With each of Mr. Romero's zombie movies, the walking dead have grown progressively more human while the living have slowly lost touch with their humanity....
[T]he greatest shock here may be the transformation of a black zombie into a righteous revolutionary leader (I guess Che really does live, after all).
With "Revenge of the Sith" and "Batman Begins," "Land of the Dead" makes the third studio release of the summer season to present an allegory, either naked or not, of our contemporary political landscape. Whatever else you think about these films, whether you believe them to be sincere or cynical, authentic expressions of defiance or just empty posturing, it is rather remarkable that these so-called popcorn movies have gone where few American films outside the realm of documentary, including most so-called independents, dare to go. One of the enormous pleasures of genre filmmaking is watching great directors push against form and predictability, as Mr. Romero does brilliantly in "Land of the Dead." One thing is for sure: You won't go home hungry.
Hmmm.... should I bite? I'm interested in politics. And I like a brainy film.
UPDATE: I saw it! Very good! High quality photography. Exciting narrative. Great villain (a Donald Trump-ish Dennis Hopper). Nice band of good guys (always in danger of getting bitten and going over to the other side). Some sympathy for the zombies, who, despite their impairments, are trying to figure things out and act in their own interest.
I must say, though, that I was surprised they gave the Dennis Hopper character a distinctly Jewish name (Kaufman). At one point, someone declares "jihad" on him too. Kaufman was a very greedy rich man, very attached to his bags of money. It isn't hard to put together the case that there was some serious anti-Semitism here. I'm surprised the commercial backers of the film didn't nix the Jewish name. Wonder what was going on there.
(A little spoiler follows.)
The zombies in the beginning are controlled by fireworks, which dazzle them into a staring daze. When they get a little smarter, they overcome this tendency and become much more effective. So a political interpretation would be: staring at the fireworks equates to being blinded by appeals to patriotism. When the zombies/workers stop being dazzled by the show, they can overthrow the rich and powerful.