A Small Tribute to Land of the Dead (2005)

WaterLoggedA few nights ago, I watched Land of the Dead for the first time in years. I remembered liking it, but the memory wasn’t solid enough to really know why anymore. After this most recent viewing, I can confidently say that this movie kicks all kinds of ass, and as such, it deserves a little tribute. It’s different than most zombie movies, so if you’re looking for a non-stop gore-fest, you’ll have to go elsewhere. But if you’re in the mood for cool characters and a story that resonates, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

Firstly, all of the leads work well together. Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Asia Argento, Robert Joy, and the inimitable Dennis Hopper round out a great cast that really sells the notion of living in a post-apocalyptic shit-hole.

Trio

Hopper

Asia

Charlie

Cholo

Asia2

You’ve got a sensible leader for whom you’d gladly work; a sidekick with earnest one-liners and impeccable aim; a gorgeous girl who’s loyal to noble causes; a total prick bad guy; and another total prick who you actually end up cheering for after a certain point. All of them add up to, let me calculate it really quickly…a bunch of awesome.

The story is one that is still very much relevant today, 8 years after the movie’s release. The zombies become self-aware and begin to fight back against – from their perspective – the humans committing genocide against them. It’s really about how the poor are held captive by the rich who value wealth and status above all else. The zombies becoming self-aware is meant as a wake-up call for people to band together against the way our society treats those who are less fortunate. It’s good stuff, and while it’s not subtle in any way, it doesn’t need to be.

BigDaddy

Teaching

Like I said, it’s not about non-stop blood-and-guts, but it gets hilariously gruesome when it wants to. And isn’t getting eaten alive by a scary, fat clown just about the worst death imaginable?

Clown

Priest

HeadRip

Grenaaaaaade

Romero’s return to the zombie sub-genre after a twenty-year absence is a success as far as I’m concerned. I thought I remembered it getting shit on around the time it came out, but IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes both have it pretty highly rated. I’m not endorsing aggregate sites, per se, but they can sometimes be useful as a starting point for actually looking into quality. Anyways, check out Land of the Dead if you haven’t. It’s a fun hour-and-a-half with the signature Romero social commentary underneath.

Also, a Tom Savini sighting!

Savini

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About Sir Phobos

Male, 30-something, hates stupid things and likes non-stupid things
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20 Responses to A Small Tribute to Land of the Dead (2005)

  1. Yeah, it’s a good zombie movie. I enjoyed it…. actually working on a top ten Zombie movie list for tomorrow right now though, I don’t quite think this one will make the cut.

    • Sir Phobos says:

      Hmmm. Well, let’s see. There’s Zombi, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead (I’m not as impressed with that one, but it needs a rewatch), Exit Humanity, Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead remake, and, ummm…a lot more, I’m sure. I still need to see Savini’s remake of Night of the Living Dead.

      • theipc says:

        WOAH WOAH WOAH

        What about Return of the Living Dead????

        P.S. That Savini remake is pretty awesome…

      • Sir Phobos says:

        Yes, sir, Return of the Living Dead! Maybe even Return of the Living Dead 3. I just threw out whatever came to mind. I’m having a lot of trouble thinking of a lot of them at the moment. Another one I still need to see is Fido.

  2. Agreed. That Savini remake of the Living Dead IS pretty awesome. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. I should give this another chance. I didn’t like it when I saw it in the theater. Maybe my hopes were up a little high.

  4. table9mutant says:

    Great review. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like Land Of The Dead but never ever see anyone mention it. I know it’s not up there with Night or Dawn but it’s still much better than the majority of zombie films. And I have a weird sort of thing for John Leguizamo.

    • Sir Phobos says:

      And he goes shirtless! I’m glad you’re on my side of this. You’re right, no one really talks about LotD. If you want to see a bad Romero zombie flick, watch Survival of the Dead. Whew, stinky.

      • table9mutant says:

        You know, that’s the ONLY one I’ve not seen. Have had it on DVD for years but not gotten around to it. I even liked Diary!

        Yes – good job including the shirtless pic. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Sir Phobos says:

        You’re welcome.

        Well, you should watch Survival at some point, then. I haven’t seen Diary yet, which is the only one I have left. But for me, Survival was boring, the story was bad, and they didn’t even try to hide the crap CGI. In Land of the Dead, the effects weren’t top-notch, but they hid a lot of it in darkness. At least it seemed that way to me.

  5. annadynamite says:

    I rather liked LAND OF THE DEAD on initial watch, but like you, I haven’t seen it in years. Better go revisit it. I do remember thinking that it was nowhere on par with Night–Dawn–Day, but that it held its own as a decent zombie action flick.

    • Sir Phobos says:

      I think I’d agree, except that I wasn’t that big of a fan of Day of the Dead. I haven’t seen it in a long time, though, so I should rewatch it.

      • annadynamite says:

        Ooh, yeah. The more I watch Day, the more I really like it. It’s incredibly depressing and hopeless, and everyone in it is an asshole.

        That’s probably not going to sell anyone on watching it, though. But it’s Romero at his most bleak, and it’s really the logical conclusion to this nightmare: everyone is tired, stressed, and at each other’s throats. No zombie apocalypse is going to end on an up note. Anyhow, this is whynotanna from twitter if you didn’t know; keep me posted on if you do rewatch Day and what your thoughts are!

      • Sir Phobos says:

        Honestly, I just remember Day being boring, lol.

        Yep, I know. Thanks for the follow and checking my stuff out! I’ll let you know when I pop Day in again.

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