Surviving Survival Of The Dead

Dear George A. Romero,

We here at CineNiche have been long time fans of your work, we eat up any information on your new projects and each of us buy any Fangoria that has an interview with you in it.  We love your films, from the genre changing Night Of The Living Dead onward, your films have always been an inspiration to our own indie spirit.  Your ability to provide a social commentary more blatant than other horror directors and your simple yet highly effective camera work has shown us a good story means everything.  And what better story than your forty plus year ongoing tale of humanity's inability to help each other.  Even in Dawn Of The Dead your characters help themselves and guard the fort against the living and the undead.  Your films are important to us and even when they are not at their best, they still offer something toward the genre.  Martin was a revolution to the vampire film.  Monkey Shines was a pitch perfect adaptation.  Creepshow 1 & 2 are both extremely enjoyable.  Even Two Evil Eyes, while your segment came first and felt a little slower paced than Argento's still fit together very well.  Then, there is Knightriders, your opus and even though it passes into the realm of drama you gave it so much love and it shows as a beautiful character study and holds our interest all the way through.  We could list each one of your films and provide an example of its greatness, but what we would really like to know is why have your last two entries in your zombie series failed to spark us the way they used to.

Diary Of The Dead hit the great reset button, working as a modern take on the events leading up to Night Of The Living Dead.  We were interested in your new style, but it seemed like too much change from your older mode of filmmaking.  You shot on digital for the mockumentary approach, which is much cheaper and understandably quicker, yet went against the grain for you.  It didn't help the story, it hindered it and made it feel as though the originator whose been copied countless times is now copying from others.  It didn't feel sincere and that was our biggest problem.  Even with all these elements against it, we still found it enjoyable - there were a few key moments that made our hair stand straight.  This is evidence of our love for you.  Which brings us to your latest work.

Survival of the Dead is so hard to enjoy.  We realize you bring back elements from Dawn of the Dead, which provides a comedy/cartoon aesthetic in the killing of zombies, yet did not expect that.  We also understood that due to time constraints you were forced to use digital effects - haphazard digital effects.  You even gave your fans what they wanted - humanity and its inability to work toward a common goal.  By giving us a western/horror film you found an interesting new niche, and as a Western the film is great but as a zombie film it fails to deliver.  In various interviews you've said that it may have been too soon to work on another zombie film, especially since you've always waited for something interesting in the world to happen that sparks your imagination/commentary.  If you know it's not great, why did you spend your time creating something you only felt half a passion for?  It gives us a heavy heart to have to rate your film, and we hope your remake of Deep Red will get the blood pumping again - maybe this is only a minor setback in your career.  You've had funks before and you've managed to get past them, so we wish you all the luck in finding your passion for subject matter again.

Your fans at CineNiche

Rating: III/V Just for you George.


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