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as of: 10/17/06

Day of the Dead



out of 10


George A. Romero


Lori Cardille .... Sarah
Terry Alexander .... John
Joseph Pilato .... Capt. Rhodes
Jarlath Conroy .... William McDermott
Anthony Dileo Jr. .... Pvt. Miguel Salazar
Richard Liberty .... Logan
Sherman Howard .... Bub
Gary Howard Klar .... Pvt. Steel


Day of the Dead to me is the weakest of the first three Romero Dead films.  According to the horror forums I frequent, Romero had a much more ambitious idea for Day of the Dead in the form of a script.  Many who have read this script (I haven't yet, though I hope to check it out eventually) say that it would have made Day the grand finale this series deserved.  With that said, some people still place Day at the top of the Dead Trilogy.

The story begins with a group of people in a helicopter flying over an abandoned city looking for human survivors of the zombie holocaust that has swept the earth.  The team, apparently led by scientist Sarah (Lori Cardille), finds nothing but shambling former corpses and returns to base.  The "base" is an Army facility that houses only 12 people by this point.  You can split the humans into three groups: soldiers, scientists, and pilots, and they do not get along so well.  The soldiers, led by the angry and slightly deranged Captain Rhodes (played well if slightly over the top by Joseph Pilato), are tired of supporting the scientists.  They feel that the results of the experiments on the zombies are doing nothing.  To make matters worse, soldiers continue to get killed rounding up new "specimens" for the scientists to probe and study.  The scientists are led by the certifiably insane Dr. Logan (called "Frankenstein" by the soldiers).  He is mainly working on ways to train the zombies not to eat humans, and he seems to be making slow but steady progress with a specimen he has named "Bub" (the star of the film in many fans' eyes).  The two helicopter pilots don't seem to care much about anything, instead preferring to hang out in their trailer (nicknamed "the Ritz") and get drunk.

As these three sides continue to lose men to the zombie menace, tensions flare to the breaking point.  What happens?  You'll just have to see for yourself.  Romero's standard social commentary in this one looks at the continued inability of humankind to work together even in the face of literal extinction.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and thought Tom Savini's zombie and death effects were top notch, this one doesn't seem like a fitting end to the two great horror classics which preceded it.  Something is missing here in that I do not get the same feelings of watching a masterpiece that I do with the first two.  With that said, Romero fans, zombie fans, and fans of good solid apocalyptic horror with some gory kills will enjoy this flick.


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