‘Ello everyone. Survival of the Dead? More like Dead on Arrival. Heyyyoooooo. What a week. And by what a week I mean I watched five movies for BMT, something I vow to never do again until the Resident Evil BMT Marathon Extravaganza Celebration of the Life and Works of Paul WS Anderson (uh …. REBMTMECotLaWoPWSA). A positive: one of the movies was extraordinary, one was okay, one was meh, and only two were genuinely awful. That’s like batting .400 as far as BMT is concerned, amazing average Romero, even if you are so old you’ve forgotten how to make compelling zombie films. Speaking of which:
- Romero reminds me of Carpenter in that regard. Prior to The Ward in 2010 Carpenter had a series of poorly received films that lead to his semi-retirement in 2001. Escape from LA (future BMT, guaranteed), Vampires, and Ghosts of Mars (an amazing BMT film). Ghosts of Mars in 2001 literally looks like a film from 1996 and it is painfully clear that Carpenter had just kind of had the horror genre (which seems to evolve rather quickly) pass him by, he was around 53 at the time. Romero was even older, he was around 65 when the second Dead trilogy was being produced after a substantial directing hiatus, and honestly it shows. The fourth film feels like it was made in 1996, the fifth film was a shaky cam horror with Romero hesitantly poking fun at the booming genre, and the sixth is kind of an old school independent project again, like the original film.
- And that’s why it’s weird. The entire film series is kind of focused around a single message: this slow zombie apocalypse is more about human’s moral failings than the zombies being particularly threatening. And it’s a message that is completely lost in the 00’s (as compared to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when the first three came out). While smashing us over the head with the morality tale the trilogy just falls flat. Weirdly, the sixth (while being by far the worst movie in the series, so fucking bad), is the only one that feels like Romero. The other two felt like he was emulating other people.
- But what do I know? I don’t even like zombie movies. These are literally the only ones I’ve ever seen.
- Since there isn’t much of a BMT:CSI:SVU forensics case to be made (Romero was hired to make a new trilogy, the fourth film made solid money, he made two terrible films that were barely released … not rocket science), I’ll close with this: This was a solid BMT, and highlights what I like about the last 5 years of doing this. I’m not sure I ever see Dawn of the Dead without being made to watch Survival of the Dead. And Dawn of the Dead is fantastic. Maybe the best practical effects I’ve seen in a horror film outside of The Thing. That’s something.
I’ll just close it here. No sequel, prequel, remake because why? There would be no point. Already too many sequels. What would a prequel be about? Life before the zombie apocalypse? And no need to ever remake Dawn of the Dead (again, haven’t watched the existing remakes yet).
Alright, well I really liked the first one, looooovvveeeeed (like The Warriors loved. Or The Thing loved) the second one, and thought the third one was kind of silly but still really good. Then the second trilogy was a travesty. The first was too cartoony and weird and then the next two were just blah. Does anyone else see what that mimics? Anyone? That’s the exact progression of the two Star Wars trilogies! The first one is a classic and great for what it is, but the second is the true classic. The third went a bit too far in certain regards but everyone still loves it. Then an the elderly director comes back decades later to make a silly cartoony fourth film and a couple of duds to follow it up. There is my Sklognalysis, thank you. You know what this means, don’t you? This means we are in for a big budget sequel/reboot to the series (like World War Z level) to bring back the fans and get this shit going again. And when that happens I’ll be right there, cause Dawn of the Dead was fucking fantastic.