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Overall Rating
3.82

Awesome: 27.22%
Worth A Look48.89%
Average: 10%
Pretty Bad: 6.11%
Total Crap: 7.78%

15 reviews, 90 user ratings


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Land of the Dead
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by Brian McKay

"It's Romero. Its got zombies. You know you're going to see it anyway."
4 stars

After years of rumors that George Romero was finally going to do another OF THE DEAD movie, it's finally here. And while it isn't really a necessary addition to the DEAD trilogy, and it revels a bit too much in its simplistic messages about the haves and have-nots, it still entertains and delivers the goods in the gore department . . . and really, that's what we all go to a Zombie movie for, isn't it?

Presumably taking place a number of years after DAY OF THE DEAD, this chapter of the series establishes two important things early on. Humans have begun to rebuild, albeit in a limited way, by isolating themselves in fortified city-states (with the rich controlling everything and class divisions being a natural by-product). Meanwhile, the zombies are more plentiful than ever, only now they're starting to evolve, becoming smarter and remembering how to use tools and weapons.

One such city-state, an urban island called "Fiddler's Green", is controlled by the meglomaniacal Kaufman (Dennis Hopper), a Fatcat who rents out exclusive living space in a plush skyscraper to the haves, while also controlling the underworld of vice among the have-nots. Meanwhile, he sends scouts out into the zombie-infested countryside in search of food, medicine, and anything else that might be useful or profitable. The leader of these scouts is Riley (Simon Baker), an idealistic anti-hero who has designed a huge war wagon called "Dead Reckoning", complete with mounted machine guns and missile launchers. But although Dead Reckoning was meant to serve as a mobile command center against the zombies, Riley's disgruntled second-in-command, Cholo (John Leguizamo) has other ideas. During the confusion in a zombie attack, he and his crew steal the lumbering behemoth and threaten to use it against Fiddler's green unless his demands are met.

When Riley comes to the rescue of a streetwise and smart-ass hooker named Slack (Asia Argento), who is used as zombie-bait in one of Kaufman's gambling operations (a zombie cage match where the winner gets to eat her), both he and Slack are thrown in jail. But when Dead Reckoning is stolen, he is given the opportunity to earn his freedom by tracking it down and getting it back. Slack insists on tagging along, of course, and so they load up a converted station wagon that's more heavily armed than a Humvee, and head off in pursuit.

Meanwhile, an army of evolving zombies, led by a zombie known only as "Big Daddy" (what the name patch of his gas station attendant's overalls says) is moving towards Fiddlers Green. Having witnessed the slaughter of his fellow zombies by humans for mere sport, Big Daddy (Eugene Clark) is plenty pissed off, and has only two things in mind: Payback . . . and perhaps a bite to eat.

The paralells Romero draws between the upper class and the poor, by way of the residents of Fiddler's Green and the Zombies (or "working stiffs", if you will), are the kind of social commentary we've come to expect from the father of the modern zombie movie. While NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD bore metaphors on race relations, and DAWN OF THE DEAD lambasted crass consumerism, LAND OF THE DEAD is about the zombies taking back what was once theirs. When seeing scenes of posh restaurants being overrun by the undead, who mercilessly gnosh on the patrons, one can't help but succumb to giddy laughter. But the metaphor only carries weight so far, because these are still zombies. The film's final message of "Can't we all just get along with the undead?" should be met with a resounding "NO". These are zombies. They still want to eat our brains for dinner. Shoot on sight. 'Nuff said.

All in all, though, LAND OF THE DEAD is a zombieriffic gorefest, and even if Romero did have to pull a few punches to get an R-rating from the increasingly retarded and arbitrary MPAA, it still has more grue and zombie-splattering than any three RESIDENT EVIL movies. Although he has had many (many) imitators in the past few decades, nobody can set up a zombie smorgasbord like George Romero.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12288&reviewer=258
originally posted: 07/04/05 09:16:48
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2005 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell decent the original is still the best 3 stars
10/13/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Through numerous sequels and rip-offs, Romero manages to keep the corpses fresh. 4 stars
12/27/09 art THE 1932 film WHITE ZOMBIE was the best walking dead FILM! 2 stars
10/18/09 PAUL SHORTT FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT YOU CAN REANIMATE THE DEAD ONLY SO MANY TIMES 1 stars
8/31/09 Chad Dillon Cooper Better than Diary, not as good as the first three. 4 stars
12/19/08 Craig D. There's a lot more here than a political subtext, Danny. Go watch your Transformers DVD. 4 stars
8/13/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
6/11/07 Danny.G Ignore the Romero grovelling reviews, this is TV movie stuff.."oh wow, a political subtext" 1 stars
6/07/07 fools♫gold I loved "28 Days Later" much greater (a film I underrated), but this is cool. 5 stars
12/12/06 Angela Saunders Surprisingly better than expected. I actually loved it! 4 stars
11/24/06 David Pollastrini good gore with a little irony. 5 stars
8/25/06 havthat You'll never look at belly button piercings the same way. 4 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist One of the best zombie films since Night of the Living Dead!!!!! 5 stars
7/17/06 mark fun to watch-romero needs to complete this, however, this seems like a build-up 5 stars
7/15/06 drydock54321 lots of gore 4 stars
5/08/06 omar it was ok. the violence was awesome though 4 stars
3/18/06 MP Bartley Lack of doomy finality (unlike the others) makes this seem like a very good tv movie. 4 stars
3/07/06 matt mediocre, the ending was a huge letdown 3 stars
2/25/06 ali profasion 5 stars
2/21/06 Agent Sands Not scary at all. It is action-packed, though, and Dennis Hopper is fucking hilarious. 4 stars
1/14/06 ALDO Feel incomplete....bad character development. 2 stars
1/05/06 Indrid Cold The complete waste of Dennis Hopper is one of this stinker's less eggregious crimes. 2 stars
12/29/05 chris f a very good film 4 stars
12/21/05 JJ now i know how star wars fans felt when they saw phantom menace. romero should be ashamed 1 stars
12/16/05 JeromeBosch P.S. all that money and they couldn’t buy a helicopter? 3 stars
12/13/05 Jeanne Pittsburgh it really kind of sucks 1 stars
12/12/05 gray could have been better 4 stars
11/29/05 JeromeBosch Prompted me to take another look at 'DAWN' and appreciate that film even more. 3 stars
11/27/05 Lord Durvok II Romero + big, ostentatious budget = crap 2 stars
11/23/05 Guy Pretty lame all around. 1 stars
11/19/05 Sam Justus A super enjoyable zombie flick by George A. Romero, the man that started it all. 5 stars
11/15/05 Danny Disappointment. Gore for the sake of gore. Disgusting and not EVEN scary. 1 stars
11/05/05 MAttIFUL Painfully stupid! Dawn of the Dead was so much better... god that was awful 1 stars
10/30/05 K. Sear I don't know, maybe I expectected too much? 3 stars
10/27/05 deadwiz Gotta love zombies. Not romeros best, but it will do. 4 stars
10/26/05 Richard Brandt Who can see zombies being tortured without being reminded of Abu Ghraib? 4 stars
10/26/05 Linda Richardson "Zombies, man they creep me out" sums it up for me. 5 stars
10/25/05 chris fox (the god) good movie worth watching 4 stars
10/20/05 tatum Quite the unpleasant little gore FX resume film, twenty years too late 1 stars
10/19/05 othree sucksallass, Dawn of the Dead 2004 was better, Resident Evil2 was even better, *bleh* 1 stars
10/17/05 Vince Very enjoyable zombie flick by the man who started it all 4 stars
10/14/05 conker_99 Land of the dead was one of the best movies i have ever seen. But it was a little to short. 5 stars
10/14/05 carmen fratto He never explained how the zomie's got there in the first place . 3 stars
10/01/05 Phil Interesting idea........ but no! 3 stars
9/28/05 alvin crap***great effect make up, but the story is borng n no excitement at all, sucks*** 2 stars
9/22/05 Fritz Romero's brand of zombie-ism is old and tired. 2 stars
8/25/05 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne A fairly ineffectual and banal-retentive effort at making a horror flick 2 stars
8/19/05 ES An ok movie, cool premise, but the zombies are as unscary as can be 3 stars
8/17/05 alice very average, never suprised me 3 stars
8/13/05 Mark Louis Baumgart So-so FX & make-up. A heavy-handed, illogical & pretentious social message movie. *Yawn* 1 stars
8/10/05 John excellent. anyone who disagrees is wrong. 5 stars
8/06/05 Pierre Masterpiece! 5 stars
8/02/05 Ric Good cinematography, but that's about it. 1 stars
7/21/05 Shena Johnson It was an okay movie, but I think it can be better.Use your heart. 3 stars
7/11/05 the untrained eye sorry guys, disappointed 3 stars
7/10/05 asina better than any of that wes craven crap. 5 stars
7/09/05 ROY L. CAIN Nobody scares the hell out of you like Mr. Romero ! 5 stars
7/08/05 KingNeutron Some good "jump" moments, good FX, and good acting all around. 4 stars
7/08/05 lucas completely reinvents the genre of horror movies 5 stars
7/07/05 Dave Pretty Good movie even if its not up to par with Dawn or Night. 4 stars
7/07/05 Cedric It's AMAZING, go see it! 5 stars
7/06/05 Ole Man Bourbon Completely and utterly asinine. Looks like it was written by a 4th grader. 1 stars
7/04/05 ajay not really a gore fan, so this movie was laugh-out-loud bad. 2 stars
7/04/05 ART This film has the underlying theme of class struggle. 4 stars
7/03/05 Joe This movie sucks trust me, dont trust the high ratings on this movie 1 stars
7/03/05 Malcolm this was whack 2 stars
7/02/05 Eric Rollins Glossy revisionism - totally unnecessary 2 stars
7/01/05 eleni the unrated dvd will be the REAL version. still good, though. 4 stars
6/30/05 Caiphn Disappointed, pretty crazy gore however. The last bit of dialogue extreme cheese. 3 stars
6/30/05 John Gruber Social Commentary on political situation in USA... with zombies! 5 stars
6/30/05 Gray Could have been better 4 stars
6/30/05 John A Zombie film done right - great! 5 stars
6/29/05 dolemite Pretty sweet gore. I'd give it 5 just for that 5 stars
6/29/05 phillip boyd I WANTED TO EAT MY OWN FLESH WHILE BEING FORCED TO VIEW THIS MOVIE. 1 stars
6/28/05 Kankasaur Zombie films satirizing social decay have been reborn in an era of ivory tower arrogance 5 stars
6/27/05 carlos r guzman Romero still has it(1978's Dawn still best), a bit hurried; still great - DVD maybe better 4 stars
6/27/05 Agent Sands The best American movie I've seen in the theater in 2005. No gratuitous formulaic subplots. 5 stars
6/26/05 vagile Better than worth a look if not really quite awesome. 5 stars
6/26/05 Sarah Reece I really did love this film. It's a shame that the movie did go by in a hurry. 5 stars
6/26/05 Lord Jiggy Swiftian satire it is not...easy shots at Bush...oh, so original (NOT). 2 stars
6/26/05 Darren Shea Satisfying, if a bit obvious and heavy-handed. Better acting than usual for a Romero flick. 4 stars
6/26/05 malcolm everything a zombie movie is supposed to be. take a lesson copycats. 4 stars
6/26/05 Uncle Phucker Would like to see MORE of the good stuff. Hopefully a DVD will reveal this. Worst of the 4. 4 stars
6/26/05 DennyRoss Zombie fans (like me) rejoice in spite of the cliche dialogue from the main characters. 4 stars
6/26/05 asina romero's swan song is also his masterpiece. 5 stars
6/25/05 K. Sear The weakest one yet, but still not a terrible film. 4 stars
6/25/05 maysin willie aames It's no DAWN, it's not even DAY but it's still better than the imitators... 4 stars
6/24/05 Trenchtown Awesome, Except Dennis Hopper Did his Water World Character all over again 4 stars
6/23/05 David Hollands Note quite Dawn, but well-acted, with excellent tonal balance, and wonderful direction. 5 stars
6/19/05 payback Finally, this is how you make a zombie flick 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  24-Jun-2005 (R)
  DVD: 18-Oct-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  04-Aug-2005




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