They’re Pretending to Be Alive (Land of the Dead, 2005)

Land_of_the_Dead_posterIt took 20 years for Romero to decide on a new zombie film.  In this film?  Set well after the zombie apocalypse, we are introduced to a small city that has grown, fortified against the dead.  The culture is divided between the haves and the have-nots.  Those with riches live in comfort in a high-rise apartment complex.  Everyone else lives alone, where life is a day to day struggle.

In this world, there are those employed by the rich to go out and scavenge the land for supplies. Riley runs one such crew, under the employ of Kaufman.  They have all sorts of tricks to distract the dead, though it is still a very dangerous job.  One such expedition has an unexpected side effect.  a Zombie begins uniting zombies in a march towards the city.  It is unclear fully what causes this, but there is a rudimentary communication.

Meanwhile, Riley plots with his friends to get out of town and on their own.  His second in command, Cholo, wants to become one of the elites and is trying to get in with Kaufman.  Of course, Kaufman does not care about helping Cholo and uses his greed and ambition for his own benefit.

It is clear at this point, Romero has lost interest in the survivors.  He is done suggesting mankind might win, and any attempt to rebuild is clearly futile.  Land of the dead feels like it really is the end of the road for the franchise (it was not).  It is a fairly decent film with some fun characters and interesting ideas at play, but at the same time, it never quite achieves the levels of its predecessors.

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