BLU-RAY REVIEW: Survival Of The Dead
Romero's zombie return yet again...
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Responsible for the modern interpretation and general concept of the “zombie”, George A. Romero first created his concept along with John A. Russo in the original Night of the Living Dead in 1968. While Russo went on to write Return of the Living Dead and a separate, more comical franchise was born, Romero went on to direct five other films that continue the story began by the original. His last film, Diary of the Dead, was released in 2007 and followed a group of kids making a documentary about the outbreak. At one point during the film they are confronted by a group of National Guard members who harass and rob them. This scene acts as an introduction to the group who stars as the main protagonists in the 6th and latest film in the Romero’s series Survival of the Dead.
George A. Romero’s Survival Of The Dead Ultimate Undead Edition brings horror fans the best in gruesome zombie action available in flesh-ripping 1080p High Definition picture and a pulse-pounding 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that will leave you looking over your shoulder. The film itself stars a group of relatively unknown actors, but many who starred in other horror films or even had roles in Romero’s previous films. Fans will know Athena Karkanis who plays Tomboy as Agent Lindsey Perez in the Saw films and longtime actor Kenneth Welsh as Patrick O’Flynn.
In the film, which picks up from event in Land of the Dead, follows a group of deserting National Guardsmen led by Crockett as they make there way to safety in the zombie-infested countryside. Meanwhile, the majority of the films follows the inhabitants of a island called Plum Island off the coast of Delaware. The island is home to two rival families, the O’Flynns and the Muldoons who have disagreed their whole lives but never so much than now when the undead outbreak has reached their home. Patrick O’Flynn and his possed want to exterminate all of the undead while Seamus Muldoon wants to keep them alive until a cure is found. O’Flynn and a few of his followers are cast off the island and end up in a run-in with Crockett and his group. When O’Flynn ends up the only survivor of his group, a truce is formed and the group sets out for the island. Little do they know what awaits them when they get there.
The Blu-Ray features quite a few special features some more exciting than others, but most dealing with the creation of the film and its effects. Extras include an Introduction by George A. Romero and an Audio Commentary with George A. Romero and Crew, an in-depth “Walking After Midnight” Documentary on the making of the film and the “Sarge” short film that showcases a monologue by the character Crockett. “A Minute of Your Time” is a collection of thirteen behind the scenes shorts that deal with a variety of topics. The set also includes Time With George an interview dealing with his thoughts on the film, a Fangoria Interview with George A. Romero, HDNet: A Look at Survival of the Dead, and a Storyboard Comparison: Heads on Stakes. The last feature, and my personal favorite, comes from the guys at Indy Mogul showing fans How To Create Your Own Zombie Bite on a budget in a humorous and entertaining show.
While Survival of the Dead isn't the greatest entry in the "Living Dead" saga, it certainly gets points for trying. The plot, a take on the classic Hatfield vs McCoy rivalry is an interesting setting to put the zombie outbreak and while the film had a little more humor and goofiness, it still had some great make-up and effects despite the lower budget. Survival of the Dead is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray from Magnet films.