We talk about George Romero a lot on this site. You might have noticed, however, that we don’t mention this movie much. There’s a reason for that.
In respect of journalistic honesty, friends, let us not mince words: SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD sucks. I mean, flat-out *sucks*. What happened? It’s a Romero film. How could it end up being such a steaming pile of garbage? You watch one of the unholy trinity, the big three—NIGHT, DAWN, DAY—or even their long-awaited sequel, LAND OF THE DEAD, and then you watch this one. You can’t believe they were made by the same person. SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD honestly has nothing going for it; the acting is bad, the script is mediocre, the FX aren’t even great. Again I say, what happened?
I think I’ve figured it out. Watching interviews Romero did, he talks about how zombie killing had become a game, and references movies like ZOMBIELAND. He confesses that he wanted to give the fans something like that, something “fun.” *That* is what happened. The reason films like ZOMBIELAND work is, before they start lampooning the subject matter, first they have to love the subject matter. Romero had stopped taking his own work seriously. It was a joke to him. And, devoid of the gravitas he imbued into his earlier pieces, that joke fell flat. Romero was not respectful of Romero’s work. Romero was not faithful to Romero’s vision. It’s so sad that this was George Romero’s last film. His legacy will survive it; there’s no doubt about that. But he deserved a better swan song.
I started watching SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD the other night. I turned it off. I couldn’t finish it. It’s that bad.
The Living Dead movies should have ended with LAND OF THE DEAD.