Hey everybody Joe Diesel here! Welcome to the new blog for the Half Hour of Power! To get things started, I'll put up some posts I did from my old blog! I know you are bursting with joy and delight! Don't worry we will get some new material up here momentarily!
Here is the review I wrote for Land of the Dead. I first posted this on 7/5/05. It appears unaltered and exactly as it did the day I first posted it. This one got some fun comments that I may share in a later post.
LAND OF THE DEAD
It looks like we have to wait for The Devils Rejects to see a good horror movie! I can describe Land of the Dead
in one word...disappointing. Like everyone else, I was waiting for
another Romero zombie picture. I am a big fan of horror movies. They are
my favorite kind of movie. So...when I heard that Romero finally got
the backing to make his fourth zombie film, I was excited. I thought,
"Romero will show 'em how it's done!" Alas! Alack! It was not to be!
movie sounds good enough. A group of humans who survived the zombie
holocaust have fortified a portion of a city trying to get back to some
kind of normal life. They've been keeping the zombies out so far. At
night, the humans go to the surrounding towns and gather supplies.
Sounds good enough? Yea...that plot of the movie is fine. The execution
is lackluster. The script needed more work. I think the movie is too
short...with a running time of about 100min.
The June edition of Fangoria magazine has a great story about Land of the Dead. What!? You don't read Fangoria? If you are a horror movie fan, you should read Fangoria! www.fangoria.com
Now...Fangoria gives what they call the Fango Seal of Approval. Almost
every time I have watched a movie that sported the Fango Seal of
Approval, the movie was either good or outstanding. The June issue has
articles on two movies that get the seal...The Devils Rejects...and a Japanese horror film called Premonition.
If you like horror films, you can safely put money down that you will
most likely find these films good or outstanding. I bring this up
because suspiciously absent from the Land of the Dead article is a
seal of approval. Fangoria has covered Romero's career since the
magazine first began in the late seventies. You would think that a new
Romero zombie movie would have no trouble getting a Fango Seal of
Approval. "What does this have to do with the movie?" you ask...let's
look at the article and the movie side by side.
my big problems with the movie is the Big Daddy zombie. He is played by
Eugene Clark. He says about Big Daddy, "He's a bad dude. He just don't
take no stuff...You know what I'm sayin'? You come to my territory and
mess with my people. Everybody's my people, you understand? So they come
to town and do what they got to do. They gonna take care of bidness.
That's all I gotta say. Don't mess with Big Daddy's people." You're a zombie! You have no people!
He sounds so uppity and pretentious here I can't take it!
But...wait...there's more! "I see Big Daddy as a man, a zombie, an
entity who is evolving, and who realizes, 'This is wrong!' All right?
You come into our territory, we eat you. You don't come into our
territory, we don't eat you-we leave you alone. You come in, you cause
mayhem, and it's wrong. So...civil rights? I don't think there are any
civil rights. It's zombie rights. Leave us alone!" Again...You're a zombie! Mr. Clark sounds like he hasn't seen any of
Romero's previous zombie films. Zombies have no territory! They wonder
around aimlessly and will follow you and eat you even if you have never
killed a zombie! All of the scenes with Big Daddy are painful to watch.
Here's one where he holds a severed zombie head. He looks at it and
seems to weep. He throws it down and smashes it under his boot. Then he
lets out a mighty roar. I cringed at how stupid that was.
else...In the beginning of the movie when the humans are raiding the
town for supplies...Cholo (John Leguizamo) is showing a kid the ropes.
They sit on a motorcycle and watch the others take out some zombies. The
kid says, "I thought it was going to be a battle. It's a fucking
massacre!" Cholo does not react to this as if he agrees! Whose side are
you on kid?! Again...THEY ARE ZOMBIES! That line is sooo idiotic and out of place!
Land of the Dead, the zombies are supposed to be evolving and becoming
more aware. An example...they begin to use tools. For those who don't
know...this is not new! The zombies have done that in every Romero zombie movie! In fact, within the first few minutes of Night of the Living Dead,
the zombie picks up a rock and smashes the car window to get to
Barbara! Also, Big Daddy is supposed to "lead" the zombies to the city.
This is also not new! In Dawn of the Dead the Steven zombie "led"
the zombies down the hallway, up the stairs, and into the secret
hideaway! Everything the zombies do in Land of the Dead, the zombies could have done without the Big Daddy zombie! Bub figured out how tro use a gun in Day of the Dead! I just could not get Mr. Clark's asinine comments out of my head while watching the movie! You are playing a zombie!
Ok...for some reason, that I can't begin to comprehend, Romero wants us to feel sympathy for these zombies. I have no
sympathy for zombies! You can't exploit a zombie! You can't massacre a
zombie! You can't abuse a zombie! You can't torture a zombie! You can't
negotiate with a zombie to stay out of your territory!(to use Mr.
Clark's words!) I named one of those scenes above. Another is when Big
Daddy and his zombie horde reach the outskirts of the city. he shows a
zombie carrying a butcher knife how to use it. He cuts through a board.
Big Daddy peers through it. Oh my! He sees zombies hung upside down
apparently used for target practice! Oh...how brutal! How dare those
filthy humans brutalize us poor defenseless zombies! Big Daddy lets out a
mighty roar. "This is wrong he screams! Don't mess with my people!" Eat
shit Big Daddy zombie you are the stupidest zombie ever to grace the
silver screen! You dirty son-of-a...
My bad! I almost got off track!
stupid sympathy scene...at the end of the movie, our hero Riley(Simon
Baker) is about to leave town. Someone in his party is about to blow up a
bridge that the Bid Daddy zombie just happens to be walking across with
a bunch of other zombies. Riley stops 'em, "No. They're just looking
for a place to go just like us." WHAT! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, THEY ARE ZOMBIES! BLOW THEM TO HELL! Riley is going to get all the humans killed with an attitude like that!
did Romero say about the movie?" You asking me? Let's check the
Fangoria..."I tried to relate [this movie] to post 9/11 America. Living
with terrorism, with the idea of this suddenly being a real threat." He
goes on...but that is not relevant to this review. This is not new to
any Romero zombie movie. All his zombie movies had something to say
about society and the world around us. This didn't bother me...nor did
it surprise me. I was accused of not liking it by
Whitechocoricecrispyspaceapplejacks because of this commentary on
politics and society. That is not the case. I think I have made that
point quite clear.
I can go on with some more
scenes...Ok...one more...Kaufman(Dennis Hopper...the evil human...also
not new to Romero zombie movies...evil humans I mean) is on his way out
to escape. He gets in his car but his driver ran off with the keys. The
car is in an underground parking garage. Who wanders in? That's right
Big Daddy. It should be stated that in life, Big Daddy worked at a gas
station. Kaufman sits in the car while Big Daddy takes a gas pump that
is next to the car and shoves it through the windshield. Gas fills
Kaufman's car. Big Daddy walks off. Big Daddy was all alone Kaufman
could have killed Big Daddy with zero problem! Stupid human! The other
reason I bring up this scene is, zombies wonder around and repeat what
they did in life. This is the second time I bring this up...do I need to
expand the point? Zombies are not territorial and do not deserve
sympathy from the humans or the audience. I've never seen Romero try so
hard at trying to get the audience to feel sympathy for a zombie that
will eat you...that will rip you limb from limb!
did I like about it? The KNB boys handled the make up effects very
well. The zombies look as good as they ever have. It was also good to
see Tom Savini make a cameo as a zombie. It was good to see Asia Argento
in this movie. She is a talented actress. I hope to see her in more of
her father's (Dario Argento) movies and maybe some more good American movies.
That really is about it. All you waiting for a real horror movie go see The Devil's Rejects.
That should wash the bad taste of this mediocre movie out of your
mouth. For all it's flaws, I think Day of the Dead is a better more
watchable zombie movie. Romero is capable of making another great zombie
movie. When he does, I'll be the first in line...and the first to say
job well done.
I can't resist. I hope to inflict some DEEP HURTING...DEEP HURTING on
you with these parting thoughts from my favorite zombie and yours
Eugene Clark playing the part of Big Daddy, "And when Big Daddy sees
people dying, and people being slaughtered, it pains him...His world has
been torn apart, his people-zombies-are being destroyed, and it's being
caused by irresponsible people, and it has to stop. The challenge for
me at times is, how do I keep my sanity?" How indeed...