George Romero had a lot to lose with Land of the Dead. In the 20 years since he made Day of the Dead, he’s only made 3 movies (Monkey Shines, The Dark Half, and Bruiser) and with films like 28 Days Later and the remake of his own Dawn of The Dead, the bar had definitely been raised on the zombie genre he created. Could a new Dead installment measure up to the new hyper violent sprinting zombies that audiences too young to be alive since his last film have become used to?

Ladies and gentleman, George Romero does not disappoint. I’ve seen most horror films ever made, and would consider my taste to be pretty discerning, and with only very minor nitpicks of the ending, I’d say Land of the Dead is a severed head slam dunk.

It’s a perfect mix of horror, action, humor, and gore that’s so important in the recipe for a good zombie movie. And just when you thought you’d seen it all, there’s brand new gore effects that blew us away, and made a theater full of obvious hardcore splatter fans squeal and groan with lusty laughter and applause the whole film. Get a load of some of these great things you have to look forward to:

  • Zombies fighting over an arm and ripping it clean down the middle

  • A zombie reaching his arm down someone’s mouth and pulling out a delightful mix of gore spaghetti

  • A zombie biting down on a belly-button piercing and pulling it out with a spray of blood and guts galore

Don’t consider these spoilers, folks, because those are merely appetizers for the smorgasbord of eviscerated splatter filled glee that awaits you. I’m amazed that they still get away with an R rating for this film, and applaud the MPAA for letting zombies do what zombies do best.

The dialogue is clever, and the acting, though not stellar, is good enough to keep you interested. Of course, nobody comes close to Duane Jones’ lead performance in the original Night of the Living Dead (and never has in any of these films, for that matter), but the cast of quirky character actors all play their parts well enough to accent the film. The zombies are the stars of the movie, and Romero does not hold back in letting them do their thing.

Sorely missed from Day of the Dead, was the oddly charismatic “Bub”, a zombified soldier who hints at things to come by transcending his mindless corpse persona, and learns to use a gun at that film’s end. Land of the Dead makes the next logical progression, with zombies instinctually doing things they did while they were alive. This is when we meet “Big Daddy” (pictured above) a zombie gas station attendant who comes out looking for new customers when other zombies step on the alarm cord. He’s a bit more aware of his surroundings than the others and his curiosity and ability to learn becomes infectious. Once they figure out how to use weapons and progress in other areas, you can imagine this unstoppable undead army gets pretty fucking scary.

Some folks are resistant to change within the zombie mythos. Many die-hard fans of the flesh-eating ghouls were pissed to see them running in the Dawn of The Dead remake and 28 Days later. But Romero created the rules in the first place, so you have to accept this evolution of what zombies can do. Frankly, it makes them more interesting and formidable.

The setup is pretty simple. With zombies pretty much comprising most of the earth’s population, a small city of survivors is isolated in a gated peninsula in Pittsburgh. The well to do live in a tower that Donald Trump would be proud to own, while the masses live in poverty in the surrounding slums. It’s an interesting commentary on class structure, as the lower class humans effectively all get bumped up to middle class, since the zombies are clearly the bottom of the socio-economic chain. It’s one thing to be poor, but it sure beats shambling around with maggoty legs looking for brains to eat.

Dennis Hopper plays Kaufman, the Kingpin type figure that pretty much controls the entire city’s business. As you might expect, he makes plenty of enemies and sets himself up for some pretty bad confrontations between the dead and undead alike. His performance is a bit more understated than the typical “Fucking Insane” Hopper parts we typically see, which works well. He gets the best line of the movie, however, which had nearly the entire audience laughing.

Asia Argento is nice to look at and does the tough sexy sidekick role as well as you’d expect her to, and the lead actor, Simon Baker, is mediocre but not distracting. The standout performances, however, are from the character actors that perfectly compliment the film. Robert Joy plays a slightly dim burn victim with great sharp-shooting skills that brings to mind a deadly Lenny from “Of Mice and Men”, while Pedro Miguel Arce, as the scary and hilarious commando Pillsbury was full of good laughs. John Leguizamo's role is watchable, but nothing too special.

My one nitpick is the final minute of dialogue has a groaner that made the entire audience wincing in agony. It wasn’t enough to fuck the whole movie up, but it was an odd note to close the film with.


Simon Pegg from Shaun of the Dead has a cameo in Romero's latest

Keep an eye open for Nick Frost and Simon Pegg from Shaun of the Dead who have cameos as zombies.  You won't recognize them, but look for 2 zombies chained to a swing set at a hardcore party with the sign "Get Your Picture Taken With A Zombie" and you'll find them.  And if you're a fan of Tom Savini, there's a great "Hell Yeah!" moment that had all who easily recognized him in the audience cheering.

I won’t say too much more, to keep the film a surprise, but I’m confident that if you had high hopes for this movie, you won’t be let down. And there’s even room for more, so if this does well, Romero may even treat us with another installment. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another 20 years to see it.

Go and support this film, so we can see more!

-Robert Berry
rberry@retrocrush.com


LAND OF THE DEAD
SPECIAL GUEST REVIEW BY GENE SISKEL

Hugnl...hrllll ughnnn?  Ughnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ahhhh ughhh uuuuuuuuhhhh mnrglthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhthhh!  Uhhhhhh uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Uhhh grghlthhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahhhhh! Uhhhhhh!  NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  UUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH!  Grraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagth!  nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ahhhh ughhh uuuuuuuuhhhh mnrglthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhthhh!  Uhhhhhh uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh   uuuuuuuuhhhh mnrglthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhthhh!  Uhhhhhh uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Uhhh grghlthhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahhhhh! Uhhhhhh!  NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  UUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH! hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Uhhh grghlthhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahhhhh! Uhhhhhh!  NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  UUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH!  Grraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagth!nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ahhhh ughhh aaaagth!nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ahhhh ughhh uuuuuuuuhhhh mnrglthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhthhh!  Uhhhhhh uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Uhhh grghlthhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahhhhh! Uhhhhhh!  NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  UUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH!  Grraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagth!  BRAINS!


MORE RETROCRUSH ZOMBIE GOODNESS!

NEW RETROCRUSH SHIRTS FOR SALE

Hey...it's about time we had some new t-shirt designs up for sale, and we're going to come back with a vengeance by offering THREE DIFFERENT MODELS for your purchasing pleasure. And because I got a ton of feedback and requests for some ladies-only models, we will happily oblige.  We really want folks to pre-order these today so you can be guaranteed the size you want!  CLICK THE LINK BELOW to see larger images of the shirts, and get your pre-order savings today!

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR retroCRUSH SHIRTS TODAY!

 

 

Mable's Unique Gifts

Giger's Miniature Alien Bust

MINI-ADS
Get a tiny little ad for just $20 a month!  Advertise your site, or manipulate search engine results!  It's your call! 
CLICK HERE for details!


online custom CARICATURES at davespartyart.com


Mable's Unique Gifts


poker games

download poker

play bingo

bingo games


divorce


Raceway ATV Kids ATV's

retroMENDED
WEBSITES!

 

 

ALL CONTENT ON THIS SITE IS (C) 1998-2005 by Robert Berry, retroCRUSH.com, or respective copyright holders. 
CLICK HERE for our Privacy Statement.