innocent_man: (zombie)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Day of the Dead was the last in Romero's "Dead" series for a long time (like, 20 years or so) until Land of the Dead came out (we'll get to the L's eventually). Zombies have taken over the world, and a few people - soldiers, scientists, a helicopter pilot and an electronics dude - are in a bunker in the Everglades, working on how to fix things.

Well, that's the plan. Really what's happening is that they're falling apart. The soldiers are getting restless and scared and they're led by a psycho (Joseph Pilato, in easily the best performance in the movie, with the possible exception of Bub the zombie). The scientists are at odds about what they should be working on (one is trying to train the zombies, which is an interesting idea but impractical when they outnumber you 400,000 to one), and the pilot has officially run out of fucks to give.

There are some good, overwrought performances here. The lead is a woman (played by soap actress Lori Cardille), and she manages to be hardassed and professional while still being obviously stressed all to hell. Terry Alexander is the pilot, and is my favorite character, but he's kind of a Magical Negro, which is maybe a bit troubling (especially considering that he's the only black dude down there). Sherman Howard plays Bub, the zombie, who remembers enough of his life to open a book and "shave," and - hey - shoot a gun. His performance is really good, very physical, and he makes Bub sympathetic and sad and funny.

The movie is very threatening and unpleasant, with regards to dialog. The soldiers pretty much openly threaten to rape Sarah, they make racist remarks about her boyfriend (a soldier, but of Hispanic descent) and the pilot, and everyone is two seconds from shooting each other. And then there are the zombies, still around, being experimented on, and just waiting for the final scene when they eat all of the soldiers in the most memorable dismemberments of the Dead series.

I like this movie, though some of the aspects make me uncomfortable. I like the character of John, Magical Negro and all, and I think he was well cast. I think that this movie could stand a reimagining in the style of Dawn of the Dead (I know it got one; I mean a good one).

And with that, we're done with "of the Dead" movies for a while.

My grade: B+
Rewatch value: Medium-low

Next up: Dead Man

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January 2013

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