For years, watching interviews with George Romero berating the industry for not giving him the means to make films anymore, I thought to myself, “He’s right!” The zombie craze is in full swing and Hollywood won’t even bat an eye for the father of the genre. What is this world coming to?
…then I see “Survival of the Dead” and I understand.
Throughout the 90’s I was in full zombie mode. I drenched myself in Romero and Fulci undead cologne. When I wore them out, I would expose myself to more obscure Italian zombie films, so I wasn’t a stranger to taking the genre and putting it into bizarre locals and periods. By the time Hollywood got in the game, I was tired of it. I had exhausted my viewings of entrails snacking. I consider Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead one of the most pointless and juvenile attempts at a film ever created.
Honestly, I believe that this genre really doesn’t belong in this generation. Something about it always seems to be lost in translation. No matter how “X-TREME” you make the zombies, they just don’t seem to fit in to this modern film going era. Just like Macramé, zombie films are a time capsule into that long past society that existed throughout the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s.
Romero’s newest attempt is Survival of the Dead. It has all the key elements in place. Limited locations, over the top acting, slow shambling undead and blatant social commentary. Two things it does lack however is a point and squibs. All the squib shots are done with CGI and it looks ridiculous. Making a zombie film where the gore is done CGI is about as pointless as tits on a boar. 1985’s Day of the Dead may have been a very flawed film story wise, but at least you had some amazingly gory effects to fall back on. “Survival” has none of that. All it has is an awkward story about feuding Irish clans on an isolated New England costal island… with zombies.
Yes, you heard that right.
Maybe Romero’s message was “Whatever differences we have between us, let it go, because there are zombies about” or maybe he just hates the Irish. Whatever the message was, I missed it. I was too distracted by the annoying douche bag teen that was thrown into the story just for the sole purpose of having a douche bag teen in the film to say douche baggy things like, “Vinyl? Gag me!” when he searches a cabin and finds an old record player.
Gag me indeed.
Yes, I will be the first to declare that the zombie genre has officially died thanks to its dear leader and a little help from good old CGI.
Hopefully, unlike the films the genre represents, it won’t rise up even uglier than before.