HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Aurora Encounter, The
Breaking In
Breaking In
Please Stand By
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, The
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
   
 
  Day of the Dead Choke on ‘em...!Buy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joe Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Antone DiLeo, Richard Liberty, Howard Sherman, G. Howard Klar, Ralph Marrero, John Amplas
Genre: Horror
Rating:  8 (from 7 votes)
Review: With the zombie plague having engulfed the planet, the living dead now outnumber human survivors 400,000 to one. In an underground missile silo in Florida, a team of scientists work to understand the undead phenomenon, bringing them into conflict with the trigger-happy soldiers they share the base with.

George A. Romero’s third zombie film treads the middle ground between the terrifying, intense Night of the Living Dead and the bawdy, knockabout Dawn of the Dead. Maligned by some fans on its release – who perhaps expected a more spectacular film, Day of the Dead has aged very well, more so than many of its mid-80s horror peers. Budgetary constraints and Romero’s unwillingness to compromise the violence meant he was famously unable to make the film he originally conceived, but taken on its own terms, this one is a tough, bleak-but-blackly funny shocker.

On the whole, the acting is at its strongest in this one, even if the cast aren’t always sure of tone that Romero’s going for – Lori Cardille plays it straight as the resourceful heroine, while Joe Pilato hams it up wildly as evil Captain Rhodes. Richard Liberty, playing the cracked Dr Logan, the doctor convinced that the zombies can be socialised, is the standout, firmly in the tradition of mad movie doctors yet (unlike Pilato) keeping his character believable. There’s a real love and admiration in his eyes as he watches Bub, the most promising of his zombie subjects, slowly remember aspects of his pre-undead life. Equally, the moment when Bub discovers Logan’s slain corpse is the film’s most moving sequence, helped by Howard Sherman’s beautifully subtle performance. And what the entire cast do convey is the sense that these are exhausted, desperate people, who are doing everything they can to maintain a level of normality, whether it’s by performing futile research (the scientists), or maintaining a tough, bullying attitude (the soldiers).

Romero uses the underground setting to suitably claustrophobic effect; apart from the opening scenes and some moments towards the climax the entire film is set in either the bright, clinical corridors of the base or the gloomy caves around it. There’s a lot of dialogue too – another complaint from the film’s initial detractors – but Day of the Dead showcases Romero at his best as a scriptwriter, particularly in the apocalyptic monologue delivered by Terry Alexander (playing John, the chilled Jamaican ‘copter pilot). "We're bein' punished by the Creator. He visited a curse on us...maybe He figure, we gettin' too big for our britches, tryin' to figure His shit out."

The film also sees Tom Savini and his team working at their peak. The gore is vivid and plentiful, and the effects exceed Dawn of The Dead for hilarious, gruesome inventiveness. There’s a squirming zombie brain still attached to its body, an upturned decapitated head with the eyes still darting, the skin ripped from a soldier’s face, and the spectacular climatic torso-tearing of poor old Rhodes. John Harrison’s electronic score hasn’t aged that well (especially the squealing ‘rock’ guitar), and the surprisingly happy ending feels a little tacked on – the hopeful but ambiguous tone on which Dawn ends would surely have suited the film better. But for the most part, this is one of the decade’s very best, most intelligent chillers.

[The new Arrow/Fremantle DVD is presented in 16:9 Anamorphic widescreen and a world exclusive commentary with the effects team. Also included are a new documentary The Many Days of the Dead, a behind the scenes feature, filmographies, galleries and trailers]
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 11170 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

George A. Romero  (1940 - )

American writer/director and one of the most influential figures in modern horror cinema, whose ability to write strong scripts and characters match his penchant for gory chills. The Pittsburgh native began his career directing adverts before making Night of the Living Dead in 1968. This bleak, scary classic ushered in a new era of horror film-making, but Romero struggled initially to follow it up - There's Always Vanilla is a little-seen romantic drama, and Jack's Wife was butchered by its distributor. The Crazies was a flop but still an exciting slice of sci-fi horror, and while the dark vampire drama Martin again made little money but got Romero some of the best reviews of his career and remains the director's personal favourite.

In 1978 Romero returned to what he knew best, and Dawn of the Dead quickly became a massive international hit. Dawn's success allowed Romero to make the more personal Knightriders, and he teamed up with Stephen King to direct the horror anthology Creepshow. The intense, underrated Day of the Dead, spooky Monkey Shines and half of the Poe-adaptation Two Evil Eyes followed. The Dark Half, based on Stephen King's novel, was Romero's last film for nine years, and he returned in 2000 with the strange Bruiser. A fourth Dead film, Land of the Dead, was released in 2005, and lower budgeted fifth and sixth instalments rounded off the decade.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: