Thursday, November 24, 2005

Land of the Dead

The (relatively few) people that read me regularly (when I'm blogging at all) know that I adore zombie movies. It's really really hard to screw up a zombie movie in my estimation, and I recently Netflixed the latest in Romero's Dead series, Land of the Dead. I missed it in theaters last summer, mostly because I was lazy and didn't get myself out to the dollar theater when it was there ever so briefly, but I don't think I missed out on much watching it on DVD.

The thing that's cool about Romero's Dead series is that even though they are kind of their own stories, they are related to each other. And this is a perfect progression for the zombies. The zombies in Land of the Dead are starting to organize, communicate and are forming the beginnings of an undead society, so to speak. Which is not to say there isn't a great deal of flesh-eating going on in the meantime.

Perhaps the best part of the whole movie comes early on in the movie. While Dawn of the Dead may have had the zombie pie fight (never seen in any zombie movie since), Land of the Dead had the zombie brass band, and I only wish I had a picture of it to post (believe me, I tried to find it--too bad I sent the movie back to Netflix or I'd screen capture it.) Apart from that, we have the story of a Donald Trumpish guy that has boarded up an unnamed American city from the marauding undead hordes, saving the inside of a ritzy skyscraper for the best of society, leaving the rest of the city to get by on its own. Well, you know from the outset that the zombies are going to find a way in and even though you know it's bound to happen, it's still fun watching how it plays out.

It was good to see some classic slow-moving and intestines-chomping zombies after being treated to 28 Days Later (oh, sorry, not zombies, just infected) and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Both movies were very capable and I own both of them, but there's something about Romero's zombies that you can't compare. And believe me, there was plenty of guts being eaten in this movie. It got to even me at times.

Another plus for the movie--the use of digital effects and blue screen was apparently prevalent according to some of the special features on the DVD, but these effects were not apparent during the movie. It's always good when the effects don't draw attention to themselves and announce their presence as if they're wearing a "look at me! I'm a digital effect!" sign around their neck.

Even though Ryan saw it and wondered what happened to Romero, I still thought it was a capable entry into the series, probably on par or slightly inferior to Dawn of the Dead and definitely superior to Day of the Dead. *sigh* If only they'd called it Dusk of the Dead.

Now's about the time that Heidi would be saying "just how many ...of the Dead movies does the world actually need?" To that, I say (in the immortal words of our ridiculous leader,) bring 'em on.

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