The sixth movie in George A. Romero’s seemingly never-ending zombie franchise, Survival of the Dead, is easily the best since 1985’s Day of the Dead. It abandons the mockumentary approach of 2007’s terrible Diary of the Dead for a more traditional cinematic style, and takes place largely on an isolated island off the coast of Delaware, where two feuding patriarchs (whose families make up nearly the entire population of the island) are engaged in a grudge match over how to properly deal with the undead.
- Survival of the Dead
Romero wisely dials back the preachy social commentary that marred both Diary and 2005’s Land of the Dead, instead focusing on character development and family dynamics. In Day of the Dead, the zombies were being kept alive for scientific reasons; here the motivations are sentimental and religious, and they open up a new thematic avenue for Romero to explore. The messages about the stubbornness of human nature and the illogic of religion are present and discernible, but they don’t hit you over the head. If Romero can continue making zombie movies like this one, then maybe the Dead series isn’t as played out as it once appeared to be.