Saturday, March 19, 2011

Case Study: Survival of the Dead

I did a would-be review of this film a few weeks ago. From there you can already guess my conclusion for this article. But this is not a review this has absolutely nothing to do with my personal opinion on the merits of this film. This is a case study of “Survival of the Dead”. This is about what this movie has done to the genre. First a small summary of the plot and characters.

4 deserting National Guardsmen encounter a boy who claims safety and happiness are located on Plum Island after viewing a video saying that. The guardsmen soon find that the island is home to two feuding clans who differ on opinion of what should be done about the undead.

The characters and a summary of them are next.

Sarge "Nicotine" Crockett: There is no reason to call him Nicotine, he is referred to as Sarge throughout the entire film. He is the "main" focus of the movie and a dull character. He goes through what is supposed to be character growth, but never changes through the entire film. He acts like a selfish jerk when in reality he is supposed to be a soft hearted respectable character.

Kenny: Because the only character worth a full name is Sarge. Kenny is a kind hearted moron. He dies too fast to show any character growth.

Francisco: who throughout the film is only known as "Cisco" is a walking hard-on put in this movie only for comedic relief and to give the next character a chance at character growth.

Tomboy: The female protagonist. She is only there to keep this film form being nothing but men. We are introduced to her masturbating. Yes, she is masturbating the first time we see her. She only really shows emotion when Cisco is killed, her only motivation till then is to walk around and proclaim I'm a lesbian.

Boy: Yes just boy. He is to signify the thought of innocents even though he is just as unlikable as the rest of the characters. He is suppose to embody the hope of the next generation, and he is a failure at that, showing up only when the plot needs him and even then you will forget he exists the second he leaves the screen.

There are more but they go through no growth and mean absolutely nothing to the plot, except to kill the rest of the characters. No names are needed just the O'Flynns and Muldoons. “George A. Romero” was trying to make a western for this hopefully last chapter of the Dead series. He instead remade the story of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s, with zombies. We are supposed to choose sides of the feud but both sides accomplish nothing. The O'Flynns want to kill the zombies and the Muldoons say they want to keep them and "fix" them. We don't get to Plum Island until a fourth of the way through the movie. From here we see the Muldoons have lost sight of their goals. Instead killing all the zombies who don't immediately show signs of their former lives and killing all those who come to the island. Including Kenny. While making their way to Plum Island Cisco is bitten and grows worse and worse until being shot.

The movie adds nothing good to the genre, in fact it attempts to break the "rules previously established by the former films. By making the zombies eat animals. The previous films had established that the zombies were only interested in people. There is one moment in the original film that goes against this where a zombie eats a grasshopper but all other films showed clearly that the zombies only wanted humans. Day of the Dead clearly shows zombies walking right past alligators. So this film attempts to go against the "rules" its predecessors set up.

Admittedly the original creator is behind it but I have to look at " The Metroid series" just like "The Dead Series" I feel the creator has lost touch with his own creation. All the previous films were trying to establish something. They had a message that the zombies were metaphorical meaning to other things like consumerism. Mr. Romero works it seems best when a point is attempting to be made, it seems now that he might be just cashing in on the series that rocketed him to fame.

In general I hate to say I wish I had never seen this movie so I could just assume its good, but sadly I bought it and I feel betrayed. If by some chance this reaches your eyes I ask you will all sincerity please don't make any more Dead films Mr. Romero.

This might have seemed like a review but I do not mean it to. This film adds nothing to the genre other than cementing that George A. Romero hasn't made a good film since " Land of the Dead" and that was lacking the punch of the previous films as well.

Also might I add that characters that aren't stupid halfway through the movie shouldn't immediately change and become the stupidest character. Jane O'Flynn is the worst character in any Romero Film.

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