Survival of the Dead

I think there's alot of people out there who want the world to come crashing down. There are people who secretly believe their true best self can only exist in a world that has stopped working. After the downfall of society the kings of today's world would quickly become the whipped of tomorrow. And the fantasy of putting together a team of fighters (either for good or bad) and roaming the landscape in search of supplies may be seen as a better life. Freedom. A ruined Mad Maxed landscape just calling out to be explored. Adventure for the taking. No work. No credit cards. No bank account. No boss. There's a romance there. I suspect there are lots people out there who secretly like the idea of something so bad happening that the world hits a big reset button. Work stops. Production stops. Electricity stops. Fuel stops. Status stops. World full-stop. Throw in some zombies? And you have a guarantee to never be bored with the apolcapyse either.

I however am not one of those people. I don't want the world to stop. I don't like it when bad things happen. I don't think I would do well in a post-modern wrecked society world. I would miss my internet and refrigerator. I don't do well in the heat and I get tired after walking for a couple of miles. I like hot showers. I like access to medicine. I don't like eating Spam. I'm afraid of bugs. And although I love zombies on the screen. I wouldn't be into them at all if they suddenly existed.  I wouldn't like the smell nor the weirdness nor the threat. I wouldn't become a king of the world. It just wouldn't be my bag, baby. I think if I ever needed to shoot a gun in self-defense I would close my eyes and fire wildly wasting all my bullets. Actually I think my weapon of choice would be a bow and arrow. I'd be that guy. The Archer. (aka the guy with the bow and arrow... and all the bite marks on his head).

Anyway, not sure why I wrote all that so I'll move on.

I like zombie movies. I've always liked zombie movies. We go way back. Back to teenage years when I'd sit with a friend drinking 40oz. beers and we'd watch Dawn of the Dead over and over. Dawn of the Dead is one of those near perfect movies. Although I haven't seen it in years-- there's nothing in memory that stands out as issuematic. Night of the Living Dead is a nice historical artifact but there are issues there. (Why did the little girl stab her mother to death again? That's zombie illogical! etc) 1985's Day of the Dead was winner that seemed to rightfully close out a trilogy. The zombie world for years wandered around aimeless. But eventually zombies got their footing. They were rebranded 'Infected' and started furiously racing around in the awesome 28 Days series. And for the past decade there seemed to be a bunch of fast zombie movies. Most of which I liked. Slow zombies were left in the dust or wandered around in spoofs like Shaun of the Dead and Fido. Dated and clowned.

However, Romero has refused to embrace the need for speed. His last three movies Land, Diary, and Survival of the Dead hold too true to the old school zombie world. Unfortunately with decreasingly satisfying results. Plot heaviness, bad acting, at squinty eyed messages all drag. Limited budgets have worked against our zombie master too-- which makes it show its age. A quick cut edit knife to the head doesn't register as anything anymore. It reminds me of Bjorn Borg holding onto his wooden racket when the world moved on to other materials. A noble respectable effort-- but in the end a losing tactic. The new racquets are better. They hit harder. The sweet spot is bigger. They make for a better show.

For me, Survival of the Dead marks the official end of slow zombie movies. They simply can't be taken seriously anymore in a modern fast zombie world. The white-ish green make-up and the lurching walk just look too staged. Too lazy. Too old. Too dopey. Threat level at zero. With this flick it's unfortunately combined with a ridiculous Hatfield/McCoy eyerolling nonsense plot, terrible acting and cheesed out effects. All that's left is nostagia. Nostalgia for a time well spent-- well past its time. A respectable nod to the zombie elders. But in the end, an unfortunate exploitation of what was once and isn't anymore. At some point, it's time to move on. I can't deny my new love for electric zombies fueled with boiling rage. Zombies who seek to infect rather than 'eat' (even the whole eating thing is now seeming a tad immature? Plus, scientifically wonky. Do they poop or what? etc.). I don't need to see gorging on guts for shock value. It washes over me far shy of a gag. I think I would be open to revisiting slow zombies down the road if done right. Maybe if they were even slower? But for now I'm putting an arrow between their eyes and walking away. I'm sorry, slow zombies...  I just can't do this anymore.

Three Good Things About This Movie

- I liked the image of the zombie woman on horseback.
- The idea of trying to teach zombies was slightly different.
- It held my attention.

Three Bad Things About This Movie

- The energy level barely rose above lazy.
- Really? They're gonna care about a million dollars?
- The use of the iPhone and YouTube seemed a desperate grab to moderize.

All in all, this isn't a movie that needs to be seen. It's a tough admission to have to walk away from Romero's slow zombie world. Sort of like going back to my childhood house and throwing a way a cherished toy. I get that I should respect it. I will always love it. There's a side of me that wants to keep it. I'll even go as far to try to mentally clear space on a shelf to maintain the honor. But the truth is that it's dusty. It's just clutter. Now near worhtless. And even if I sat down to play it. I would get bored fast-- as it's just so played out.