Director: George A. Romero

There comes a time in every artist’s career when he or she needs to put the pen down and try something else. In the case of George A. Romero, 2009’s Survival of the Dead made it obvious that the granddaddy of zombie storytelling—thanks to Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), and Day of the Dead (1985)—had lost his way. Not only is Survival of the Dead a bad Romero flesh-eater flick, it’s one of the worst horror movies of the last 10 years, if not more.

Gone are all signs of the filmmaker’s once-shrewd social commentary, gallows humor, and genuinely shocking gore. At times, Survival of the Dead feels like one of those Scary Movie-types spoofs of the zombie genre, with knuckleheaded jokes, cartoonish music, and zero scares. It’s enough to make Romero’s uneven found-footage entry Diary of the Dead look like [REC] by comparison.