25. Land of the Dead (2005)
Hey! I wasn't expecting much from George Romero's fourth installment in the 'Living Dead' series—but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Of course, part of the fun should probably be attributed to the Tanqueray-on-the-rocks that I swilled while watching it, but I think Land of the Dead would have fared well in my opinion even without the slackening of my critical faculties that imbibing sometimes occasions. Besides—if you drink just enough alcohol—you kind of feel that zombie-like blankness that makes you more empathetic to the plight of the undead.
The most jarring thing about Land of the Dead is that it looks like they spent more than the crew's spare change on it! And they have actors—real, honest-to-goshness actors who no doubt require actual payment for their services, rather than just lunch at the craft services table every day and a carton of smokes. We've got Dennis Hopper, Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, and Asia Argento in this bad boy! And if you really know me well, then you know I have a 'thing' for Asia Argento. She may not be the prettiest woman in SAG, but she has a certain ineffable something-or-other... I won't analyze it. I'll just enjoy it—even though Asia has the blandest role among the four principals and they really didn't put her je ne sais quoi to good use here.
The premise of this one is interesting too. The non-zombie population has holed itself up in a city—where they try to return to some semblance of normality—while the outlying, zombie-populated towns are ransacked for resources and luxury items. But the zombies—smarter and more capable in this film than in any of the previous installments—manage to invade the city by 'swimming' across the river. (I put swimming in quotes because they actually just walk across the river, under water, because—hey—it's not like they need to breathe or anything, right?)
By the end of this movie, I was giddy from enjoyment/booze. I may have danced with the cat, and that may explain why he was hiding this morning. I also had a dream that I argued with a woman in the backseat of a Honda Accord about a form I didn't fill out completely. I don't think I knew the woman, but in retrospect she bore some similarities to my seventh-grade teacher Mrs. Ahearn. What any of this has to do with Land of the Dead is anybody's guess, but I somehow felt it was relevant.