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Survival of the Dead

George Romero's latest zombie movie has no bite

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Taking up where 2007's Diary of the Dead left off, this latest zombie flick from writer-director Romero follows a group of AWOL soldiers (plus one bratty techno-teen) to an island off the coast of Delaware, where a feud between two Irish farmers supersedes any larger issues with the dead eating the living. It's as painfully idiotic as it sounds: 90 minutes of an ill-conceived revisionist Western filled with squabbling, unfunny repartee, over-acting, under-acting and uninspired head shots. Somewhere buried in this mess are some "lessons" about small-minded men failing to unite against a common threat, but even this is hard to extract from the film's lifeless vibe. There's zero tension, and the zombies are treated like pesky flies, dispatched routinely and with little enthusiasm. Likewise, this amateurish film probably should have been put out of its misery early, before it ran amok over Romero's reputation. Starts Fri., June 18. Harris

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