Land of the Dead

"In a world where the dead are returning to life, the word 'trouble' loses much of its meaning."    - Kaufman

release year: 2005
genre: living dead horror
viewing setting: home DVD 9/9/13 and theater, 7/4/05

synopsis: In the natural progression of events from previous "living dead" films, the monsters have taken over the world, roaming endlessly while the handful of surviving humans hole up in a fortified city and pretend that everything's okay. Unfortunately, dissension within the city coincides with the zombies getting smarter, and a feast is inevitable.

impressions: I made the above synopsis lengthier than usual, so I'll say less here. I'm not a fan of smarter zombies, but it's somewhat logical, plus it's about the only new twist that George Romero can use and not upset his legions of fans. Besides (and as usual in these movies) it's ultimately the stupidity of humans that causes their downfall. I think this is Romero's point: humans are overly obsessed with things that don't matter (money/luxury in this case) and this elitist attitude can only lead to bad things. Of course, in this case, that's zombies feasting on human flesh, which is depicted in a variety of bloody, gory ways. There's also the ultimate tank, and a good cast of characters.

things to watch for: When the zombies invade the skyscraper near the end.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A navel ring being forcibly ripped out by zombie teeth.

acting: Simon Baker plays the uncomplicated main good guy, who only wants to get away and live a normal life. John Leguizamo plays a good guy who turns bad when denied life among the rich. Dennis Hopper is the main bad guy, king of the rich. Asia Argento is a tough female lead. Robert Joy is good as a mildly-retarted sharpshooter and friend of the main guy. Eugene Clark is the zombie who gets smart and leads the others to revolt/invade; he does a lot with a non-speaking role.

final word: Perhaps the last and largest-in-scope living-dead film. Good stuff.

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