March 26, 2011

Netflix'ns: Survival of the Dead

Netflix'ns is a series of review shorts of films, new and old, seen on Netflix, be it DVD or streaming. For better or worse, I sat through these films and have lived to tell the tale. These are not so much reviews as just comments on the film watched. Some will be first time views, others will be revisits. This is a work in progress.

George A. Romero is the father of the modern zombie. There can be no questioning this. In 1968 he brought us Night of the Living Dead and the zombie genre was born. Sure, there were zombie movies before this, but nothing like this. His zombies and the rules that developed around them have come to define the genre. This is why it is so sad to see his sub-par recent outings. While not outright terrible, they pale when put next to any of the first three, with only Land of the Dead coming close.

Survival of the Dead is the sixth film in the franchise and the weakest yet, it also happens to be the first to be directly tied to the prior film (Diary of the Dead). Remember the soldiers that stop the winnebago in Diary? They are back here looking for someplace to get away from the damned dead. They hear about an island and head off to investigate.

The island is inhabited by rival families. They both recognize the dead as a problem but differ on what to do about them. One side is all for putting bullets in their head while the other want to keep them around, just chain them up. Of course, this isn't going to end well, especially when the soldiers reach the island. Everything builds to the final onslaught of zombie violence.

This was my second time watching the movie and while I couldn't stand it the first time through I decided to give it another shot. This time I found it o be quite watchable. It is still bad but not nearly so as I firs thought. It has some interesting ideas about the zombies, their memories and how to deal with living dead loved ones, but it just failed to land them in a meaningful fashion. Still, it has zombies and is worth giving a spin with the knowledge you can always return to Dawn of the Dead.

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