mag·nif·i·cent/magˈnifəsənt/ (adj.)

1. Impressively beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant; striking.
2. Very good; excellent.

Synonyms: splendid - gorgeous - grand - superb - glorious

WARNING: Some spoilers may be bound but I try to keep them light.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Land of the Dead (2005)


     "In a world where the dead are returning to life, the word 'trouble' loses much of its meaning."

Land of the Dead (2005) is George A. Romero's sequel to the Dead trilogy, made 20 years after the last of those films.

Land of the Dead is unique because it was one of the first film to start years after a zombie outbreak. There's a lot going on in this film but our main hero is on a mission to return an expensive zombie combat vehicle that was stolen from a fat cat living on top of a "zombie proof" society.

This film features smart zombies that are some of the protagonists in this film which is not only an interesting and unique idea, it seems like the natural next step after Day of the Dead (1985). Unfortunately this doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you haven't seen the rest of his films.

Like the rest of Romero's Dead films this one has lots of really good and unique characters. Unfortunately for this film the dialogue and uninteresting story really doesn't help these characters shine for all they're worth.

This film has plenty of unique and interesting things to bring to the world of zombie movies. This was the first one to take place really far (years) after the initial zombie outbreak and introduces new things to his Dead films too, like the discovery that zombies are fascinated with fireworks. This is a really great idea, but unfortunately the film sets this up and then when it comes up in the final act the zombies just decide to ignore it for no reason at all. Way to follow your own rules, movie. And I got to say this is the first of Romero's Dead films to feature CG and I love how minimally and reserved he is about using it. This film feels a lot bigger than a 15 million dollar film.

And this film is arguably the first of Romero's Dead films to really incorporate a whole lot of humor in it. I'm pretty hit or miss on the actual humor here but at least it shows Romero doesn't take this film as seriously as you might expect.

This film is riddled with bad exposition speeches. There was plenty of exposition in the other films but this film is the worst at incorporating it and making it feel natural by far. Overall I'd actually have to say that the entire dialogue is definitely the worst of all the Dead films so far, it's all pretty much laughably bad and unfortunately it's unintentional too.

The worst thing about this film is the story just isn't that interesting. There's about three different narratives we're following and all of them are pretty predictable and uninteresting.

The thing this film does well is its commentary on society and class and how even after something like a zombie apocalype we'd still find ourselves under the power and control of someone who knew how to take advantage of the system. Supossebly this film is George A. Romero's commentary on the George W. Bush administration but luckily for him it's actually pretty vague and not so on the nose like that. I say this is lucky because if our main antagonist here was just a walking Bush cartoon I feel like that would have dated the film incredibly.

Land of the Dead (2005) is a decent addition to the Dead films, not as good as the others but it still has plenty of interesting and unique things to add.

3.5/5 Stars.

Happy watching!

Tomorrow on the 31 Nights of Macabre Movies I'm going to review Zack Snyder's directorial debut, Dawn of the Dead (2004), the remake.

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