George A. Romero’s Survival Of The Dead (review)

George A. Romero’s Survival Of The Dead (review)

Postby ntscuser » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:24 pm

George A. Romero’s Survival Of The Dead

Stars: Alan van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, Devon Bostick, Richard Fitzpatrick, Stefano Colacitti, Athena Karkanis, George Stroumboulopoulos, and Pete Zedlacher

Writer: George A. Romero

Director: George A. Romero

Distributor: Magnet Releasing

Release Date: April 30, 2010 – Video On Demand/May 28, 2010

MPAA Rating: R - Rated R for strong zombie violence/gore, language and brief sexuality.

George A. Romero’s Survival Of The Dead is the upcoming sixth release in his “Dead Series” saga as the new red band trailer reminds the viewer after recounting the names of the five previous films. George A. Romero’s Survival Of The Dead is a quasi-sequel/spin-off from Diary Of The Dead in that it centers on a character that had little more than a cameo in the previous film and continues with a story set primarily parallel to the events of Dawn Of The Dead. Alan van Sprang, in his third appearance in a George A. Romero “Dead Series” film plays Sarge ‘Nicotine’ Crocket, a disillusioned member of the National Guard who went AWOL along with other soldiers after his commanding officer lead his unit into what he describes as a “Hell hole.” He laments his notoriety in holding up in Winnebago filled with college students because they made him infamous after their documentary that chronicled the 24 plus hours of the epidemic was uploaded to the Internet and became a huge hit. Four weeks have passed since then and he and his team are world weary and seeking a place where they can ride out the war between the living and the living dead and even stay safe indefinitely regardless of who wins.

After taking in a resourceful teenager with an armored truck and a million dollars locked away inside it, they forgo their plans to head north in favor of investigating Plum Island, off the coast of Delaware, after seeing a video invite by a seemingly jolly Irish Fisherman (Kenneth Welsh). Of course they take their precautions because no one is going to advertise a safe spot to live in times like they are in and after a bit of negotiating from behind the barrels of some guns, they discover the island is real and could be the perfect place to ride out whatever happens were it not for an old rivalry between the two dominant Irish clans that have lived on the island for generations, the O'Flynns, who believe that the undead must be destroyed without exception, and the Muldoons who insist that afflicted loved ones be kept "alive" until a cure is found. Having left one “Us Vs. Them” world only to end up being recruited into another, Sarge and his team now must decide if what is at stake where they arrived is worth fighting for or should they go find a better place to live and die.

George A. Romero’s Survival Of The Dead is quite entertaining with some great zombie kills and a new way introduced in the series for the living to become infected by the living dead that doesn’t require being bitten. The film’s score by Robert Carli is hit and miss for at times when combined with some of the gorgeous vistas framed in the film, it creates a Stephen King story like atmosphere, but at other times it takes on too much of a straight to video quality of the type Full Moon Video might have used for their films like Subspecies.

Kenneth Welsh was terrific as the patriarch of the O’Flynn family. He brings a lot of character to the role and makes his scenes quite engaging, even when you feel like he is a despicable man. Alan van Sprang now holds the distinction of being the second featured actor to return to play the same character in a Romero Dead Series picture and the only one to be alive in two films. Tom Savini was the first, but his “Blades” character from Dawn Of The Dead was one of the living dead featured in Land Of The Dead. Alan van Sprang is also in Land Of The Dead too, but he played a different character despite wearing military fatigues in the film. Amy Ciupak Lalonde has an uncredited cameo in the film along with what appears to be the Winnebago her character stole toward the end of Diary Of The Dead.

The unshaven Alan van Sprang looks as though he either had just returned from or was preparing for his role as Sir Francis Bryan in the hit Showtime original series The Tudors. It was nice that they had footage from the previous film and also gave the viewer a timeline to follow. The film also adds elements of an old fashioned 1950s’ revenge western with Muldoon (Richard Fitzpatrick) having a likeness to Actor Ray Milland.

A bit of the CGI for zombie effects appeared very crude at times and I feel they should have gone with practical effects. Overall, Romero still makes his zombie films like no other, but now I really wish he would do a film that takes place after Land Of The Dead and end the series was some concrete hopeful resolution.

George A. Romero’s Survival Of The Dead will premiere in the U.S. on April 30, 2010 for Video On Demand and then make its American theatrical debut on May 28, 2010.

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