24 October 2012

October 24th

Survival of the Dead (2009) directed by George A. Romero
The roads are clear and the Internet still works.  Minor things, but they set the wrong tone.  A world in which, a month into a zombie outbreak, you can still watch YouTube on your iPhone just doesn't feel apocalyptic enough.  Who's manning all of those server rooms to make this happen while the rest of the world goes to hell?  If you're going to go that way -- things are still running, but there's all these annoying zombies making it a little harder than normal -- Romero should've ran with the idea I once read that he had for part 4: the living dead have become little more than a nuisance; just more homeless on the street for people to ignore.

Instead, for this sixth go-round, Romero goes back to the "let's civilize the zombies" idea again.  This time, a man -- not unlike Hershel in The Walking Dead -- thinks the zombies are just sick people.  He keeps them chained up on his island, where they repeatedly perform a minor task they used to do while alive.  His goal is to train one to eat something other than humans in an effort to find a way to coexist with the creatures.  Sounds familiar.

I'm not really sure I follow the logic of this train of thought, though.  At the end of the movie, the zombies do indeed eat a horse.  So what?  I eat chickens, but that doesn't mean cows are safe around me.  Saying this is a path to making the zombie safe to be around is like saying, "don't worry about the tiger walking around town.  I've trained him to eat only cat food."

In the end, I don't think Romero really had anything new to say here.  People are violent and will kill each other over stupid things like differences of opinions.  Zombies can learn.  You may have to turn into a little bit of a bastard to survive zombieland, but there are lines never to cross.  We've tackled all of this stuff in previous Living Dead movies.

I do like the final image.  If the visual of two zombies shooting empty guns at each other with a gigantic full moon behind them is the last of the Romeroverse, well, that'll be fine.

Watched: blu-ray from Magnolia.

Sarge (2009)

The Walking Dead 2.10: "18 Miles Out" (2012) directed by Ernest R. Dickerson
How much time is passing?  How in the hell is Randall walking around OK after getting his calf muscle torn to shreds on a fence?  And, where are they?  Rick gives a nice speech about how winter may slow or end the zombie plague.  Aren't they in Georgia, having just fled the CDC in Atlanta?  Why is Rick talking about snowmobiles?  I'm pretty sure they get rare dustings of snow there in winter and nothing more.

I'm also not sure why the show expects us to care much about whether Hershel's other daughter kills herself or not.  I don't think the girl has ever had any lines before this episode and her catatonic state from the episodes prior has been the series' lamest storyline.  I don't even remember what her name is.

At least Rick and Shane have come to blows, opening the way for Carl to do what he should'a done long ago.

The Walking Dead 2.11: "Judge, Jury, Executioner" (2012) directed by Gregory Nicotero
I love the group's moral quandary in this episode.  It's a tough one.  If Randall's group really has 30 people in it, I think the implication is that he's from the Governor's group.  If that's the case, knowing what the Governor is like from the comics, I think Shane is right: they need to off him for the safety of the group.  Easier said than done, though, as Rick finds out.  Should they continue to pretend to be civilized?  Or is that impossible in the world they now live in?  Great, great stuff.  This is exactly what this series can be at its best.

Is this the episode that started the complaints I've seen all over the damn Internet about Carl wandering off into the woods without supervision?  There's only two more episodes left after this.  I suppose if he does it again and gets lost like Sophia, that may be annoying.  But, still, his wandering in this episode is completely understandable to me.  He's a 10ish-year-old boy and, up to this point, the farm has been perfectly safe.  I'd be curious to go explore and watch a zombie, too.  I'm more worried that the idiot lost Daryl's gun in the woods.

Wow.  Dale, man.  He survived a long, long time in the comic series.  I wasn't expecting him to be dying a horrifically agonizing death by being ripped open by a zombie and then shot in the head.  Poor TV Dale never got to date Andrea or get his leg chopped off.  If the series continues to shock me by mixing up the details of which bad things happens to which character, that's just fine.  I just hope they have the balls to torture the members of the Grimes family as much as they've been tortured in the comics.  Nothing in a comic book has ever gotten to me more than the three major things that happen to the members of that family over the course of the series.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, saying that people can't commnuicate or getting minor issues is the thing Romero has been saying in all of his zombie movies, right from the beginning.

    It's fair to criticize "Survival" for not really having a cohesive theme or point. Sure. But I liked the characters and the fun breezy tone. Doing things like having a human bite a zombie, just to see what would happen. Over all, I'm a bit more forgiving of Romero's later films then most.