George A Romero's Land Of The Dead


Reviewed by: John Gallagher

Geroge A Romero's Land Of The Dead
"Land is well worth the wait and fans of the first three [instalments] will not be disappointed."

It's not every day you get to meet one of your idols and see his new movie but I am ecstatic to say that such an event happened to me just days ago. It was like Christmas come early. The man: George A Romero. The movie: Land Of The Dead.

Having waited nearly 20 years after the gore-filled exploits of the undead in Day Of The Dead, it is easy to say that I was desperate for another zombie-filled extravaganza and even though the return of the Dead movies was cheap thrills, 28 Days Later filled a small gap for a minute or so, and the remake left me thinking, "Maybe zombies should run." It took just a few minutes of Land Of The Dead to make me realise that there is no better zombie than a George A Romero zombie.

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Land sees the world completely taken over by the undead, with little or no survivors. It seems like our earth is theirs for the taking, but first they have to get through Riley (Simon Baker - him off that Australian soap that's like Beverly Hills 90210 - you know who I'm talking about - oh, and he was in a little movie called L.A. Confidential), Cholo (John Leguizamo) and Slack (Asia Argento - we can forgive her for xXx) who are gonna make sure it's not so easy for them.

Unfortunately for our heroes, the zombies have a new leader in the form of Big Daddy (Eugene Clark), who just happens to pick things up easy, like the use of a gun and how to trap and kill those pesky human folk. Big Daddy leads the zombie horde through the streets and rivers to get to the only source of food left and it just so happens that those stupid humans have left a light on to show them where to go. Throw into the mix the corrupt and slimy businessman Kaufman (Dennis Hopper), who intends to keep both the zombies and Cholo's band of misfits out of his luxury complex, known as Fiddlers Green, where he houses the creme de la creme of society.

Land is well worth the wait and fans of the first three will not be disappointed. It contains the right amount of chills, tension and blood splats to make you realise why George is still the master of the zombie movie.

With amazing performances from everyone and some memorable lines (Hopper steals every scene, with at least one quote that is a swift kick to the happy sack of the world's current affairs), this definitely stands tall as the master of the horror mountain for the last year and possibly beyond, or, at least, until George brings out the next instalment of the Dead series.

The only bad thing I can say is that it isn't long enough. This is by far the best horror movie I have seen in the last few years and I dare any of the new directors to step up to the plate and take on Romero.

Reviewed on: 25 Aug 2005
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Read more George A Romero's Land Of The Dead reviews:

Gator MacReady ***
Scott Macdonald ***
Anton Bitel ***
Trash Fletcher **1/2

Director: George A Romero

Writer: George A Romero

Starring: Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Asia Argento, Dennis Hopper, Robert Joy, Eugene Clark, Joanne Boland, Tony Nappo, Jennifer Baxter, Boyd Banks

Year: 2005

Runtime: 93 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


EIFF 2005

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If you like this, try:

City Of The Living Dead
Day Of The Dead