George A. Romero's
Land of the Dead
2005Universal
Rated R105min
RATINGS
Neo





Well where should I begin on this film? I suppose I'll begin by giving you some of the complaints I have heard. First off, the comedy. Some people claim this film had way too much humor to it. Another bit, the zombies being intelligent. Not to mention the lack of acting, the special effects being the worst from KNB, the CGI, the story revolving around Kaufman (Dennis Hopper) and so on. Now granted, some of these had some valid points to them, but take into consideration people, this has a been a film 20 years in the wait. I know ever since I saw DAY OF THE DEAD I have been waiting for another! I know quite a few people who have also been in this boat.

Now I suppose I'll address these so called "problems" one on one. The first being the comedy aspect. Yes, this film was hilarious. I don't think I ever laughed so hard when watching a zombie before. But again, if people had actually watched the film they would have seen it as dark humor. Big Daddy holding another zombie up by his head only to have it severed by flying bullets. The look upon his face was pure genius! And I wasn't the only one laughing at this particular point. The list does go on about certain scenes with dark humor. Now I could see this being a problem if Romero had set out to make a humorous film and failed miserably but he didn't. He instead made another fine installment of his great zombie series and our dark insides, our primal and sick imagination, found the laughter. Those who disliked this bit should look deep within themselves and see what exactly made them laugh at these bits to begin with and why they hate it so much! I'm willing to bet there is something much more psychological behind that than they are willing to admit!

second on the list of complaints is the fact that these are now thinking and learning zombies. Over at IMDb someone had the gall to claim that this ruined the film for them. That a non intelligent lumbering zombie is a lot more frightening than a thinking zombie. I challenge ANYONE to tell me exactly why! I mean come on. Am I the only one who saw it to be a lot more frightening when a zombie is able to look for weapons to bust down the blockade and continue it's pursuit when compared to barracading yourself in a room and having the zombies amass themselves behind the door allowing you another means of escape? To know they can find a way to get you sounds a lot scarier than to know they might be able to! That's just me though.

The third problem people had was the acting. Granted, Simon Baker (Riley) was a bit on the dry side but over all, when compared to past performances, this group has done amazingly well. I actually liked Dennis Hopper (Kaufman) compared to his WATERWORLD character! Asia Argento (Slack) was also fantastic compared to her roles in say xXx or RED SIREN. Not to say they are Oscar quality performances but they are far from being trash! Hell, I liked these performances a lot better than the Captain from DAY OF THE DEAD! Also, when take a step back, or perhaps even off the soapbox, you see that this is not going to be a major film. This is just supposed to be entertainment. And I know I have said time and time again that I would like to be entertained with quality and intelligence and to hear me say that this film is just "entertainment" may seem like I'm making excuses but this movie is what all the others were, a labour of love and an installment into an already under the radar series.

Oh lord. I have not heard as many complaints and disappointments as I have with the special effects. KNB was the mastermind behind most of these and although they aren't the forefront of cinematic greats as far as zombies go, they were far from being movie ruining horrible! These were great and the usual Romero type. Rough, half rotted, and thinning zombies. The puppets were also great and so life like in their mannerisms. Now they did have their problems like Big Daddy's nose. It looked like they plastered on all of this aged, rotting make-up and left the tip of his nose normal. Or the over use of CGI in place of squibs does get a bit annoying after a while. Especially when the bright red spaltter stands out or just doesn't blend well with the lighting or surroundings. That just shows poor judgement or lack of editing. I could actually stand behind the editing bit because the film was slated for October and was bumped up to June, cutting out a few months of post-production work.

Last bit of complaint deals with story lines. Now some of these I do hate to admit seeing the point of, but it's true. Some of it just doesn't make sense... when you look at it from our point of view. First and foremost was the intelligent zombie bit. Now we already covered this and you know what my opinion of this factor is. But coming in a close second was the story involving Kaufman's love if his cash money. Why? Why would he be so into this money when there was no need for a currency any longer and yet no government to enforce it's value. This was one point that I would have a very hard time arguing ... logically. But then again we are talking about someone who used people as objects, a sort of commodity that he could use at whatever disposal he needed. Obviously this person was not in the common frame of mind.

Was a good movie? Hell yeah! Will I see it again? Hell yeah! Many many many times if I have a say about it. Should there be a sequel? Hell yeah and I do believe that this is set up to be only the introduction to a new trilogy. Plus my understanding is that if this film makes money, Universal will allow sequels to be made and possibly with bigger budgets! Let's keep our fingers crossed. My overall experience of this film was a pleasant one anyway. I mean I have been waiting 20 years for a Romero zombie to be on a big screen and I had already braced myself for it being a disappointment. I told people that regardless of if it was a horrid movie, the experience was going to be a blast. This movie didn't let me down in either section. It was fun and a great watch as well. Highly recommended in my opinion.