Day of the Dead
November 7th 2007 01:05
George A. Romero’s third installment in his Dead quartet, Day of the Dead (1985), is not only the best of the series, but is arguably one of the most darkly powerful and viscerally intense modern horror movies ever made. It is a tenebrous, atmospheric masterpiece; a stomach-churning indictment on the abject greed and inherent nihilism of the human race. It also set a benchmark for special effects makeup which has rarely been equaled.
Set in Florida several years after the events of Dawn of the Dead, zombies now outnumber humans 400,000 to 1. It is a grim reality indeed, and only getting worse by the day. In an isolated underground bunker, actually a disused missile silo, a small group of scientists are experimenting neurologically on the undead in a vain effort to domesticate them, or at the very least remove their urge to feed on human flesh.
Lori Cardille as weary scientist Sarah
Terry Alexander as wry flyboy Johnny
Joseph Pilato as nasty Captain Rhodes
The Thing (1982), which also bombed at the time of release, Day of the Dead has garnered a very strong cult following. It demands repeat viewings, as there are many subtle directorial touches and character nuances to be relished. The dialogue crackles, especially from the malicious Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato), flyboy Johnny, and dry-rot crusader McDermott (Jarlath Conroy), the communications man. I also like the reference by Romero when Dr. Logan gives featured zombie Bub (Sherman Howard) a book to see if he recognizes what to do with it: Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, a novel about a town overrun by vampires.
Day of the Dead - the ne plus ultra of the zombie movie genre.
Here's an unusual trailer which injects an odd sense of humour:
And for those with bigger appetites here's a juicy extended clip (warning: contains spoilers):
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