Survival of the Dead (2009)

A zombie wife is chained in the kitchen and looks angrily at us.

I’ll say up front that this was not for me. On a remote island, a long-running feud between the O’Flynns and Muldoons becomes violent over whether the walking dead should be culled or chained up in case a cure is found. Patriarch Patrick O’Flynn is exiled to the mainland where he holes up in a harbour and uses the internet to lure people to rob them. Four mercenary soldiers are tempted by O’Flynn’s message (an island where the zombie outbreak is under control!), and seeing an opportunity to usurp the Muldoons, O’Flynn seizes it.

This is a dud, plain and simple. The tone is all wrong, a zombie western with off-kilter comedy (a zombie riding a horse around the island ffs) mixed with gunfights and attempts to get the zombies to eat horses instead of people (?!). Left to their own devices, these zombies do unthinkingly whatever they naturally did while alive. There’s a cool set piece at a harbour where the soldiers have to get across the water to a ferry with zombies reaching up from the bottom. However, there’s no escaping the bad dialogue and clichéd family drama.

Looking for the positives, Romero’s social theme to chew on is unthinking feuds, and the zombie-like fighting that goes on between tribes. It also touches on religion, misogyny and entitlement, but it’s too silly to make much of a mark.

All films in 2023’s #31DaysofHorror…