DVD REVIEW by Brian Roper
for file 23 Magazine
After a twenty year hiatus, George Romero is back in fine form doing what he’s always done best. I needed a break from the hourly showings of SHAUN OF THE DEAD (which I liked the first hundred or so times) on cable and LAND OF THE DEAD delivers big-time. No more “funny” zombies (although a zombie clown does make a third appearance by my count in a Romero film) the zombies in this film are very serious and like the Bub character in DAY OF THE DEAD, they’re starting to show signs of rudimentary intelligence much to the frustration of the living.
Basic plot: uber-rich Dennis Hopper runs a walled-in luxury condo tower and employs a small army of security people to keep out the zombies. A disgruntled ex-employee (John Leguizamo) hijacks a armored security vehicle and plans to use its missle launchers ( which I presume were designed in case the zombies ever learned to pilot jets; and that makes about as much sense as the natives in KING KONG constructing a giant wall with a door big enough for Kong to come through ) on the luxury tower after a failed attempt to extort money from Hopper. Zombies break into the complex and rich peoples’ intestines are consumed by all.
OK, it’s a zombie movie; what did you expect? Subtleties like character developement and intricate plots only serve to get in the way of the flesh-ripping and the gut-munching that we’ve all come to expect in these things.
My main criticism would be I wish Romero didn’t center so much of the story around an armored vehicle that so closely resembles the one in the final scenes of the DAWN OF THE DEAD re-make but overall the movie is still great fun and it’s good to see Romero doing zombie movies again.
The DVD has multiple fan-boy extras, including the usual “behind-the-senes” stuff. Look for cameos by Tom Savini and Simon Pegg ( the SHAUN guy)
Recommended if you liked Romeros’ previous zombie epics, but I doubt it’s going to convert anyone who didn’t.