Sunday, July 10, 2005

Land of the Dead (2005)

Brilliant, angry portrait of modern America as seen through the eyes of one of cinema's greatest pop satirists. It's as politically loaded as Romero's other zombie films, maybe even more so -- Romero's working-class sensibilities had slowly been shifting to the zombies throughout the previous three films, and here as he lays out his class-war metaphor it's always clear who deserves to come out ahead. The climax, though, pushes the dominant metaphor (the rich in their ivory tower with all the power, the middle class doing all the gruntwork and drowing in amusement, the poor fenced off into ghettos and generally ignored and/or killed) into radical and disconcerting territory, as the poor learn to stand up for themselves, stop being amused and take what's theirs. All that, plus it's just a damn good horror film -- properly gruesome and disturbing with a healthy dollop of mordant humor. Check that ending, too: For the first time, Romero's allowed a Dead film to end on a note of tentative hope. I gotta wonder what's next...

Grade: A-


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