starring Simon Baker, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento, Robert Joy
written and directed by George A. Romero
by Walter Chaw The weakest entry in George Romero's zombie quadrilogy by a long shot, the Toronto-lensed Land of the Dead loses the grit and familiarity of Romero's native Pittsburgh while managing to be every bit as awkward and allegorical as one of his trademark undead. The original concept for Day of the Dead was to have hundreds of trained zombies fighting one another in a post-apocalyptic landscape, a statement--and an eloquent one, as is, or was, Romero's practice--on war being an essential state of man that got scrapped due to budgetary concerns. With the success of films like Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later..., and the remake of Romero's own Dawn of the Dead, though, the primogenitor of the genre was given a respectable budget, the boon of CGI, and relatively free reign to continue a trio of films (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead) that besides spawning a legion of Italian knock-offs, were themselves gory, scary, and razor sharp.