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Land of the Dead

Director:  George A. Romero
Year Released:  2005
Rating:  3.0

If Romero's Night of the Living Dead was a statement about Vietnam and Dawn of the Dead was a condemnation of consumer culture, then his latest - part four in his famous zombie cycle - is about the bourgeoisie's lack of security from the 'barbarians' (the working class - they're even led by a gas station attendant named "Big Daddy"), with the barest of fences (electrified, of course) not being enough to keep potential invaders out. Aside from the timely subtext and tongue-in-cheek references to modern politics (like Dennis Hopper's George W. Bush stand-in who refuses to "negotiate with terrorists" and his death by - of all things - gasoline), it's also an effective horror movie, equal turns chilling and revolting, though not exactly 'scary.' If some of Romero's tactics seem familiar, it's due to the recent rash of pictures involving the undead (Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later), but he proves he's a one of the best working in the genre, adding enough camp, violence, humor, violence and (most importantly) purpose to make for a potent movie.

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