Tall, Dark, and Dead – 78 – Survival of the Dead
Title: Survival of the Dead
Director: George Romero
Leads: Alan Van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe
Favorite quote: “All a dead man can do is remember what he used to be, and keep on trying to be the same.”
Thoughts: Romero’s latest contribution to the genre could reasonably be entitled Zombie Conservatives vs. Zombie Liberals: The Ultimate Showdown!
Let us all take a moment to consider how entirely awesome that documentary would be, before moving on.
Survival follows two warring clans on Plum Island as their ongoing feud finally spirals out of control. The final argument, the last big hurrah, centers around the clans’ competing philosophies about how to handle the undead. It’s “kill ‘em all!” meets “keep ‘em humanely contained,” and we all know which side I’m on.
The timeline is immediately post-Diary of the Dead, meaning that, as in that movie, the zombies have not evolved to the Day/Land point. This would explain the Muldoon clan leader’s attempts to teach his zombie captives to eat animals other than humans – horses, specifically – which ultimately do come to fruition. Unfortunately, this (very positive) development comes far too late to be of any benefit.
Easily the best scene is at the very end, where, even once zombified, the last extant clan members shamble about attempting to shoot one another with unloaded guns. I think this is one of the most absolutely brilliant moments within the entire Romero canon – a succinct, gorgeous summary of his views regarding “memory in death” and how the living, as well as the dead, are often subject to the same curse. We’re all zombies, one way or another. We all keep doing the same damn things over and over again.