Land of the Dead

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Land of the Dead
Review (8/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

George Romero's latest offering to the world of the undead, Land of the Dead, focuses on an upscale high-rise called Fiddler's Green which is run by a corrupt elitist named Kaufman (Dennis Hopper) and protected by a group of mercenaries led by Cholo (John Leguizamo) and Riley (Simon Baker). The henchmen do a good job of keeping the zombies out of Fiddler's Green and raiding a zombie-ridden town for supplies and food and things seem to be going fine and dandy. Fidder's Green is running smoothly and only a small handful of Riley's army get eaten by the zombies. That is until the zombies, led by Big Daddy, seem to start thinking a bit more, communicating through grunts, learning to use guns and learning to swim. At the same time, Cholo feels like Kaufman is ripping him off and he decides to hold a powerful zombie-killing weapon called Dead Reckoning for ransom. Not surprisingly, all hell breaks loose.

I have to admit I'm somewhat a zombie movie virgin. I saw the original Night of the Living Dead in a film class I took at university but as far as I can remember, that's the only zombie movie I have ever seen before I saw Land of the Dead (although I did watch the remake of Dawn of the Dead yesterday). Based on what I saw at the theatre the other day, zombie movies now have a new fan.

Land of the Dead was pure fun and entertainment and I'm not too sure what else to expect from a movie of this inkling. Not only did the film move at a nice, brisk pace but it had some pretty decent, colourful characters, it was comical at times, gory at others, scary here and there and just a really great time at the theatre. On top of that, some of the one-liners in the movie were classic, including Dennis Hopper's "We're fucked!". Yes, that dialogue is not going to win any Academy Awards for best original screenplay or anything like that but it was enough to entertain me and a theatre filled with zombie fanatics.

And being in a theatre filled with zombie fanatics probably helped the movie's cause. I almost had as much fun seeing the type of people who enjoy the zombie movie genre as watching the movie itself. We had people covered in tattoos, aging men bald on top of their head but still growing it long at the back, an older man who reeked of booze, people dressed in goth and my personal favourite, the guy who was wearing an authentic O.J. Simpson Buffalo Bills jersey - just classic. These people had a hoot at the theatre. They were cheering at the gory parts (like the first time a finger got eaten) and clapping when certain zombies turned up on the screen (who I had no idea but it turned out one of them was a make-up artist and just knowing that is hardcore). It really was an all-around fun time at the theatre and a fun time watching this movie.

Yes, there are a tonne of unanswered questions that arise from a movie like this but whoever dares to ask them better watch out because they may just face the wrath of O.J. dude. Obviously, Land of the Dead is not a movie for everyone. There are certain people in this world who are just not cut out to watch a movie like Land of the Dead but I have to say, being a zombie virgin yet going into the movie with an open mind, I had a great time and plan on catching up on the zombie genre immediately. Last night it was Dawn of the Dead (7/10). Tonight, it's 28 Days Later!

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