Romero Movie Review: Survival of the Dead

Ah, we come to the end of the Romero Zombie movie series. Its been a long road, and I am sorry it took so long to get here. I actually have had this movie in shrink-wrap waiting to do this series, so now I cut the plastic and launch this puppy. Lets take a look into the end of the road. Let’s pop Survival of the Dead!

Oh heck, its the asshole National Guardsmen from the last movie, after they robbed the Winnebago, and return to base. The Guardsmen are no more intelligent than the normal humans in being stupid, and having lousy security and letting random zombies attack them. The men get sick and tired of it all, and after allowing an over promoted idiot get killed, decide to leave for good.

Our other story involves a small island off the coast of Delaware that has been floated over from Ireland somehow, where a man called O’Flynn has taken charge and is going house to house and killing zombies and the recently dead. There is a minor faction that is not happy with this, and think there is a cure coming soon, as soon as Romero can get the money together to hire Will Smith. A small fight breaks out when O’Flynn goes to a house to kill off a couple children and the parents fight back, leading to the mother being killed. The fight ends up with the other family lead by the Muldoons to take over and decide to exile O’Flynn and his followers to the mainland instead of killing him. Of course, this is presented to Muldoons by O’Flynn’s HOT CHICK daughter.

So the internet is still working somehow, and Storyline A picks up a kid after a brief ambush/fight, and they see an add for a Zombie-Free island (no relation to Dawn of the Dead) and they decide to go see how great the island is. Sadly, its just a setup for an ambush by O’Flynn. For some stupid reason the Guardmen must have been cross-trained Navy as they are able to take the Ferry that goes to the island and end up joining forces with O’Flynn for some rushed and stupid reason. I guess having pop-up Zombie attacks bond people that were just shooting at each other.

So on the island, we find out that the Muldoons are chaining zombies up so they can still act like they used to, like the mailman can still go to mailboxes and a woman is allowed to ride around on her horse, a bunch of Zombies are all in a horse corral- just waiting for something to happen so they can all get out and move the plot along. So the HOT CHICK and the leader of the Guardsmen flirt a bit as the Guardsmen are pulled into this Hatfield and McCoy Irish war as we also get to find out if Zombies will stop wanting to eat people as the Muldoons want or do we just need to shoot them all as O’Flynn wants to.

So how is Survival of the Dead?

Oh Hell.

We got some goodness here. Seriously. The film is stronger when the Guardsmen are not around and we get O’Flynn being Angry Irish Dude. I mean I know him from a bunch of bit parts, and he is channeling Malcom McDowell so awesomely here and just owning the movie. The guy playing Muldoon is doing his best to keep up and I miss them when they are not back on my screen. The Guardsmen are asses, and why they are shoved into the hero role, I have no idea as they turn on a dime in the script, much like the teamup with the O’Flynn contingent. The effects have all been seen before and the CGI sticks out like a sore thumb when it rears it’s obvious head.

Is this a good finale? No. This series has been going downhill and this is no exception. Sadly there is a lot of goodness here. The shoehorned-in Guardsmen should be gone, and the HOTCHICK daughter is a drag. I really with Romero had stuck with the Hatfield vs McCoy rote drama that he was creating here and tossed all the other stuff. The resolution with the horse was plain stupid and illogical- like thinking a lion could become a vegetarian if you chain him up in a slaughterhouse, but the O’Flynn/Muldoon ending is plain awesome.

I’m going 4 here. I cannot see a reason to really watch this one, unless you just have to see them all, and sadly, I do think we’ve staggered to the end. Would I be excited to see Road of the Dead if it was ever done? No. Not at all. Would I still end up picking it up? Yeah. I probably would. There is something about Romero that draws me back to the good ones, but I’m never really going to be flipping channels and stopping the remote to see what is going on. The Romero movies seem to be movies I have to see from the beginning to end, without a real memorable or rewatchable moment.

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