Land of the Dead

Finally, George A. Romero continues his Dead series with his 4th Living Dead feature, Land Of The Dead! The story takes place in a post-zombie ridden world, where the rich live in a huge apartment complex known as Fiddler’s Green, run by the evil Kaufman and the not-so-rich fend for themselves on the streets. Dennis Hopper plays Kaufman here, and man, is he good! (Which is a surprise considering some of the stuff he’s popped up in lately! Crow 4 anyone?) In fact, the whole cast is top notch. We’ve got lead Simon Baker, the lovely Asia Argento and even John Leguizamo is ok in this flick! We’ve got cameo’s by the Shaun of the Dead fellows and even… ah-hem… Tom Savini. (It’s ok. You can boo. I did.) I know some people were slightly disappointed by this film, and although flawed, I was very satisfied with Romero’s latest zombie epic. There are certain aspects that separate Romero zombie flicks from all the rest. Most notably? Social commentaries. And memorable zombies. Can you remember any zombie character from the Dawn Of The Dead remake? (Well, besides the Jay Leno one?) Didn’t think so. But here, we’ve got Big Daddy (whom I so DO wish was Bub), the butcher zombie, and my personal favorite – the softball player zombie. This particular DVD edition is the Uncut “director’s cut”. Honestly, there’s more gore intact and one extra scene involving John Leguizamo’s character Cholo, but other then that, this isn’t that much different from the film we all got to see in theaters. In fact, some of the CGI “enhancements” seem a bit more obvious here on the DVD release. And man oh man, do I HATE CGI in these types of movies. I really find it pointless. No matter how hard these people try, the CGI will always look fake. Plain and simple. Regardless, this movie was made in a very fast fashion, so I can overlook bad CGI enhancements. There’s some great featurette’s here that make this DVD worthwhile. Among them, a humorous tour of the set with John Leguizamo, a ‘When Shaun Met George’ featurette (where we get to see Simon Pegg get all geeky in front of George), and some green screen tests. All of it very entertaining. Also, I dig that the featurette’s aren’t that long. I’d rather have a batch of featurettes, all fairly short, then one long overdrawn documentary. (At least on a fairly new film. Documentaries are more interesting when the filmmaker’s have time to reflect on the work.) There’s a commentary on here, which is decent, but there’s nothing really new on it that we don’t already hear on the other features. Romero fans, go out and support. You SHOULD own this flick. Along with Romero’s other non-zombie flicks. – robg.

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