Written by John Edward Betancourt
I've always found it fascinating how some of George Romero's films are highly anticipated and fawned over before their release and then upon the moment they hit the masses they are picked to pieces by the critics and quickly forgotten before people return to those films years later to rave about them and adore them.
It happened in 1985 with the release of Day of the Dead since the film bombed at the box office only to become one of the highest regarded films in the Dead franchise and I have to wonder now if there will be a kinder and gentler future for the sixth and most recent entry in the series, Survival of the Dead.
See I remember reading about how the franchise now seemed tired with this particular release back in 2009 and I certainly have to disagree. This is a zombie flick that is equally as intimate as the original Night of the Living Dead and one that quite frankly had Romero's most relevant commentary to date. Although upon viewing this one again before writing this article, I came to realize that what initially seemed like a politically charged commentary once again, is incorrect. This is a film that goes back to he broad strokes of American society and takes a deep look at our newfound ability at polarizing one another.
After all, we as a society right now, believe in drawing lines in the sand when it comes to our opinions and beliefs and no one can dare cross that line and tell us otherwise, a perfect parallel to the two families in the film and it applies so well to everyday discussions now. We have religious groups unwilling to listen to anything outside of the gospel as they believe what they believe and nothing more. We have the same issue on the scientific front where people now believe out of the blue that years of medical science is wrong when it comes to vaccinations.
It's an incredible comparison to see come to life when you watch this film and although this particular film in the franchise still feels like it was rushed into production, George manages to make do with what he has. This is another film I wish he had been given more time to flesh out rather than strike while the iron is hot, since well, only a few, myself included seemed to enjoy this particular tale. But it is my hope that this one ends up like Day and finds a cult following as the years go by.
Sadly, this is to date, the final film in George Romero's storied career and that fact hangs heavy over the film when the end credits roll simply because man...if there is one series of films I want to see come to a logical conclusion it's this one. I'm dying to see what George would envision our future as a species to be long after this plague has come to its end and I hope he gets the opportunity to tell that story. But until then, we have a wonderful career capped with some of the finest zombie films in the history of the genre and if we are only left with those six...I'm okay with that too.