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DVD Review

DVD cover

Survival of the Dead


Starring: Alan Van Sprang, Kathleen Munroe, Devon Bostick and Kenneth Walsh
Optimum Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 15 March 2010

On the remote island of Plum, two opposing Irish families are at constant loggerheads. The current dispute is regarding what to do with islanders who become zombies. Patrick O'Flynn believes they should all be destroyed, while Muldoon keeps them chained up in the hope that they can be persuaded to eat something other than human flesh. Into the mix comes Sarge and his handful of troops, who are seeking a controllable area. But who should he form an alliance with? And will anyone survive the outcome...?

Over the last few months I have reviewed a number of zombie related films and, as anyone who has perused them will know, I'm not particularly enamoured with the concept. Zombies will always be zombies, so the problem is what can be achieved if anything to breathe new life (so to speak) into them. George Romero has directed a multitude of movies over a great many years, but he will always be best known for this sub-genre of the horror spectrum, after the unexpected success of his original classic Night of the Living Dead. Since then, and particularly in recent years, he has written and helmed a veritable conveyor belt of zombie flicks. It has been said that the films tackle a number of political and social issues, but from my perspective it's all pretty much brain eating in the simplest sense.

Survival of the Dead takes a leaf out of Flick's book by depicting zombies fruitlessly attempting to set about their normal daily tasks as if they were alive; the best example being a young woman who used to ride her horse around the island and continues to do so, even after dying. The plot theme here seems to be can you teach an old zombie new tricks? In other words, change their pattern of behaviour. The characters are disappointingly clichéd, with a tough military man, two other soldiers with a will-they-won't-they relationship, a nerdy boy who turns out to be good with guns, and other cannon fodder. I did like the age-old dispute between the two Irish families on the island, but the epilogue in which the heads of the families continue to fight as zombies is portrayed a little ridiculously.

This isn't a bad film. Merely pointless. I wait with some trepidation for Bore of the Dead. It has to come.


Ty Power

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