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Day of the Dead (1985)

by

Jeff Nelson

Day of the Dead (1985) is the worst of the Dead trilogy, but is still quite decent.

Day of the Dead (1985)
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To many fans of the genre, George A. Romero's Dead trilogy is the standard for zombie flicks. The first two of the trilogy are absolutely fantastic, but does Day of the Dead (1985) live up to the previous ones?

A group of scientists and soldiers are hiding in an underground bunker to escape a world overrun by the undead. The scientists desperately seek a way to control the zombies, while the military just wants to kill as many as possible. The infighting between the two groups takes a turn for the worst when the zombies invade the facility. The past two of the series have focused more on the survival of the group of people. This time, the film is more focused on the zombies and the fight of the main characters on what to do with them. However, the characters are unlikable and often unbearably irritating. The zombie Bub is being trained to become civilized by the scientists. This zombie is more likable than any of the living characters on screen. He's interesting and the situations with this character leads the audience to become very attached to him by the end of the film.

The acting is suitable, but isn't anything that will take anybody by surprise. None of the actors feel connected to their roles and feels often forced by multiple characters. Sherman Howard is the zombie Bub and does a good job for not having any dialogue. He has to express everything through actions and facial expressions. The rest of the performances are forgettable.

The biggest and only improvement over Dawn of the Dead (1978) is the special FX. Everything from zombie make-up to intestines looks much more realistic. The color of the blood is more accurate, as well. When the zombies are ripping the living limb from limb, it's shown in much more gory detail.

When looking back at the trilogy of zombie movies, all of them convey a different emotional feeling. This one gives the most claustrophobic atmosphere of the three. Even though Day of the Dead (1985) isn't a long film, it sure feels like it at times. The pacing could have been better. However, George A. Romero isn't to blame, as he was forced to edit a lot of his film down for the release. Day of the Dead (1985) is the worst of the Dead trilogy, but is still quite decent.

My Rating = Three and One Half Stars

Next movie: Day of the Dead (2008)
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