become one of those people who say, “I am a fan of his OLDER work.” In both Romero’s and King’s cases. I will never lose hope, however, that Romero will produce yet another zombie great in the future, and will be anxiously awaiting his next film, as I always do. I could never hate the man who changed my world by giving me a great appreciation and love for zombies and for horror in general. However, Survival of the Dead will sadly not be making it into my collection.