Franchise Fuckery: Land of the Dead (2005)

For some reason I decided to revisit LAND OF THE DEAD for the first time since seeing it in the theater since opening friggin’ night.  I don’t know why.  I was wanting a palate cleanser after watching the wife’s abysmal choice of APARTMENT 143 (EMERGO).  So that’s two shitty movies I’ve had to sit through in one night.  I have a problem turning off a bad flick.  I just have to sit through the motherfucker even if it sucks ass.  The only exception I can recall being fucking CHILDREN OF THE CORN: GENESIS.  I lasted six minutes and I had to tap out.  Anyhow neither film from tonight’s pain parade would have even generated a post except I started digging around on the interwebs about LAND OF THE DEAD.  It has 6.3 on IMDB, four stars on Netflix and is Certified Fresh at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes.  I can’t help but stop and take pause while thinking “Did I watch the same fucking movie these people did?”  Apparently I did.  The only thing I can reason is that folks were super stoked for the first George Romero zombie flick in twenty fucking years and were happy to be served a shit biscuit.  Of course they shoved it back in his face for DIARY OF THE DEAD and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD…wait never mind it seems DIARY had some appeal for folks but SURVIVAL seems to have held much less.  I remember both of those flicks sucking tremendous amounts of ass.  Anyway back to the pile at hand.

Before I tee off let me explain what I did like about the film.  I dug a few of the leads.  Namely Simon Baker, Asia Argento and Robert Joy.  They did a good job carrying the listless corpses of the rest of the cast (get it…) on their backs.  Dennis Hopper chewed some scenery but was a waste for this movie and honestly probably just needed some cash.  The role of Kaufman wasn’t too demanding.  I really liked the Landmast…er Dead Reckoning.  It’s a badass fucking truck that spits death and fire from all directions.  What’s not to dig about that?  So far so good.  Even the opening act is decent seeing all of the zombies in small town Pennsylvania mimicking what they did so often in life.  Somewhere right about here is when the movie falls the fuck apart.  It’s Big Daddy’s (Eugene Clark) fault.  During the course of the supply raid all of a sudden the zombies begin to learn.  It’s a fucking bullshit conceit that isn’t even fucking explained away before its in full swing.  Why do I say this?  Because two minutes prior to “learning” Big Daddy fucking came out of the filling station when a pair of zombies walked over the bell trigger like he has five thousand fucking times since he breathed his last.  At least fucking make it plausible.  Bub had to be chained to a wall to learn to do shit while these meat sacks just wobble around all day drooling.

So Pittsburgh is one of the last strongholds of the human race and at the heart is the superfortress tower Fiddler’s Green.  Why Hopper wasn’t named Nero, I’ll never know.  You know because Nero allegedly fiddled while…never mind.  Google it if you must.  Anyway this is a message movie.  It’s subtle like Romero’s critique of consumer culture and the military industrial complex like in the second and third installments…nah.  Just kidding there too.  LAND is heavy-handed as fuck.  The poor are sick of being poor and aren’t allowed to live in the glass tower and they are planning a rebellion.  Kaufman has an army of sorts, a security force and whatever the hell Riley and his crew are called.  The zombies, who are now apparently smarter than most of the people in Pittsburgh, also have an agenda.  Big Daddy is the leader of the zombie civil rights movement and he is out to right some serious wrongs.  I would say he has a dream but he’s a zombie and they are fucking brain dead by definition.  

To sum up: the world has collapsed, a kick-ass truck blows shit up, Asia Argento is goth hot, John Lequizamo is less annoying than in most of his roles, his name is the unlikely “Cholo” and he has the stupidest single-shot weapon anyone can have in a fucking zombie apocalypse.  Oh, and the rich get eaten but so do a fuck ton of the poor.  Aerosmith and P.J. O’Rourke would be so fucking proud.  

Check it out.  Just because I hated this motherfucker doesn’t mean you will.  A lot of people dig this pile and I love a lot of piles other people hate.  Just my two bits.  Watch the trailer below.

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