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Land of the Dead - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

IT'S been a while but given the current zombie revival (Dawn of the Dead remake, Shaun of the Dead rom-zom-com), it seems only fair that zombie godfather, George A. Romero, should get in on the act.

Hence, Land of the Dead is the acclaimed director's long-awaited return to the horror genre he invented, going right back to the seminal Night of the Living Dead and continuing with Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.

In his latest instalment of his very-own franchise, Romero seeks to create an ultra-violent vision of a contemporary world where his walking dead roam an uninhabited wasteland and the living try to lead 'normal' lives behind the walls of a fortified city.

At the same time, a new society has been created by a group of ruthless opportunists who live in a skyscraper, high above the trouble on the streets below.

Outside these city walls, however, is an army of the dead which is ever-growing and ever-evolving.

As the stakes become raised on both sides, it is up to a group of hardened mercenaries to protect the living from an army of the dead.

Land of the Dead is written and directed by Romero and stars Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento and Robert Joy.

Fourteen minutes of the film was shown at Cannes and had journalists at Empire magazine singing its praises.

According to the latest edition of the UK's movie bible, the prologue finds Baker and Leguizamo raiding a zombie town to grab much-needed supplies for the humans, thereby provoking the wrath of the walking dead.

It is said to set the scene perfectly for the bloody mayhem to follow.

And when it arrives, the action is gory, benefiting from advances in special effects, and keen to re-establish Romero's position as the zombie king.

That said, the director has resisted the temptation to provide his zombies with super-human tendencies; they're still slow and 'won't be heading to a health club in a hurry'.

That said, fans of Romero's original zombie trilogy had better prepare themselves for some form of evolution, with one character, Big Daddy, said to be the early pick of the bunch.

The film was due for release in Halloween, but advance word is so positive that Romero has decided to move it forward into the blockbuster season.

It means it should be hitting UK cinemas on August 5, 2005.

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