Land of the Dead (2005)

land of the dead poster 2005 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

George Romero's zombies are back!

Too many stories, give the zombies a chance to star

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Land of the Dead

Studio:  Atmosphere Entertainment MM

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  June 24, 2005

MPAA Rating:  R

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Big Daddy wants into Fiddler’s Green!

The world of the living is trying to cope with the dead.  A high-rise apartment called Fiddler’s Green has opened up catering to those who can afford it run by Paul Kaufman (Dennis Hopper).  To supply Fiddler’s Green, Riley Denbo (Simon Baker) and Cholo DeMora (John Leguizamo) are sent out to collect goods outside of the walled city in their armored vehicle Dead Reckoning.  When Cholo decides he wants a place in Fiddler’s Green, Kaufman denies him the opportunity.  Cholo steals Dead Reckoning and threatens to bring down Fiddler’s Green.  Now to get free of Kaufman, Riley and a team including his friend Charlie (Robert Joy) and a girl they save named Slack (Asia Argento) must get Dead Reckoning back to protect the people of Fiddler’s Green.  The struggle to get Dead Reckoning might be moot because the zombies are getting smarter, and they want Fiddler’s Green.

Directed by George A. Romero, Land of the Dead was Romero’s first new “Dead” movie since the “trilogy” ended with Day of the Dead in 1985.  It received mostly positive reviews and was the first of a new series of zombie movies by Romero.  It also had a video game tie-in Land of the Dead:  The Road to Fiddler’s Green (which was largely panned).

land-of-the-dead-asia-argento

Hey Asia…don’t be zombie bait!

I am not a big fan of Land of the Dead.  It has its moments, and it looks better than most of the older movies which are much lower budget.  It is an improvement over Day of the Dead which wasn’t very good.  I just think that the movie takes too long to get going and there are too many plotlines with Dennis Hopper and Leguizamo.  Humans are always the focus of the Dead movies, but with the evolving Dead, I think the Dead needs some of its own time.

The biggest development in Land of the Dead was touched on a bit in Day of the Dead in 1985.  In Day of the Dead, a scientist works to teach the zombies.  Here, a “smart” zombie (played by Eugene Clark and nicknamed Big Daddy) shows that the zombies are learning/remembering and evolving.

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Shaun…things didn’t turn out well for you after all…guess you shouldn’t have a pet zombie

Big Daddy is able to problem solve.  He leads the other zombies, fires a gun, and figures out the problem of the river.  He is the interesting part of Land of the Dead and he doesn’t get the screen-time he deserves.  It would have been different and original to give the zombie movie from the perspective of the zombie.  That is where Land of the Dead could have made some changes.

Land of the Dead is an ok film, but it isn’t in league with the original Night of the Living Dead or Dawn of the Dead (or its remake).  For those who are zombies, Land of the Dead will suffice…I just wish there were more zombies in it.  Despite not enough zombies, there is a fun cameo by Simon Pegg (Shaun of Shaun of the Dead) and Edgar Wright (Shaun’s director).  Land of the Dead is followed by Diary of the Dead in 2007.

Related Links:

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Day of the Dead (1985)

Diary of the Dead (2007)

Survival of the Dead (2009)

Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Night of the Living Dead:  Reanimated (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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