George Romero. Zombies. The word ‘dead”. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?! Oh I don’t know, maybe EVERYTHING. This film, which was also at one point known as Island of the Living Dead, takes place after the events of Diary of the Dead. The main characters of this film were actually in Diary, which adds a bit of authenticity. Unfortunately, “authenticity” doesn’t equate with “quality”. As a reminder, this man did make some of the best zombie movies ever made, as well as Creepshow, but still, it doesn’t excuse every film he does.
This guy’s beard was more charismatic than his acting. And his beard was shitty.
The film centers around some sort of ambiguous military squad. They made an appearance in Diary of the Dead by stealing supplies from the characters in that film, so as you can imagine, this squad isn’t exactly “wholesome”. We are also introduced to the residents of Plum Island, comprised of two families that are dealing with the zombie-demic in different ways. One on hand, the O’ Flynn’s are killing every zombie, no matter who they are, making sure they are gone for good and never come back. And on the other, we have the Muldoons, who are more focused on immobilizing the zombies in hopes of them returning back to normal at some point. The military task force has reason to believe they will find salvation on the island, no thanks to a misleading YouTube video that Patrick O’ Flynn uploaded to hijack supplies from anyone who took the bait. This results in everyone ending up on the island, some people dying, and some people living. There is a quasi-standoff when Patrick O’ Flynn and Seamus Muldoon, the heads of the respected families. They both die, and then all of a sudden some zombies kill a horse and eat it. UH WHAT THE FUCK?
The fate of the only attractive woman in the whole movie? Turns out she’s a horse girl. And a zombie horse girl at that! Endless bummer.
Okay, I get it, you’re George Romero. You are responsible for some of the most iconic story-telling when it comes to zombie films, as well as any horror films in general, so where do you go from here? Day of the Dead never got the budget you wanted, and Land of the Dead was generally viewed as “too little, too late”. You try and start a new universe with new characters and call it “Diary of the Dead”. Then that kind of sucks and no one likes it. But you finally get your opportunity to do something differently than anything you had done before with its sequel, and then what do you do? You waste everyone’s time and make a shitty movie. The concept of getting zombies to eat something other than humans if they are given enough time is interesting, but you don’t introduce that until THE LAST FIVE FUCKING MINUTES?! We spend the whole movie hanging out with people we wish were dead, thinking anything interesting would happen. And then when anything at all different and unique happens you ROLL THE FUCKING CREDITS?! GODDAMNIT!
How creative! Setting off a fire extinguisher in a zombies mouth to the point that their head blows up. Too bad that would never be fucking possible!
And in case any of you had forgotten Diary of the Dead, Romero still doesn’t really know much about contemporary dialogue or young characters. I remember there was a scene where a characters exclaimed, “That car was going at least a buck twenty!”. NOBODY FUCKING SAYS THAT, GEORGE! I think he might have heard that on The Real World or something. In this film, the female military character is introduced by touching her hoo-ha under her pants while another military guy is walking around watching late night TV on a laptop. WHO DOES THESE THINGS?! One of the female’s counterparts continues to pronounce that five minutes with him would change her life, presumably because she is a lesbian. And what happens when he gets infected and kills himself? She finally admits that he changed her life! OH THE IRONING IS DELICIOUS! I guess I can’t say the guy is infallible, but I don’t know if I would ever be comfortable saying he “lost his touch” or anything like that. Granted, I don’t support going to see this film, when you could watch Creepshow at home instead.
Wolfman Moon Scale