31 in 31: Land of the Dead

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Story: George Romero’s zombies have taken over the world. Three years in, a safe-haven has been constructed in Pittsburgh. But you have to be the “right kind of person” to enjoy any kind of real life. Uh, best not to try keeping your fellow man down when you got zombies at your door. And I think they’re starting to get smart….

Scares: A few, but this is mostly zombie sociology. Noobs to the genre (or to Romero’s zombies) may be frightened, but everyone else will just be enjoying the ride.

Splat Factor: Did I mention that this is a George Romero joint? So you know there’s going to be a ton of FX…including the most badass kill by a zombie every. (Think PEZ dispenser. )

Closing Scene “Shocker”?: No. In fact, there’s a touch of sweetness. No I’m not crazy. (Not about this anyway.)

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Part of the Dead series by George Romero. Number 4 in 6. So far.

Trick or Treat?: This film comes with a high-class pedigree – think of the Dead films as the Godiva chocolates of horror – so there’s a lot to live up to. And like their chocolate counterparts, some are better than others. Land of the Dead is better than Diary of the Dead and the strange Hatfield &McCoys of Survival of the Dead, but not as good as the earlier films (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead & Day of the Dead. Well, maybe it’s as good as Day.)

And then there’s the Romero message that comes with all his flicks; this time it’s twofold. A slap in the face to the Bush administration and it’s handling of the events after 9/11 – “We don’t negotiate with terrorists!” And a look at just how bad a Have/Have Not system can be.

A great cast of genre faves fill the cast, making it fun to play “Whodat?”; Simon Baker (The Mentalist), horror royalty Asia Argento, Robert Joy, John Leguizamo, Sasha Roiz (Grimm), and many others, including Dennis Hopper as douchebag Kaufman. Check IMDb for all- star zombies like Simon Pegg, Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero. Schweet!

Score: image image image image out of 5 pumpkins.

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