Land of the Dead

June 24th, 2005


more trailers Land of the Dead

Simon Baker at event of Land of the DeadCorbin Bernsen and Sharon Case at event of Land of the DeadGeorge A. Romero at event of Land of the DeadEugene Clark at event of Land of the DeadGeorge A. Romero at event of Land of the DeadDennis Hopper at event of Land of the Dead

The living dead have taken over the world, and the last humans live in a walled city to protect themselves as they come to grips with the situation.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 6.4/10 (50,141 voted)

Critic's Score: 71/100

Director: George A. Romero

Stars: John Leguizamo, Asia Argento, Simon Baker

Now that zombies have taken over the world, the living have built a walled-in city to keep the dead out. But all's not well where it's most safe, as a revolution plans to overthrow the city leadership, and the zombies are turning into more advanced creatures.

Simon Baker - Riley Denbo
John Leguizamo - Cholo DeMora
Dennis Hopper - Kaufman
Asia Argento - Slack
Robert Joy - Charlie
Eugene Clark - Big Daddy
Joanne Boland - Pretty Boy
Tony Nappo - Foxy
Jennifer Baxter - Number 9
Boyd Banks - Butcher
Jasmin Geljo - Tambourine Man
Maxwell McCabe-Lokos - Mouse
Tony Munch - Anchor
Shawn Roberts - Mike
Pedro Miguel Arce - Pillsbury

Taglines: The Legendary Filmmaker Brings You His Ultimate Zombie Masterpiece


Official Website: Pan-Européenne [France] | Universal [Germany] |

Release Date: 24 June 2005

Filming Locations: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $10,221,705 (USA) (26 June 2005) (2249 Screens)

Gross: $46,770,602 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (director's cut)

Did You Know?

Partly based on the original, much longer script for Day of the Dead.

Continuity: In one scene, Cholo is carrying a box of Champagne, and a box of cigars. In the next scene, the box of cigars has disappeared, only to reappear in Cholo's arm, as he deposits the box of Champagne on Kaufman's counter.

Riley: [about the fireworks] Put some flowers in the graveyard.
Charlie: Put some flowers in the graveyard. How come you call them that, Riley? I don't get it. There here ain't the kind of flowers you lay on the ground, these here are sky flowers. Way up in heaven...
Riley: That's why I love you, Charlie, 'cause you still believe in heaven.

User Review

Yawn of the Dead

Rating: 6/10

Like all the other zombie geeks out there, I had extremely high hopes for this, George A. Romero's return to the genre that made him famous; a genre that, even if he didn't necessarily create, he managed to distill into a unique formula that inspired countless imitations. A recent "surge in the popularity of zombie movies" (meaning major studios learned there's money to be made in these types of films and started greenlighting them again) allowed Romero to secure the budget for this fourth entry in his "Living Dead" series.

Dennis Hopper is the prerequisite "corporate greed" character who has exploited the remains of civilization; in ways that are never quite made clear, he has created a walled-in safe zone inside the perimeter of Pittsburgh (although it's never named, that's where it's supposed to be set). Even though there are no real banks anymore, money must have some value because some people are "poor", while a select few are "wealthy" and live in a fortified luxury building, an unsubtle reference to gated communities. The living who are fortunate enough to be inside the walled-off city spend their lives eating the crumbs of the rich. The real danger is leaving the city to gather much-needed supplies, a hazardous mission carried out by a special forces team using a specially designed armored vehicle lovingly nicknamed Dead Reckoning. John Leguizamo is part of the team and imagines that Hopper will one day let him move into the exclusive luxury building. Hopper refuses, so Leguizamo steals Dead Reckoning and threatens to blow up Hopper's building unless he is paid $5 million.

But there's even more trouble; the zombies are demonstrating signs of being sentient, at least enough to remember their past lives. A zombie referred to in the credits as "Big Daddy" begins to get indignant about the way the living people come and mow down his kind with machine guns, and using grunts and groans, he riles up the other zombies and leads them in a march on the gated city.

Simon Baker is also on Leguizamo's foraging team, and although the movie suggests he's a badass, he's bland as toast and clearly the good guy. We know this because he keeps a friend with him who has been disfigured in a fire and whom everyone else refers to as a "retard". Into the mix comes Asia Argento, who plays a tough, impossibly gorgeous hooker named Slack. Together they are roped into a mission to retrieve the on-the-run Leguizamo, which conveniently places them out of harm's way when the living dead march on the city.

I liked the way Romero showed the way life continued even after the zombie crisis. In a way, the inspiration for this seems to have been drawn from the stories featured in Skipp & Spector's "Book of the Dead" series, which featured short stories by various authors about the world both during and after the rise of the living dead as depicted in Romero's films. The Dead Reckoning truck was a good idea--finally someone in a zombie movie realized you need an armored vehicle to ensure your own safety, although nobody has learned yet that you should probably cover all exposed skin to avoid bites from the living dead.

On the down side, the motivation of the characters is muddled on all counts. Why does Leguizamo want money? Wouldn't money be worthless in a world made up of the living dead? And if money is worthless, how does Hopper maintain his power? After a living dead apocalypse, how could anybody become a waiter in a restaurant (as depicted briefly inside Hopper's luxury tower)? Do we feel sympathy for the zombies, or not? In all the other "Living Dead" movies, the zombies were a constant, claustrophobic threat. Here we're invited to side with them, and they mostly look silly. Even worse, "Land of the Dead" has absolutely zero atmosphere. The pacing is so rapid that there's barely enough time to think about what's happening, let alone allow any suspense to build. I wanted to see more of the world oustide the perimeter of the city. Instead, we only get a glimpse of one small town where the zombies lurk. You know when zombies are going to attack, so it's never a jolt, and I can't remember a single shock in this movie, or even a moment when I cringed. The inevitable invasion of the safe zone should have been scary, but was rather unspectacular due to the editing. The social commentary is heavy-handed and has been overstated. The gore in the movie is R-rated, and the effects aren't as good as Tom Savini's makeup FX in "Day of the Dead".

The other weird thing I noticed about this film is that it has "TV syndrome". At times it is shot and edited like an episode of "ER", as if it's got to get a big story over and done with in an hour's time slot. I don't remember one single conversation in the film that was not underscored by a vague "ominous music" score that was completely unmemorable and didn't belong there at all. None of the conversations seemed real, it was more like an episode of "Buffy the Zombie Slayer".

I didn't like "Land of the Dead" all that much. The remake of "Dawn of the Dead" was a lot more enjoyable; even though it was super-dumb, at least it had some good suspense in it, and some electric action sequences. "Land of the Dead" isn't scary at all, and winds up being very dull. I'm suspecting that since this movie was made for a major studio, Romero was working within certain limitations that affected the outcome of the film. "Land of the Dead" should have been better, and ultimately the anticipation of it was a lot more exciting than the film itself.