Plot: As hordes of the living dead shamble through the landscape, isolated pockets of survivors attempt to carve out some kind of an existence, though as always, some live better than others. Fiddler’s Green is a lush apartment complex, stocked with all the luxuries one could ask and security to keep the residents safe, but few are able to live this kind of lifestyle. While the rich and powerful live in safety and pampered style, those not so fortunate survive on the scraps left over or risk their lives to secure supplies for those who can afford them. Riley (Simon Baker) leads a special team that makes runs out in the wastelands to procure supplies, as well as luxuries and novelties for the rich of Fiddler’s Green. But he grows weary of the social structure and longs to leave, to find a place where he can just live. At the same time, the zombies have started to adapt as well, picking up basic skills, communication, and thought processes, all of which is directed at one goal, Fiddler’s Green. When a security breach disarms one of the Green’s most potent weapons however, a window opens for the zombies to not only reach the Green, but perhaps even overrun it…
Entertainment Value: Land of the Dead is a zombie movie from George A. Romero, but it isn’t even close to the level of his original trilogy. A bloated, low end special effects action movie more than horror, the movie makes some interesting choices, but fails to do much. The zombies here work as a team, use basic tools, and in some cases, higher level strategic decision making skills, which is odd to say the least. I mean, didn’t fans shit the bed over running zombies? The narrative is a thin, forced attempt to recapture the social depth of Night and Dawn, with failed results. Yes we know the rich have it better and the working class drives societies, but all the movie does is tell that us this, never asking any kind of interesting questions about the issue. All of this could be overlooked if it was a fun zombie movie, but sadly, the budget seems to have been spent on cool vehicles, as the gore is low end CGI in almost every instance. The zombie makeup is well done for the most part and if this wasn’t a Romero movie, perhaps it could be seen as on par with a made for cable horror flick. But with Romero at the helm, it is hard to not hold it to a higher standard and Land of the Dead falls short. It winds up as a mediocre zombie movie at best, with more focus on digital muzzle flashes than anything else. Unless you simply must own every zombie movie ever made, Land of the Dead is one you can safely leave off your shelf.
A fleeting shot bare breasts can be almost seen in the club scene, but it is so fast, it barely warrants the one point. In terms of bloodshed, to me this is where the movie really sticks it to horror fans. A few fun moments of gore pop in, but by and large, this is all hyper low end CGI that looks like a cartoon. When Phil Fondacaro is shot, the blood looks like Sega Genesis graphics, just really bad effects here. I know modern horror rarely skips the CGI, but it is constant in Land of the Dead and never looks even halfway passable. The effects pull you out of the movie and given the serious tone involved, it seems like an odd choice to me. The non-gore CGI is laughable as well and I don’t mean just a scene or two, this movie is packed with terrible CGI. I’d rather have seen the action scenes dropped in favor of effective horror, but sadly, the gunplay and explosions seemed to be the main focus here. The dialogue is ok, but not all that memorable. Asia Argento plays a bad ass with some cool lines, while Dennis Hopper is an unoriginal, but still mostly fun to watch villain. Not much in terms of memorable or quotable lines, however. The craziest part of Land of the Dead is the focus on terrible special effects, while the horror is pushed to the backseat.
Overall Insanity: 0/10