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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value package for Romero's Zombie Western
On the film - yes this ends up as a Western with Zombies in it, though you will spot the "Roger" from Dawn of the Dead, the "Miguel" from Day of the Dead, in two of the characters, and of course there's Alan Van Sprang who's back as a lead after popping up in two other Dead films. This time both the military and the Zombies are the "new arrivals" to the location where two...
Published on 31 July 2011 by Born Again Bookworm

versus
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The dead may have survived, but they couldn't resuscitate the franchise.
Last week I found 'Survival of the Dead' in a bargain bin at Morrisons for two quid. I reasoned it had to be worth two quid. After all - It's directed by George A Romero, the man behind 'Night of the Living Dead'! So what if he hasn't been churning out classics lately? TWO QUID! How bad could it be?

Quite bad as it turns out.

I'm a big fan of...
Published on 17 April 2012 by Arthur Askey's Legs


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The dead may have survived, but they couldn't resuscitate the franchise., 17 April 2012
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
Last week I found 'Survival of the Dead' in a bargain bin at Morrisons for two quid. I reasoned it had to be worth two quid. After all - It's directed by George A Romero, the man behind 'Night of the Living Dead'! So what if he hasn't been churning out classics lately? TWO QUID! How bad could it be?

Quite bad as it turns out.

I'm a big fan of Romero's classics. I even own a copy of the much lamented 'Land of the Dead' and I love Creepshow to bits, so I had every reason to be biased. But this was too rubbish, even for me.

Survival of the Dead is a sort of prequel, documenting the early stages of the zombie outbreak. The film is initially interesting. It rambles along at an acceptable pace and could pass for a decent made-for-TV series. There are some intentionally funny moments such as the zombie who has his head turned into a cigarette lighter.

Sadly, the film gradually sags under the weight of it's own flaws. Romero consistently uses American actors to play Irish people, even when they can't do the accent and the casting is pretty terrible. There is no reason why any of the characters needed to be Irish - It's all a bit daft. Additionally, there are several pointless references to the character of Tomboy being a lesbian. It's a piece of character development that goes absolutely nowhere and includes one cringeworthy scene where Tomboy masturbates in front of her colleagues. It's not so much erotic, as embarrassing and nonsensical.

Certain zombies are unintentionally hilarious, such as the undead postman who endlessly posts the same letter and the zombie girl who rides a horse. Suspension of disbelief is destroyed by stupid characters doing dumb things. Why on earth would any sane adult hug a flesh eating zombie? The victims are so easily bitten by the undead, they might as well cover themselves in gravy and stick big apples in their respective gobs.

Rather than end his film with the traditional fight for survival against a massive zombie horde, Romero finishes the movie with confused social commentary and pseudo soap opera. I can see why George would want to do something different, but this just doesn't work. The film fizzles out with nonsense about zombies dueling with pistols in the moonlight and horses being eaten alive - It doesn't make much sense. What happened to the carnage and the screaming? The ending is a disappointment.

I love Romero to bits and I really wanted to like this film, but Survival of the Dead just didn't do it for me. Bit of a shame.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value package for Romero's Zombie Western, 31 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
On the film - yes this ends up as a Western with Zombies in it, though you will spot the "Roger" from Dawn of the Dead, the "Miguel" from Day of the Dead, in two of the characters, and of course there's Alan Van Sprang who's back as a lead after popping up in two other Dead films. This time both the military and the Zombies are the "new arrivals" to the location where two families have always had a feud - and the different ways to handle the outbreak cause that feud to reach a head. At 90 minutes it fits in more action than Diary but also some comedy.

On the DVD Package - it comes quite close to Diary of The Dead's Metal Box Double-pack edition although that had the advantage of an anniversary documentary about Night of the Living Dead on top of all its other content. For "Survival" the main documentary is 1hr 15mins long, if you play all the shorts together, that's another 20 minutes (though two of them are extended from bits of the main doc), How To Make Your Own Zombie Bite is 10mins, a short film with the lead that includes some of them opening voiceover dialog at 4mins and a storyboard comparison which is just two minutes. On the movie disc "Time With George" is just under 10mins and the HDNet promo for Survival of the Dead is just under 5min - though you can also look at the edit of this smaller feature with just George's comments and none of the HDNet stuff. Finally, there's a commentary on the film with the director, producer and other cast/crew members which is refreshing in that they don't feel like they have to talk over every single second of the film - as they're watching a rough cut themselves for the first time.

So, an enjoyable if short movie, with two hours of extras. I was quite happy to buy this film and import it rather than wait for a Region 2 release when I have a multi-region player. Since the single-disc movie only UK version of this film is generally five pounds, if you have multi-region and are a fan of the genre wanting to know much more detail about the film - even if you don't like it as much as modern Zombie films like the 2004 remake of "Dawn" - then just get this version now. Delivery time from overseas was approximately 10 days after I ordered, so average for American postage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ROMERO RESTING ON LAURELS, 22 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
This is the sequel to "Diary of the Dead." You don't need to see that film to understand this film and perhaps both films should be avoided. The movie has the typical shots to the head to kill zombies as well as exploding heads and a few unique ways to kill zombies which have become known as "deadheads," something they could only get away in post Garcia days.

People finally get the right idea and go off to an island to avoid the endless streams of zombies. However, this island, Plum island, has its issues. The island, located off Delaware is inhabited by two feuding families with Irish accents (go figure). The unlikeable leader of one family wants to shoot zombies in the head, while the other wants to pen them up and wait for Jesus to show the way. For some reason I found myself cheering for the zombies.

The writers took a bad plot and did everything they could to make it worse short of writing a role for William Shatner. It has George Romero's name on it, you know you are going to watch it anyway. Besides, you've seen worse zombie movies. But hey, I warned you not to expect too much.

There is a token lesbian with her hand in her pants, masturbating scene for some reason. Thanks George.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alas, poor George, I knew him well, 4 Jan. 2012
By 
Albatross "Never argue with idiots" (Suburbia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
And so these times of zombie movies everywhere you look, the grand master of the genre returns with his latest offering. Depending on what sort of (zombie) movies you like will determine which of George's original saga you like - if you like your horror `pure' then Night of the Living Dead will be for you, if you like action - see Dawn of the Dead, a darker take on the zombie genre goes with Day of the Dead and finally a more modern `Resident Evil' touch with Land of the Dead.

Then George decided to `reboot' the franchise set in modern times with Diary of the Dead. Whatever you think of it - it bombed. Neither fans of George or new cinema-goers liked it. So... where does he go from there? Does he learn from his mistake and go back to something more successful, i.e. perhaps a combination of Night/Dawn of the Dead?

The answer, sadly, is no.

Survival of the Dead is probably the most disappointing film of recent times. Not because it was bad. It's okay. Simply because it could have been so much better. It doesn't have much of a budget, but George is good at working round such limitations. After over thirty years spent making horror movies, this instalment comes across as if it was written by a horror-freshman.

If you've ever gone onto the Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) and looked up movies, sometimes people post in the forums sarcastic topics like `100 things I learned from xxx.' Then they go on to list all the plot holes and things that don't make sense. Unfortunately, Survival of the Dead is one long list of things that don't make sense. Its ultimate downfall is the characters. Not only are they pretty wafer-thin, but they do the most stupid and random things. To start one such list off I'd begin...

1. When most of the world has been killed by zombies, the remaining humans think it's a really good idea to keep them alive
2. Stroking a hungry zombie, no matter how lovingly, will get you bitten
3. If you have six bullets in your gun and there are twenty zombies coming towards you, just use up all your ammunition - the undead will surely give up and not eat you
4. Finally, when the world is going to hell and the dead are coming back to life and attacking the living, it's far more important to kill the remaining humans while dragging up old grievances

You probably get where I'm going with this.

The whole film is just a mess. Characters go from being good to bad to who knows what in a matter of scenes. No one makes any sane decision throughout the whole ninety minutes, therefore leaving you not that bothered when they either turn to zombie chow or shoot each other because they suddenly feel like it.

Is Survival of the Dead the last of George A Romero's films? He probably thought not. I daresay it is. Pity. It could have been so good.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When there's no more room in hell. The dead will wear stetsons., 18 Mar. 2010
By 
Matt Skidmore (Kinver, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
George Romero's ''brand name'' has taken a little bit of a battering in the past few years. Once hailed as a master horror director with the original and much cherished 'Dead' trilogy, only to almost undo all of that good work with his more recent efforts - the lackluster studio dud 'Land of the Dead' and the nearly-there 'Diary of the Dead'. So, when this new effort was announced my world weary mind just thought 'ho hum, we'll see, not expecting much' and after reading a number of reviews across the net my fears were confirmed that this new entry 'Survival of the Dead' would be just another waste of a once heady talent... however, after viewing Romero's newest movie - I didn't come away feeling that. I actually liked it.

The story is a pretty simple affair: Coming across as a semi sequel/continuation to 'Diary', the film follows a group of rogue National Guardsmen (led by 'Diary' bit-player Alan Van Sprang as the laconic 'Nicotine' Crocket) as they seek refuge from the impending zombie over population problem. Crocket and his team, feverishly searching for a safe haven meet up with Patrick O'Flynn (Kenneth Welsh in a scenery chewing performance). O'Flynn has been exiled from his home - namely Plum Island (this and Fiddlers Green? What is it with Romero and strange place names recently?), where his family is locked in a feud with the Muldoon family (led by Seamus Muldoon, played by Richard Fitzpatrick). The two families are almost living a 'cowboy' like existence on this remote isle, and here Romero rolls out his trademark social commentary, this time focusing on the family unit and how it reacts in times of desperation and conflict. On one side, the O'Flynns see the zombie plague as something that needs to be stamped out and eradicated, whereas the Muldoons want to train their undead brethren to eat things other than humans and keep them as part of their families. As O'Flynn and the soldiers arrive, the feud boils over to a bloody flashpoint as the two families fight it out to the bitter end in the usual Romero splatter happy manner.

To begin, this movie isn't perfect. It's by no means near the level of 'Night/Dawn or Day of the Dead', but (for me at least) its a major step up from 'Land' and 'Diary'. The cinematography, editing and production design are well realised and Romero's direction is sharp and on the ball. The movie is filled with many amusing sequences that have been largely absent from his recent films and they really add a welcome punchline to some of the zombie set pieces. The cast too, are well served and everyone gets their time in the sun. Each character is given a satisfying arc and when the inevitable zombie munch down begins at the film's climax, you actually care who is going to live or die. The script itself, although nothing revelatory is genuinely witty and goes from A to B in an efficient manner - allowing you the chance to actually 'get into' the film, rather than watch your clock or fiddle with the remote control until its over, which has been a recurring theme of late in my home when viewing the latest horror drivel. Sure, their are a few niggles: The CGI effects never really work and even though the make-up work is largely good - you still wish Tom Savini's magic touch was around, which is sorely missed by myself at least. The movie is a little short at 80 minutes, and you do want to get more out of the concept, but these things are minor blips in what is a surprisingly entertaining movie.

The DVD itself has a sharp transfer and the movie looks great, but there are no extras which is a shame - perhaps, the Region 1 version will rectify that misstep when it arrives. All in all, not a bad effort and good to see Romero can still deliver the gory goods given the right script and time. However, from reading the many reviews on Amazon and across the web - I fear I may be in the minority here so best to approach this one with caution, if you are in two minds whether to plunk down your hard earned. I would recommend the film wholeheartedly, but some may disagree.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best dead for a long time, 17 Sept. 2013
By 
G. Cole (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
I didn't really know much about this it just happened to be in a second hand shop in lodnon that I had vouchers for and seeing as it was cheap and by romero I thought I would give it a try. Ok I am guessing it goes night - dawn - day - land - diary and then survival of the dead I am also assuming that people looking at this know at least some of romero zombie movies and order etc. ok so the original trilogy are definitely classics and I think most people would agree although I think day is nowhere near as good as night and dawn was. ok so this review is my opinion and im sure some people will strongly disagree with me and sorry if I offend anyone I am just stating my opinion. so land of the dead wasn't a bad film as such it was just disappointing as far as it definitely didn't live up to the original 3 and diary seemed to be ok but not great and while on there own would probably be decent zombie movies seeing as part of the romero zombie series it just seemed nowhere near good enough to be part of that series. so when I watched this I was kind of expecting after I watched it to be back in the pile to sell on, I was so pleasantly surprised to be honest I don't know why exactly this seems so much better then the last 3 romero zombie movies it just was, the story gripped me pretty much from the start and the character's I actually cared about, the action was good everything fitted together really well. there is one small bit I didn't like, I don't want to give too much away but one zombie gets killed with a fire extinguisher and it seems to be a bit cartoony which I didn't like but its like 45 seconds every else in the movie I realy liked and im definitely keeping this. The box says the best romero zombie movie since dawn of the dead and I totally agree after two fairly lame ducks of movies romero returns to form and issues us a great zombie movie.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A feud between two grumpy heads-of-family result in a mild showdown. Oh and there's zombies., 2 Jun. 2013
By 
Vexen Crabtree (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
Like Diary of the Dead, this film appears to be early in the history of the zombie pandemic but some elements don't add up. Diary of the Dead is set right at the beginning of the outbreak, but in Survival of the Dead there are many battle-worn survivors who are fully equipped and experienced in fighting zombies (and each other). Surely, Survival is set at least weeks or months after the outbreak has crippled society. Some people have even started experimenting on the zombies and trying to control them. Yet Diary and Survival share a scene, where the students from the first encounter the military men from Survival. This screws with the time-line somewhat.

Survival of the Dead is about a feud on an island between two families. Like Day of the Dead an experimenter is trying to tame and control the zombies but the attempts and the results are much less interesting here. Also, like a few scenes from Dawn of the Dead, there are several times when friends and relatives of the deceased are refusing to dispose of their bodies safely, therefore increasing the zombies' numbers and raising the risk of outbreaks within protected areas. Like in Diary of the Dead some of the characters use gadgets to access the Internet, but, it seems that there is no explanation as to how the world's Internet servers are still up and running when most of the infrastructure is broken and unmanned. There are a few interesting moments in this film but generally it is lacklustre - nearly all the plot devices are re-used from previous "of the Dead" films and the island's inter-family feud simply isn't interesting enough to make the film. The zombie action is low-key with few genuine struggles and little sense of drama or fear.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than most, 1 Jun. 2010
By 
M. Franklin (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
Firstly I am a huge fan of Romero's work. The original Dawn of the Dead is one of my most favourite films and Day of the Dead is another masterpiece too. The new films "Land" and "Diaries" were still pretty good, although they did not live up to the claustrophobia and ability to engage the audience like the previous films. I've read the other reviews of "Survival" and seen it myself . . . and you know what, I think it's pretty good.

It's not a large budget movie, but it's handled well and effective in the way it promotes a sense of a world at war. Also one of the fundamental ideas behind Romero's work (which is missing from many other zombie movies, such as the Dawn of the Dead remake) is that the characters in the film could have survived (well, most of them) and done well if they had all just worked together -so in other words, the zombies are a threat for sure, but the real undoing of the group is the group's inability to set aside differences and work as a team. You definitely see this in the original Dawn of the Dead with the character Roger not respecting the threat of the zombies and as a result getting bitten, and then later the biker invasion (if the human survivors had worked together then what a team they would have made), and in Day of the Dead with the high hostilities between the military and the scientists, and also in the new films as well. So, what I think Survival of the Dead does really well is underline that the real threat in the zombie crisis is not the zombies themselves but the way humans interact with each other. The films conveys a sense of tragedy with every human death because there are so few humans left. So while the zombies are definitely a threat, the real danger is human nature and the way people behave in an emergency.

For sure, the effects aren't even as good as Day of the Dead (Tom Savini, where are you?!) but they are certainly adequate. I thought the first three quarters of the film was quite involving -you become immersed in the tragedy (as well as the real tragedy, which is people killing people) and actually care about the characters. For me it was just the final onslaught that lost it -the end wasn't terrible, it's just that Romero has set such high standards before that he didn't live up to what I know he can achieve.

Having said, it is still well worth your time and very enjoyable.
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2.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE WEAKEST DEAD'S YET, 27 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Coming on the back of the enjoyable and clever "Diary Of The Dead" it's sad to say that "Survival Of The Dead" is quite a weak zombie film. Which is a pity as it seemed that George A. Romero had re awoken his own franchise with 2005's highly successful "Land of the Dead". This movie just feels real weak compared to all previous entries, in fact the zombies barely play a part and there's no scenes that will have you jumping, Yes it could be to do with the budget of only 4 million but Romero's never really had big budgets before and after all "Diary Of The Dead" only had a budget of 2 million.

The movie basically picks up where the last movie ends in that a bunch of renegade soldiers rob the belongings of the cast of "Diary Of The Dead", while this is going on there's a war going on an island that is supposed to be zombie free. Of course everyone will descend on to this island and battle the zombies, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way and the story turns into who gets control of the island and the Zombies are really only in the background.

There is no extras included and the movie has a dated feel to it and if Romero's name wasn't attached to it we probably won't make it till the end. If you have seen the previous dead's then it's worth a look but if you only have a passing interest then don't bother!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, 7 May 2011
By 
Mr. J. P. Hunt (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
This is by far one of the most half baked ideas for a Zombie film... Ok scratch that, the *idea* is pretty good, a group of people hiding out on some island somewhere while the zombies slowly eat the remainder of the Human race... yes, I'd opt for that! However the story itself is so lame.

The island seems to be full of extra's from Father Ted who live out this Hill Billy type feud with one family against another and that's about it.

Apparently zombies can now ride horses but don't eat them, except until the end... jeez, I've come up with better stories whilst stuck in traffic!

Avoid this very dull and stupid film like the *zombie* plague.

It makes no sense and is just plain silly.

If you like zombie films... check out the Zombie Diaries... far far better, and it's English too, (tally ho!)... much better and realistic.
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Survival Of The Dead [Blu-ray]
Survival Of The Dead [Blu-ray] by George A. Romero (Blu-ray - 2010)
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