Survival of the Dead (2009)
Synopsis from Magnet Releasing:
The newest film from horror master George A. Romero (legendary creator of the Night of the Living Dead franchise) picks up where Diary of the Dead leaves off. On a small island off the coast of Delaware, live two families locked in a struggle for power and control over the fate of the undead. The O’Flynns approach the zombie plague with a shoot-to-kill attitude. The Muldoons feel that the zombies should be quarantined and kept “alive,” in hopes that a solution will be discovered. For both families, existence on Plum Island is a nightmarish world where humans are the minority and zombies rule.
Ha! "Survival of the Dead" is drowning in trite cliches and not a single character in the movie has any sort of redeeming quality about them. Not only are all of the characters unsympathetic jerks, they are stuck in a bad retelling of the Hatfields and the McCoys on Little Ireland er, I mean, Plum Island in North America off the coast of Delaware. Delaware? Seriously?
One faction of Little Ireland, the O'Flynn clan, wants to dispose of the zombies and put them out of their undead misery. (I'm on the O'Flynn's side on the matter, but that's just me.) The other faction, the Muldoon clan, wants to "train" them and use them for menial labor. Muldoon even has tethered a "mailman" zombie to a mailbox. It walks away, is yanked back on the tether and then returns to the mailbox to "deliver" a letter. The idiots firmly believe that zombies are safe to be around and that they can be taught, which results in having a "herd" of zombies stored in a corral on the Muldoon clan farm. This idea that zombies can be useful began in the Romero zombie franchise with "Day of the Dead."
In "Day of the Dead" Romero posited the idea: What if rotting zombie brains could retain some intelligence, however animalistic it is? What would happen if they could remember things or events from when they were alive?
It's an interesting idea, one that was handled quite well by Kim Paffenroth's novel "Dying to Live." Unfortunately, neither "Land of the Dead" nor "Survival of the Dead" managed to pull it off with any sort of dignity.
"Survival of the Dead" takes the idea presented with Beethoven loving Bub the zombie in "Day of the Dead" and Big Daddy aka zombie Moses in "Land of the Dead" and runs with it in circles while holding a razor sharp pair of scissors to give us horse riding zombie Jane.
Horse riding "smart zombie" Jane O'Flynn in "Survival of the Dead" is the undead twin sister of Janet O'Flynn. Smart zombie Jane rides a horse all over the place on Little Ireland. Yeah. You read that right. The zombie is riding a living, breathing animal and the horse for some strange reason, has absolutely no problem with being ridden by a dead thing that is still moving.
Oh sure, you can train a horse to do a lot of things, but get it to allow a rotting animated corpse on its back? You have to be freaking kidding me. Horses are not that dumb. It is highly unlikely that a horse would let anything that smells like a rotting cess pool and looks like it just crawled up out of its grave anywhere near it.
Which brings us to one of my main problems with "Survival of the Dead." The zombies are not treated like a threat. They are taunted and played with like it's happy fun time in the zombie apocalypse. When they are not being played with, the zombies are somehow able to teleport behind people, or like ninja undead, slip between a whole squad of soldiers (as in the beginning of the movie) and attack a poor man while his dumbfounded buddies just stand there and watch. They don't take even kill it until after their buddy is dead.
One remarkable idiotic zombie death takes place on a fishing boat. One of the soldiers picks up a fire extinguisher, gets the zombie's attention with it and then gets it to bite it, kind of like you would when teasing a dog (well if you are that kind of a jerk...). The zombie then has its eyes and brain blown out of its head when the fire extinguisher goes off. (Which apparently was also done by a soldier in "Day of the Dead.")
By the time I got to the end of the movie, I was wishing that someone would blow out my eyes out too, just to put me out of my misery. Don't bother with this one. It's terrible.
SyFy's Zombie Apocalypse (2011)
Synopsis from IMDB:
Months after a zombie plague has wiped out 90 percent of the American population, a small group of survivors fight their way cross-country to a rumored refuge on the island of Catalina.
Please, please SyFy, just stop. Stop making movies that rely on CG-- it's obvious you can't afford a computer effects studio that can actually make the animation look believable. And while you're at it, just stop producing movies all together.
"Zombie Apocalypse" is another bad SYFY movie with terrible two dimensional weightless computer graphics, this time with "magic katana" karate-chop action! Awesome chick with katana Cassie is so amazing that her katana blade doesn't even get remotely close to a zombie when swings it, and yet, WOOSH! Off with their heads! It's kind of like watching one of those Samurai magic sword attacks in anime where they just swing it and the force of the blade flinging through the air is so strong that it knocks down buildings. Except this movie was supposed to be about normal average every day people trying to survive... Sigh.
|Just when you think the CG can't get any worse, they encounter a weightless zombie tiger on the pier.|
I guess it wanted to go fishing...?
SyFy's "Zombie Apocalypse" has such unbelievable character actions that even the intro is dumb.
Who decided it would be a good idea to set off global wide EMPs to cut off all communication in an attempt to quarantine the zombie virus? I mean, it's not a high-tech zombie virus caused by nanites infecting the tissue of dead human beings and reanimating them. So how exactly would cutting off communications stop it from spreading? Blowing up bridges, cutting off fuel supplies, military enforcement of quarantine zones, that would help, for a while at least. But, ruining electronic devices? Come on!
Taryn Manning who plays Ramona, the main character and stereotypical dumb blonde, sounds like she has one hell of a head cold throughout the whole movie. The best I can compare it to is the voice of Lindsay Lohan in the Robot Chicken episode "Highlohander." Not only does she sound just like her, Ramona is just as stupid as the Lohan parody as well.
Yes. That is an actual line from the movie. And it's as intelligent and articulate as the movie's heroine gets, or anyone else in "Zombie Apocalypse" for that matter.
|These characters are so dumb, they'd have to stop and ask the zombies for directions to Catalina.|
Steve Niles' Remains (2011)
The story centers on two lone survivors of a bizarre accident that reduced most of the world's population to zombies. They take refuge in a vacant casino and fight a losing battle against the undead.
"Steve Niles' Remains" by Chiller is another zombie movie that gets a ton of really, really good gushing praise from reviewers and for the life of me, I can't figure out why, other than the fact that "It's got zombies in it. Hur Durr..."
|The zombies in "Remains" are so dumb, they eat their own arms.|
None of the characters acted like a real person would and the entire thing suffers from Idiot Plot Syndrome. As in, if real thinking people were in the same situations, they would never do any of the things that the characters in this movie did.
What's worse is that the character creator and writer of the comic that the movie was based on, Steve Niles, admits in an interview with Yahoo! Movies that his characters are in fact, idiotic douche bags. "[Tom] is kind of a dumb ass. He's not the brightest guy in the world. Tori isn't the nicest person in the world."
So, his two main characters are an idiot and a mean, shallow chick that works in a casino? Great. At least the zombies didn't talk in the movie, like they do in the comic book and say things like "Need flesh!" But that's the only thing "Remains" does right.
Hey guys, I know there's zombies loose in the hotel, but I'm going to split up and go off on my own anyways...
Deadlands: The Rising (2006)
Synopsis from IMDB:
October 2008. A biochemical weapon explosion causes a freak chain of events and brings the dead back to life. It is up to five people to make a stand for survival against an ever growing army of the Living Dead.
Remember, "Deadlands: The Rising" has nothing to do with the Pinnacle tabletop RPG "Deadlands." I know because the intro to the movie tells us and it was on the box when I rented it from the video store.
At first when I was looking for info on the Internet about this movie, I didn't believe that it was the same thing. The synopsis has absolutely NOTHING in common with the actual movie that was put out.
So, what's "Deadlands: The Rising" about? Nothing. Seriously. It's about nothing. There is no plot. More than half of the movie is either A. Michelle writing in her "journal" about events that already happened with her narrating as she writes (Yeah. That got old real quick) or B. Gary and/or Brian whining and doing nothing at all.
Most of "Deadlands: The Rising" is just filler. It lingers on events that are of absolute no consequence and are boring as hell. There is a scene that takes over a half an hour where Gary and Brian shoot at cans. I'm not kidding. Shooting at cans and improvising boring dialog. For over 30 minutes of the film.
Oh, and there's a scene with a dog in a closet. And one scene where Gary or Brian (because seriously, after a while I stopped caring about who was whom) is stuck in a "traffic jam" at night and zombies come out of the darkness and attack people in cars. Gee. If only they managed to just lock their damned car doors. Then none of that would've happened.
Yeah. "Deadlands: The Rising" makes "Zombie Apocalypse" seem like a decent movie. And that's sad, because it sucks.