Critical Consensus: Zombies and Witches and Cars, Oh My!

by | June 23, 2005 | Comments

This week’s three wide releases have some things in common: they’re all updates of stuff we’ve seen before, and they all deal with the supernatural. Which will cast a spell over the critics: a car that can love, a witch, or thoughtful, perceptive (but still bloodthirsty) zombies?

George A. Romero’s "Night of the Living Dead" is one of the masterworks of modern horror films, a movie so copied and so influential that, like "2001" or "Metropolis," it may be difficult to fully understand a world without it. Romero’s subsequent "Dead" works, "Dawn of the Dead" and "Day of the Dead," have maintained a level of quality and integrity where other horror series have retreated to camp and gore. "Land of the Dead," which depicts a bleak future of class conflict and zombies who can think and communicate, is winning high praise in some circles, but at 40 percent, the majority of critics feel it’s a step down for one of the genre’s masters.

Another week, another TV remake: "Bewitched," starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, avoids some of the pratfalls of recent rehashings by adding a self-reflexive, show-within-a-film plotline, but it’s still basically the story of a witch who gets married to an average Joe. Actually, “average” is a good adjective in this case; critics are less than, ahem, bewitched by this one, with only 36 percent under its spell. The plot involves a pompous actor’s attempt to restart his career by starring in an update of "Bewitched." Hilarity ensues when the actress who takes the Elizabeth Montgomery role is actually a witch. Or rather, occasional hilarity ensues.

From "Turbo Teen" to "Knight Rider" to the forthcoming "Cars," it’s clear that Americans have a thing for anthropomorphizing their fictional automobiles. And one of the original attempts to do this (excepting such non-classics as "My Mother the Car," of course) was "Herbie the Love Bug." Well, that loveable VW is back in "Herbie: Fully Loaded," starring Disney remake queen Lindsay Lohan. At 43 percent on the Tomatometer, there’s a reason the movie isn’t being called "Fully Lauded." Critics say while this tale of rescuing the famed bug from the scrap heap and taking on NASCAR might appeal to kids (really little kids), there’s not a whole lot under the hood, it’s low on gas, parents could use a pit stop from this juvenilia, insert auto maintenance cliché here.

Other "Dead" movies by George A. Romero:
86% – Day of the Dead
100% – Dawn of the Dead
100% – Night of the Living Dead

Tag Cloud

Disney Spring TV period drama Marvel Drama Countdown travel Fantasy SDCC biography Food Network LGBTQ singing competition Super Bowl Pop Nickelodeon Rom-Com TV Thanksgiving Cosplay 2015 Country El Rey Rock Holidays FX Biopics Nat Geo TNT harry potter Year in Review docudrama Freeform BBC America Sundance President vampires BBC Action Esquire cops Comic Book Adult Swim Extras Best and Worst TruTV NYCC Martial Arts Grammys aliens war PaleyFest ABC psycho Crackle APB crime Mystery Musical Red Carpet ITV History comiccon discovery Oscars Sneak Peek Lifetime historical drama Hulu Tumblr FXX SundanceTV Certified Fresh X-Men DC Comics Comedy Central Set visit VICE Pirates Lionsgate cooking adventure Interview thriller First Look TIFF sports based on movie crime thriller WGN Schedule Musicals Box Office Star Wars Opinion 2016 BET diversity Winter TV dramedy Superheroes E! ESPN TCM Universal politics The Arrangement Character Guide IFC technology HBO CBS All Access Animation TLC Teen Valentine's Day GoT Star Trek Disney Channel Summer Mary Tyler Moore cinemax Dark Horse Comics Amazon PBS RT History CNN Starz Bravo Cartoon Network CBS DirecTV GIFs Marathons police drama USA Toys Comedy NBC TCA 2017 Fox News ABC Family social media Infographic science fiction Ghostbusters Emmys Writers Guild of America Nominations sitcom Masterpiece Tomatazos AMC Showtime Watching Series FOX Trailer Reality Competition Horror serial killer Syfy 2017 Rocky American Society of Cinematographers Photos boxoffice TCA zombie TV Land GLAAD TBS crime drama MTV Calendar VH1 composers MSNBC Premiere Dates Fall TV Polls and Games supernatural Reality Trivia Awards Logo Kids & Family Winners The CW 24 frames Video Games Netflix Music OWN Podcast Election Sci-Fi CMT 007 A&E