Land of the Dead (2005)

February 7, 2007 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment

It’s several years after the zombie plague has swept the globe and the few humans that remain now live in a fortress-like city where the rich exploit the poor. Meanwhile, the zombie hordes are evolving and are slowly gaining intelligence. 

The creator of the zombie genre as we now know it and arguably one of the greatest horror directors of all time, George A. Romero’s name to horror buffs is the equivalent of Armitage Shanks’ name to people who like toilets.

Twenty years since closing the lid on his immortalised Living Dead trilogy, Romero returned to the genre with Land of the Dead.Be it the racist subtext from Night of the Living Dead or the attack at commercialism in Dawn of the Dead, Romero’s films have always encompassed some concealed political or cultural analysis. And even the most pig-headed of 15 year old zombie fanboys couldn’t miss Land of the Dead’s blatant stab at democracy, superbly headed by the ever brilliant Dennis Hopper’s role as starch imperialist and corrupt founder of the human city, Kaufman. 

All the elements of a Romero classic seem to be in place here, the two dimensional hero, the cannon fodder, the sleazy bad guy who gets his comeuppance, the superbly shot gore. Even the context of the film is quite novel, peering into the evolution of the zombies, as they learn to use weapons and figure out that they don’t need to breathe underwater what with being dead and all.

However, despite being the pioneer of the zombie flick, it feels that with such inventive and exceptional entries into the genre as 28 Days Later and 2004’s superb Dawn of the Dead remake, Romero’s film-making feels a little dated. Definitely more for the fans than for Joe “what’s a zombie?” Soap.

Pictures: Top Right: They all agreed that that midnight dip in the ocean wasn’t quite the great idea it had seemed, Bottom Left: Dennis Hopper, what a good bad guy



Entry filed under: Reviews.

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