A group of scientists are held up in an underground bunker with a military unit, we’re supposed to feel for them because the army is a bit aggressive, a bit edgy and pushy. But by the time the film gets rolling, the scientists have already gotten soldiers needlessly killed, by the time it’s over, not only are ALL of the soldiers dead because of them, but the scientists are fleeing like cowards. They compromise the tactical security of the base through the pursuit of a failed strategy – their experiments clearly offer nothing in the long run, at the expense of immediate security. For example, in taking the moral high ground, they compromise both entrances by treating the zombies like pets. “They’re fucking dead!” argues Rhodes, who is less sympathetic. And he was right. Eventually it becomes clear that Captain Rhodes displayed extraordinary patience with this bullshit. He may not have had the all the strategical answers, but he was tactically correct. They (the scientists) were neither. I now look at it through the eyes of the only man in that bunker – Captain Rhodes. Protagonist. Hero.
Even then, if nothing else this is a Romero zombie movie. While I do enjoy the fact that he fucked up with his anti-military preaching – it backfired in its execution like I said above – this is still a good horror film too. Romero is the king zombie yarns, then and now. Everytime he puts his characters in situations, there’s a relaxed yet creepy stillness about his films. And a good feel of claustrophobia. Shuffling stiffs are the best. Romero really goes to town with the blood and guts too. This is something hacks like Paul Anderson should take notice of, with his butchered Resident Evil movies. Less is more. One complaint though, I don’t like how Romero had the stiffs evolve and learn. But that’s something that hurt Land of the Dead more than this movie.
Anyway, next time you watch this: Spare a thought for Captain Rhodes!