George A Romero's Land Of The Dead


Reviewed by: Trash Fletcher

Geroge A Romero's Land Of The Dead
"The special effects are undoubtedly the best of the Deads. Unfortunately, there's a heap of unnecessary, unconvincing CGI."

Beginning with a fantastic title sequence, with a well-timed score riding beneath it, giving us a rundown of what went before, George A Romero's fourth Dead film quickly descends into a poorly conceived affair. It is by far the worst of the series, which was pretty inevitable, as the films progressively went down hill after the original.

Set in a land where the reanimated have taken over and are trying their best to get back to what they once knew - the sight of a dead gas station attendant flailing a petrol hose around in an attempt to continue his job almost makes you cringe. The living have barricaded themselves in, with water and large fences, to keep the corpses out. The rich stay inside a luxury skyscraper, while the poor live outside in a downtrodden market area.

Copy picture

The reanimated have taken the next logical step in zombie evolution. They are actually semi-intelligent creatures, led by Eugene Clark's corpse, ridiculously credited as Big Daddy. His character should fully irritate you but, at least, he'll make you laugh and his screaming certainly takes the classic zombie moan to the next level.

Robert Joy's Charlie is severely disfigured and unintelligent. The fact that for the first 10 minutes, I assumed he was a domesticated zombie says it all. Like many others in the film, he seems to be here just for (extra) laughs.

The lead characters are barely worth mentioning, so I wont. Without a doubt, the star of the show is Dennis Hopper's megalomaniac Kaufman, who delivers the best lines with theatrical sincerity ("Zombies, man. They creep me out").

There's plenty to keep gore fans happy and the special effects are undoubtedly the best of the Deads. Unfortunately, there's a heap of unnecessary, unconvincing CGI. I feel that I could have created a better half-decapitated zombie-biting-arm scene by drawing a picture in Microsoft paint and wobbling the monitor about for a bit. Despite rubbish CGI, there are some seriously classic head explosions and fantastic death scenes to keep that smile on your face, which is pretty much the only reason why you're watching the film.

It's fun to laugh at an outrageously gun crazed American script and poorly delivered lines (Hopper excluded), but it doesn't help seeing Romero's Land directly after Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's Shaun, which clearly shows that it is possible to combine witty writing with walking dead people.

All in all, it's worth seeing, because everyone likes watching zombies getting blasted. Don't expect to come out declaring Land Of The Dead to be the greatest film of the year, because it won't be, unless by some strange, illogical mishap the only other one you've seen in 2005 is War Of The Worlds.

Reviewed on: 22 Sep 2005
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Read more George A Romero's Land Of The Dead reviews:

John Gallagher *****
Gator MacReady ***
Scott Macdonald ***
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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