Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day of the Dead 1985 6 out 10 (Zombie Movie Review # 4)

Day of the Dead 1985   6 out of 10

I saw that Day of the Dead was showing on Chiller the other day and it has been at least 20 plus years since I had seen this zombie movie.   Of the three movies in George Romero's zombie series that started with the Classic  Night of the Living  Dead 1968   (a movie that created the modern zombie genre)  Day of the Dead was my least favorite.  Re-watching it all these years later,  I actually appreciated it more than the first time around.    The movie takes place sometime after the events of Dawn of the Dead in focuses on a military base in which the some scientists are trying to learn more about the Zombies and what makes them tick, while some scraggly looking military guys are trying to protect them.    Here is the rundown of the good and bad about Day of the Dead.

List of what I liked in the movie:

1.   The zombie effects and blood and gore of the film was excellent including scenes with a guy getting his head slowly ripped off his body. 
2.   The soundtrack at times had a cool John Carpenter style vibe to it
3.  The dialogue and acting were really cheesy, but that isn't always necessarily a bad thing.    (also see this as something on the  What I Didn't Like list)
4.    Looking at this movie years later,  I was able to reflect on its contributions to   the genre.   One of the focuses of the movie not seen in the previous films was the notation of trying to understand what makes the zombies the way they are and working towards either a cure or a way to control the zombies.   As far a zombie films or shows like the Walking Dead..... you have to give props to the movies that set the foundation for the genre. 
5.  Bub the zombie that can learn and remember a part of his former life was an obvious inspiration for the storyline in The Walking Dead in Woodbury where the scientist was trying to figure out if any of the former person was still in the undead creatures.    Bub is a classic big screen  zombie
Here is Bub trying to make a phone call
Things I didn't like:

1.   The pacing of the movie was way too slow and you really don't get much good zombie action until the third act of the film.  The movie is more about the people which works great in a TV show like the Walking Dead where we have the time in each episode to explore the characters and their relationships and motivations.  In a stand alone movie this drags the story down and was clearly the reason I didn't like this movie many years ago.    Coming on the heels of Return of the Living Dead....which spun the Zombie genre off into a whole new direction and was relentless and entertaining throughout, the slow pace of Day of the Dead was a disappointment 

2.  The acting and the dialogue could have been straight out of the Toxic Avenger.
Of course this may be a reason to put it on the like list.  

3.   Despite the great and gory special effects the sense of peril wasn't at a level that it should be.   I mean the zombies are slow and plodding and just don't strike the terror that the Zombies of The Walking Dead do.   Maybe part of that is not having a connection with the lackluster characters in the movie,   but again I feel it struggles in comparison to Return of the Living Dead or its own predecessor   Dawn of the Dead,  which had one of the setting ever for a Zombie movie.

All in all it I give it about a 6 out of 10  which is a better rating than the first time 
around mainly because of its contributions to the genre.  

Coming Soon look for my Top 10  Zombie Movie List 
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