The Dead and The Dead 2 prove that even in a genre as used up as zombie movies there can still be some diamonds in the rough. The Ford Brothers have made a couple of really scary films that don't rely on camp to be entertaining. What makes these two films stand apart from all the other zombie films out there is that these zombies are ethnic, African in the first film and Indian in this sequel. And for some reason, it's pretty creepy. Although the first one is the superior film, this second one definitely has its moments.
What also saves these films from drowning in the sea of zombie films is that they are really well shot on location. The Ford Brothers do a good job with suspense and sudden scares, I only wish that they would have used their creativity for something a little more original than the standard slow moving cannibalistic zombie that can only be stopped by shooting it in the head or otherwise inflicting damage on its brain. I wish they could have at least concocted their own version of a zombie, their own explanation of why the zombie apocalypse is happening, and some type of unique vulnerability that other zombies don't have. But it is what it is, standard George Romero zombies taking over Africa first and now India.
The Dead 2 seems more like a remake of the first film. The plot is pretty much identical. An American engineer in a foreign land finds himself caught up in the zombie plague and must travel a long distance for one reason or another, battling zombies at every moment. The tried and true clichés are used--the car won't start right away as the zombies approach, the corpse isn't really dead and opens its eyes and lurches at the optimal moment for a scare, the protagonist must team up with an unlikely partner in order to survive--but nevertheless it's all done well, which is what counts. The end result is scary, creepy and somehow at least a bit original.
I can see why the Ford Brothers are making these zombie films. They get to show off what they can do on a safe bet at the box office. I just hope they can find their way out of the genre and some day deliver something that's entirely their's instead of rehashing a story that's been done 999 times before. I really think they have it in them to some day really create an epic masterpiece of horror.
Review by chicagopoetry from the Internet Movie Database.