George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead—Movie

There is a germ of an idea in George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead—is it better to shoot zombies in the head and kill them or does it make more sense to chain zombies up and try to teach them to eat something other than human flesh. Frankly, in all the zombie movies I’ve seen over the years, no one has ever before raised this question. That would make for an interesting movie. That movie is NOT this one.

It’s not as easy to make a good zombie movie as one might think. If the movie is supposed to be humorous, it must be very funny and gross at the same time. Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead managed to do this perfectly. If you are playing the straight card, the movie has to be intelligent and intelligently scary.  28 Days Later and the granddaddy of them all, Night of the Living Dead (directed by the same George A. Romero), are frightening from the first frame to the last. Finally, if the movie is so god-awful as to be cheesily bad, at least you’ll be entertained. However, if you are so bored as to be looking at your watch every 10 minutes…this is not good. That, unfortunately, is your fate viewing Survival of the Dead.

Most of the movie’s action takes place on an island off the coast of Delaware or in Pennsylvania, in a post-apocalyptic world, which has resulted in zombies walking the streets. What’s very odd about the setting is that most of the characters have either an Irish brogue…perhaps the Irish are the only ones to have survived the apocalypse, save for a few American-accented soldiers—or are hillbillies, not native to the U.S. upper east coast.

Kenneth Welsh as Patrick O’Flynn and Richard Fitzpatrick as Seamus Muldoon are the two elders with conflicting points of view as to the treatment of zombies. O’Flynn wants to obliterate them and Muldoon wants to chain them up. Neither is willing to compromise. Alan Van Sprang as Sarge ‘Nicotine’ Crocket is the soldier who gets involved in the war between the two.

Poorly written and directed by George A. Romero and horrifically acted, this movie…save for that one germ of an idea, stinks from beginning to end. Why Romero would want his name above the title is beyond me, except, perhaps, to attract suckers like me. You have been warned. Stay away!

½ nugget out of 4 (for the germ of the idea)

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