Survival of the Dead is the latest in George A. Romero’s ‘of the Dead’ series. I’m a big zombie fan but even I have to admit that Diary of the Dead was a bit of a duffer, can Mr Romero come up trumps with Survival?
With this movie, Romero is trying to add something new to the zombie mytho yet still keep it topical and near the knuckle. Romero’s movies have always had an ulterior motive which I had never realised until I saw an interview with the great man who said the best way to understand his message is to consider the zombies a place-holder for something else. And this definitely rings true in Survival.
The story pretty much boils down to two feuding, Irish, families on Plum Island. Unfortunately Plum Island is infested with zombies which the O’Flynn family think should be eradicated on sight while the Muldoon family thinks they should be kept alive hopefully trained to live on something other than humans and eventually cured. Eventually the Muldoon family get the upper hand and the leader of the O’Flynn clan is banished off the island. Meanwhile a group of soldiers, fighting the zombie hoard, clash with O’Flynn. They help and take sides with O’Flynn and help return him to Plum Island to settle the score with Muldoon. There’s more to the plot than that, but that’s the basics.
The slow moving zombies, synonymous with Romero, are there as is the gore.
The film actually starts off quite gory then get’s a bit tame in the middle, but it picks up again near the end of the film. Speaking of which… the setting of the film is a tad odd. The two feuding families are Irish, no doubt about that, but they seem to be living on some sort of wild west ranches, on Plum Island, which leads to the western style shoot out and face-off at the end of the movie. Definitely not your typical zombie setting, but it worked.
There’s definitely some CGI in there too (above), but thankfully it’s not too distracting, and not too much of it. But I still reckon the CGI effects could have been pulled off using latex.
The story, while seemingly lame and pointless, is definitely topical and could be an analogy for several things, most of them (in my opinion) political. One side wants to wipe the zombie race off the earth, the other side wants to effectively re-train them. What does it mean? You decide.
Survival doesn’t break any new ground, but it does further the zombie mythos by… well, I’ll let you watch it and find out. 🙂