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They Still Walk Amongst us,
This review is from: Survival Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
After waiting twenty years for a sequel to Day of the Dead, Gory George has directed three "Dead" movies in the last five years. I liked Land, although felt the name actors proved a distraction, Diary also contained much worth but had spent a little too much time trying to convince of it's reality angle.
Survival has no big names in it's cast and is a straight forward film directed smoothly by Romero, the music and photography are top notch, the cast fine and the grue and zombie make-up are excellent (although I'm still not convinced of the CGI effects).
Despite all this what really matters in a true "Dead" movie is the context George throws in. All his living dead movies succeed because the Zombies are pushed mainly to the side (and in some cases forgotten entirely), Survival concentrates on two warring families on an island, two families who could (like the rest of humanity) probably survive this apocalypse is they listened to each other, if they just communicated. The problem of the dead returning is a moot point if we could discard the outdated ideals and selfish stubborn ways that holds back any real progress (this is shown bluntly in Survival in a scene where one character is about to reveal a major change in the behaviour of the zombies but is cut down before having chance to divulge this potentially life saving information).
The infantile behaviour of these families, neither wishing to concern themselves with the opinions of the other is but a microcosm of the world beyond the shores of their imagined haven from the dead. As one character notes "I like small towns, but they breed small people". Of course the failure to learn from these mistakes always waits in the wings- Death- in the form of the living dead.
It's not a subtle message, but Romero has never buried his subtexts too deep. The genius of Romero's zombies is their ability to be adapted for whatever their creator sees in the real world away from the camera.