Land of the Dead

Vintage Romero – bloody, grisly, and not for kids.
  • Review Date: October 18, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Human villains dedicated to cruel class system, with zombies exploited as entertainment.


Zombies eat people; people shoot and chop up zombies; burning, exploding, and torn-in-half bodies.


References to prostitution, night club sexuality, lesbian kissing.


Harsh language to indicate fear, aggression,and macho posturing.


Humans holed up in a mall, so commercial appeals are evident.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, drugs, smoking

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this zombie movie is relentlessly, though resourcefully, bloody, and not for children. Parents should be aware that it follows in a tradition largely established by director George Romero, aiming for innovative uses of grisly special effects makeup with a focus on loose body parts, vicious dismemberments, and exposed viscera. (Aficionados of the genre will appreciate the outrageousness.) When they aren't killing or eating each other, characters smoke, drink, dress scantily, do drugs, prostitute and pimp, and use foul language.

What's the story?

In George A. Romero's living-dead franchise, humans turn ruthless and hurt each other when facing dreadful fates. In LAND OF THE DEAD, the zombies have overrun the earth, such that humans' space is limited. The first humans to appear in the movie are the most numerous and least fortunate of the survivors. Others, like the wealthy corporate chief Kaufman (Dennis Hopper), live apart in a luxury fortress city called Fiddler's Green. This upscale-ish community is serviced by scrappy scavengers, including Riley (Simon Baker), Cholo (John Leguizamo), and Charlie (Robert Joy), who venture into areas now populated by zombies to bring back food, liquor, gas, medicine, and other supplies. Some humans use the zombies for entertainment: they chain them up just short enough so they can't bite, and pose for pictures, they shoot them for sport, they set them on humans in cages in order to watch the victims scream and fight until they must be eaten. A crisis arises just as the zombies are coming to a rudimentary consciousness. They're using tools and weapons, working as a team, targeting the mall's inhabitants (approximating revenge), and following a leader, a gas station attendant zombie with an apt name patch on his coveralls: Big Daddy (Eugene Clark).

Is it any good?


The long-awaited fourth film in Romero's zombie series is predictably gory, darkly comic, and grimly class conscious. For all its carnage and brutality then, this movie continues the living-dead legacy, in mounting a political critique of human mass and corporate culture by likening the zombies to us.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this movie's class analysis. Aside from the obvious social and moral problem posed by the greedy rich man in a tower, the film also presents zombies as a class exploited by humans. How do the zombies become analogous to slaves? Why might the underclass humans (locked outside the fortress city and mall) identify with the zombies? How do the heroes triumph by banding together and trusting each other, rather than fighting each other?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 24, 2005
DVD release date:October 18, 2005
Cast:Asia Argento, John Leguizamo, Simon Baker
Director:George A. Romero
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:93 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:pervasive strong violence and gore, language, brief sexuality and some drug use

This review of Land of the Dead was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old July 5, 2010
age 10+


This was a really stupid movie with a really stupid ending. I would only recommend this to the most extreme zombie fanatics. Expect lots of graphic gore but little blood splatter ( you mostly see just the wound and blood on the wound.) There is also strong language.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 2 year old Written bygerbowski October 1, 2012
age 18+

Surprisingly good, but still not for kids

This predictably gory zombie movie is actually pretty good considering the premise. Although definitely not for children, adults who appreciate the genre will probably like this take on a classic.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byrobbierocks1234 April 12, 2012
age 18+

It scared me a lot.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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