Survival of the Dead
Survival of the Dead (full title George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead) is a 2010 American\Canadian film by George A. Romero which follows a group of mercenary National Guardsmen who briefly appeared in Diary of the Dead. The film was first released on DVD in the UK on March 15, 2010, followed by a video on demand release on April 30, 2010, followed by a limited theatrical release on May 28, 2010.
Survival of the Dead takes place in a nightmarish world where the dead walk the earth, relentlessly attacking the living. The first part of the film follows the actions of former Colonel and current Sergeant "Nicotine" Crockett (Alan van Sprang), who, after a failed raid of sorts that ends in the deaths and reanimation of several fellow National Guardsmen and his getting demoted to Sergeant, deserts his post with Kenny (Eric Woolfe), Francisco (Stefano Colacitti) and Tomboy (Athena Karkanis). The four go on to rob the protagonists of the previous film.
Meanwhile, off the coast of Delaware lies Plum Island, home to two feuding families - the O'Flynns and the Muldoons. The former family, lead by Patrick O'Flynn (Kenneth Welsh), round up a posse and kill the undead of the island, learning that the Muldoons, led by Seamus Muldoon (Richard Fitzpatrick) are keeping their undead loved ones "alive" until a cure is found. A brief standoff ends with the Muldoons exiling Patrick and several other O'Flynns, under the suggestion of Patrick's daughter Janet (Kathleen Munroe).
Three weeks pass. The National Guard deserters find themselves joined by Boy (Devon Bostick) after an encounter with some fellow zombie-killers, and through Boy and an internet connection they learn of Plum Island - a video that was recorded by Patrick O'Flynn. They head to a nearby dock as instructed, and a gunfight starts between the O'Flynns bunkered down in a fishing shop and Crockett's group. Francisco successfully commandeers a ferry for the group during the battle (Several zombies showing up to distract both sides of the gunfight), biting the finger off of an attacking zombie along the way.
The O'Flynns, except Patrick, are killed by zombies and the deserters board the ferry. Patrick too jumps aboard, kept there by a shaky truce of sorts as the rest of the group takes care of the zombies on board the ferry. Francisco starts to feel sick, having earlier ingested the blood of a zombie. On the trip over, Patrick reveals he sent other strangers over to Plum Island to anger Muldoon and trigger the latter's distrust for strangers. Eventually, the group makes it to the island on a small dingy.
There, they discover that the Muldoons have chained up the zombies in imitation of their previous lives - a mailman puts mail in a mailbox, a logger wields an axe on some wood, and so on. It is revealed that Patrick's daughter Janet is now a zombie, riding around on her horse as she did when she was alive. Not only that, but the living strangers sent over by Patrick have been killed by the Muldoons while the strangers who arrived as zombies were allowed to remain animated. Patrick is disgusted with this and, as he attempts to go into town and gather some allies that did not leave the island from his family, two scouting Muldoons attack the deserters, shooting Crockett and Kenny. The latter dies from his wounds, and is shot in the head by Patrick to prevent reanimation. Patrick heads off.
As Boy works to stitch up Crockett, Francisco's sickness gets worse and he asks to be shot down by Tomboy before he turns into a zombie. She complies, and is then captured by Muldoon. It is now revealed that Janet is, in fact, a twin - Jane, her favored sister, is the zombie on the horse from earlier. Janet helps Crockett out, and she, Crockett and Boy join the O'Flynn group for their attack on the Muldoons. Crockett agrees to come along to exact revenge for Kenny.
A standoff occurs at the bridge of the river that separates the two families' land, and the O'Flynn group with Crockett are captured, while Boy and Janet are pushed off into the forest. Tomboy is released from Muldoon's capture (During her capture she also learnt that Muldoon's own wife is now a zombie chained up in his kitchen) and rejoins the captive group. Muldoon and O'Flynn face off - Muldoon's one wish is to prove O'Flynn wrong about the zombies, hoping to get the creatures to eat something other than human flesh. Muldoon's latest example is Patrick's daughter Jane, attempting to get her to devour a horse. A farmhand, Chuck (Joris Jarsky), brings out a herd of captured zombies to watch Jane's attempt to eat the horse.
She doesn't, and Janet returns with Boy, giving Crockett and the O'Flynns their weapons back. Janet attempts to reach out to Jane, who bites her twin sister. A gunfight erupts between the two families. Chuck switches sides and gets shot by Muldoon for his trouble. Dying, he releases the zombie herd and is devoured. The gunfight's focus changes to the zombie threat, and they eat and kill most of the ones involved in the shootout.
Muldoon and O'Flynn, each with one bullet left in their guns, create a shaky truce that is immediately broken by Muldoon shooting O'Flynn in the back. A dying O'Flynn unleashes a secret gun stored up his wrist and kills Muldoon. Crockett and his group, fed up with all of the death, attempt to leave the island on the boat they came in on. Janet witnesses her sister actually take a bite out of the horse, and rushes to tell Crockett's group the news, before being shot in the head by her father with his remaining bullet after mistaking her for her undead sister. He succumbs to his wounds soon after.
Crockett, Boy and Tomboy, though tempted to stick around on Plum Island, refuse to become like the Muldoon/O'Flynn families, and leave the island with the ferry they came in on - the truck they rode in to the dock earlier in the film contains a million dollars they plan to use somehow in the future (possibly creating a new city for survivors in Pennsylvania from The Land of the Dead). Meanwhile, on Plum Island, zombies are seen eating the horse Jane started to eat. The zombified Patrick and Muldoon come up on a hill together, guns in hand, attempting to kill one another once more as zombies.
- Alan van Sprang as Sarge "Nicotine" Crockett
- Kenneth Welsh as Patrick O'Flynn
- Kathleen Munroe as Janet O'Flynn and Jane O'Flynn
- Devon Bostick as Boy
- Richard Fitzpatrick as Seamus Muldoon
- Athena Karkanis as Tomboy
- Stefano Colacitti as Francisco
- Joris Jarsky as Chuck
- Eric Woolfe as Kenny
- Julian Richings as James O'Flynn
- Wayne Robson as Tawdry O'Flynn
- Joshua Peace as D.J.
- Hardee T. Lineham] as Lieutenant Vaughn
- Dru Viergever as Cheek-Biter Zombie
- Shawn Roberts as Tony Ravello (archive footage)
- Scott Wentworth as Professor Andrew Maxwell (archive footage)
- Amy Lalonde as Tracy Thurman (archive footage)
- Michelle Morgan as Debra Moynihan (archive footage)
- Joshua Close as Jason Creed (archive footage)
- Mitch Risman as Drooling Zombie
- John Healy as Matthew
- Philippa Domville as Beth Muldoon
- Miranda Millar as Zombie Girl
- George Stroumboulopoulos as Talk Show Host
- Pete Zedlacher as Talk Show Stooge
- Michael Rhoades as Hot-Headed Good Old Boy
- Brian Frank as Gut Shot Good Old Boy
- Ho Chow as Fisherman
- Dan Belley as Harbor Zombie
- Angela Brown as Tawdry Biter
- Marqus Bobesich as Dynamite Zombie
- Jerry Schaefer as Fire Extinguisher Zombie
- James Dunn as Hot Dog Zombie
- Chad Camilleri as Flaming Zombie
- Matt Birman as Lem Muldoon
- Zeljko Kecojevic as Pitchfork Zombie
- Kevin Rushton as Hat Zombie
- Curtis Parker as Scanlon Boy
- Heather Allin as Sally Muldoon
- Rick Parker as Horse-eating Zombie
The film was independently produced, and distributed by Artfire Pictures. It had a budget of four million USD. This will be Romero's sixth 'Dead' film. On July 21, 2009 it was announced the full title of the film is George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead. Romero shot the film in Port Dover, Ontario and in Toronto, Ontario with an entirely Canadian cast and crew. Romero cited the tax incentives as a reason to shoot in Toronto. The film was inspired by the 1958 released Western film The Big Country.
In September 2009 George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Venice Film Festival (where it screened for the festival's top prize, the Golden Lion), Trinity of Terrors, Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, and Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal, introduced by George A. Romero. It is the sixth film in Romero's "Dead" series. The film was released on DVD on March 15, 2010 in the United Kingdom. In the United States it was released on April 30, 2010 for Video on Demand and will also air for one night only on HDNET Movies on May 26, 2010. and a theatrical release on May 28. The film will headline the Texas Frightmare Weekend, which will take place from April 28 through May 1, 2010. There was also a screening of "Survival of the Dead" at Madison Square Park, at a Zombie walk on May,16, 2010. George A. Romero attended the event, as well as a screening held for the first 300 participants. The film was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on 24 August 2010.
Currently, Survival of the Dead has a "Rotten" rating of 31% on the website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 48 reviews.
Survival Of The Dead was released to twenty theatres on May 28, 2010 to and opening weekend gross of $43,757, averaging $2,188 per theatre. As of August 1, 2010, the film has taken $101,740 and $41,451 internationally, bringing the total gross to $143,191.
- There are references to the previous movies in the series:
- In the beginning Sarge is explaining the average deaths by year in "normal" times, then he says: "Now everyone of those dead people gets up and kills another person and everyone of those, get up and kills". A direct reference to the scientist's lines in the beginning of Dawn of the Dead.
- In a flashback scene, Sarge explains: "the dead were too easy to kill, except when they are your buddies" Then a zombie soldier gets up, this scene is similar to the one in Dawn of the Dead when Roger turns into a zombie and Peter has to kill him.
- Actor Alan van Sprang, Sarge "Nicotine" Crockett, also appears as a different military character called Brubaker in Land of the Dead.