Land Of The Dead

Touting 2005's Land Of The Dead, George A. Romero's dark tale of the Zombie Armageddon, as "his ultimate zombie masterpiece" (or so boasts the marketing effort) is a bit of a stretch, though for fans of (somewhat) thoughtful horror, this one is still fun and in the Romero tradition. It follows Romero's brilliantly simple classic Night Of The Living Dead (1968), the then-bold indictment of consumerism Dawn Of The Dead (1978) and the underrated Day Of The Dead(1985). Here, the living dead have inexplicably started to think and have begun hunting the living holed up in Fiddler's Green, a fortified skyscraper city run by an opportunistic businessman, played by Dennis Hopper. Soldier Simon Baker and bad girl/horror legacy Asia Argento (Romero credits her father Dario Argento with the genesis of Dawn Of The Dead) keep the action moving, with John Leguizamo as Hopper's plodding guy Friday with dreams of living the high(rise) life. Eugene Clark, as the lead zombie, a former gas station owner named Big Daddy, has the hardest job here, conveying primal emotion and intent without speaking a word (think Bub from Day Of The Dead, built like a bulldozer.) Thanks to some great and ghastly makeup by longtime accomplice Greg Nicotero, a fellow Pittsburgh native who, as a youngster, actually met Romero while he was writing Dawn in Rome, does not skimp on the gory details. Still, it has been so long since Romero has worked in this genre that as competent as the film is, it seems like more of a Romero tribute than a fresh take on the genre that he is credited with redefining almost four decades ago.

categories Dvds, Cinematical