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SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (director/writer: George A. Romero; cinematographer: Adam Swica; editor: Michael Doherty; music: Robert Carli; cast: Alan Van Sprang (Sarge Crocket), Kenneth Welsh (Patrick O’Flynn), Kathleen Munroe (Janet/Jane), Devon Bostick (Boy), Richard Fitzpatrick (Seamus Muldoon), Athena Karkanis (Tomboy); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Paula Devonshire; Magnolia Pictures.; 2009)
Romero seems to have lost his touch doing zombie pics.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A failed zombie flick from zombie maven George A. Romero(“Diary of the Dead”/”Night of the Living Dead”/”Land of the Dead”). It’s inertly shot in Canada, with a mostly Canadian cast.

It takes place in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak on Plum Island, off the coast of Delaware. The island consists of two strong-willed rival families, the O’Flynns and the Muldoons. The O’Flynn patriarch, Patrick (Kenneth Welsh), forms a clansman posse and kills all the undead until stopped by Seamus (Richard Fitzpatrick), the Muldoon patriarch. Seamus insists the undead are to live imprisoned in chains and his hope is for a future cure. At gunpoint, Seamus forces Patrick and a few of his loyal followers to leave the island for good on a rowboat. In retaliation, O’Flynn uses a YouTube-like site to invite refuge seekers to Plum Island under the guise the island has no zombies to worry about.

Meanwhile in Philadelphia, six days after the zombies return, a renegade band of soldiers, led by the tough guy Sarge Crocket (Alan Van Sprang), revolt against their soft commanding officer and, in a raid on the outskirts of town, capture an unnamed teenage boy (Devon Bostick), who tells them about O’Flynn’s video invitation. The squad, who survive by robbing and killing zombies and humans, consist of a woman soldier and three men. They board the Plum Island ferry to seek shelter there but O’Flynn’s clan sent the message only to rob such takers and attacks them. Both sides get into a quayside shootout. The Sarge wins and sails to the island, where he finds scores of zombies doing work chores in the field while chained. When Patrick returns to get even with Seamus, war breaks out between the rival clans, the zombies, and the renegade soldiers. It results in a bleak ending with no great social conscience issues raised or resolved.

The clumsily executed lumbering horror/sci-fi flick offers strained mindless entertainment and no frightful moments. Romero seems to have lost his touch doing zombie pics.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”