Monday, September 26, 2005

LAND OF THE DEAD

The sky-flowers aren’t working anymore

Director: George A. Romero
Cast: Dennis Hopper

Tagline: The Legendary Filmmaker Brings You His Ultimate Zombie Masterpiece

“George A. Romero”, boasts the trailer, “returns to the genre he created”. What genre would that be? If you didn’t know you’d probably have to be told. “The post-apocalyptic action movie?” you’d say. For every cliché is present in this land of the heavily customised armoured vehicles, gladiator arenas, leather-lovin’ bikers, crazed Irish preachers, gentle, slow, deformed sidekicks, crudely drawn class systems and Dennis Hopper. But it’s worse than Waterworld. It’s actually worse than Super Mario Brothers.
It’s all very untidy really. Skilled actors are made fools of by shitty, graphic novel dialogue. Tension is built and released only by a Fox News-standard thriller score and brief but tedious quick-fright setups. Evil Dead blood and guts and Gremlins silliness seem out of place in such a slickly-filmed, humourless environment. It is an obnoxious, overly referential, condescending, misguided, preachy statement against ‘whitey’, a socio-racial group Romero seems unaware he is a member of. It is completely out of its time, lacks even the most basic pacing or character development and the Living Dead are practically an afterthought. How must Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright feel cameoing in one of their biggest film hero’s own Phantom Menace? As the film’s angry black voice puts it so frequently: “RRRAAAAAARRRRRGH!!!!”

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