Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (2008)

George Romero’s classic tale of the last vestiges of humanity receives an update and reimagining in yet another remake of his seminal works.  Again, the military and scientific experts butt heads while fighting to stave off the zombie apocalypse.

The zombie plague rears its head as a small town becomes the epicenter of an outbreak that the military is struggling to contain.  Two young lovers become embroiled in the outbreak at the local hospital and escape to connect with our hero, Trevor’s, sister – an army corporal on assignment as part of the quarantine unit.  As the horde of zombies overrun the town, the group picks up other survivors and head to a remote warehouse, where they uncover the bunker which contains the secret of the zombie outbreak.  There, they must fight to destroy the horde and escape.

The movie begins in a not-quite in media res manner: the quarantine is set up, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason for it other than to have a lot of soldiers there to shoot zombies and get eaten.  That’s true of much of the film: everything seems to serve one purpose – kill something or die.  The characters have no depth and a the movie suffers badly from trying to be smarter than it really is.  The attempts at social commentary which made the original Romero films so powerful are laughable here and at times the movie creeps close to “so bad it’s funny” territory.  Romero’s sense of tension and dread are completely gone, as this movie takes his original concept of impending doom and turns it into a car chase action flick.  Throwing their lot in with the “fast zombie” side of that decades old argument, this film takes it to another level as the zombies are borderline ninjas who also shoot guns.

From a zombie flick perspective, true fans have seen worse (which is a sad commentary in itself at how prolific these films have become), but even casual horror fans have seen a lot better.  This is an ultimately forgettable film which won’t leave a completely awful taste in your mouth, but will thankfully fade from your memory – hopefully leaving only your memories of the vastly superior original.

 

Stars: 2/5

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