Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stream of Thought of the Dead

On my way to watch Survival of the Dead, the latest from maestro George A. Romero:
  • I am sure to leave early to the theater, as last time I went to a similar event (i.e. Dead Snow) it was sold out by the time I got there.
  • I walk in and quickly buy my favorite theater candy: Swedish Fish. I have to be sure to conserve these. I mean, what is more frustrating than running out of your treat 15 minutes into a movie?
  • Into the auditorium, braced to wrestle for a seat and.....I'm the 5th person there with t-15 minutes. WTF?! Dead Snow was mediocre and it received that kind of attendance.
  • Expectations for the movie: fun; intense violence (not for its own sake, but likely for satire); overall good time.
  • Hmm, how does Romero fair among the great cinematical satirists?
  • Poster for Harmony Korine's Trash Humpers. It's going to be shown here soon. What in the world is Korine's deal?
  • t-8 minutes. 10 people. 2 Swedish Fish gone.
  • Why don't very many of the decent horror movies connect with younger audiences? All Eli Roth has to do is almost literally defecate on celluloid, and he makes millions.
  • More people are filing in. Almost everyone is wearing glasses. Romero has awesome glasses. So does Scorsese.
  • t-3 minutes. 23 people.
  • I wonder how this Walking Dead tv show is going to turn out. Expectations are high, but there is a reasonable chance it could totally fail.
  • Swedish Fish: 4 down.
  • The group of kids behind me are talking about the movie Antichrist. Huh. "It's got that guy from Platoon. Oh, and Boondock Saints, but not the sequel."
  • GASP - the movie is starting. Around 40 people present.
  • 5 minutes into the movie: Swedish Fish gone. Dagnabit! over................................................

My expectations were fulfilled. Plenty of hilarious zombie deaths. Some tropes. Overarching study on the best and worst aspects of human nature in extreme circumstances. Most of the story revolves around an island off of Delaware where two families are havin' a good old fashioned feud. Oh, and most of these people are Irish, which makes no sense in all the right ways. The O'Flynns want to kill all of the "deadheads," while the Muldoons want to keep them alive in the hopes of finding some cure.
The main differences of this movie from most of Romero's others, are the tone and the focus on the people. This movie is downright wacky at times. It's certainly played as a serious movie, but in a lighthearted way - as much that is possible (compare to Day of the Dead, which is much more serious and intense). Also, there is very little focus on the actual zombies. In all of his movies, I feel like the people are the focus, but this time the zombies are kind of just....there. Almost like gnats. This is not necessarily a bad thing - it's just a bit different.
Survival succeeds in a genre that generally pumps out garbage these days. There are parts of the movie that aren't so good. There are more parts that are good, however. Somehow, I was even able to walk away saying, "I haven't seen that in a zombie movie before." The movie cares for its characters, even if a number of them die. And maybe most importantly, there is a real sense that the movie exists for a purpose, which is missing from many horror movie. Oh, and there was just the right level of hammy acting, which is an art in it's own way.

1 comment:

agust symeon said...

A fun read but how did it fare in relation to the rest of Romero's zombie saga? I'm definitely not asking for a "this wasn't as good as Dawn of the Dead... but..." kind of thing but I am curious as to how it relates to the other films, both aesthetically and with regards to the storyline.