New on DVD: Day of the Dead

This is another case of a movie using a recognized title for a “reimagining” but employing only minimal elements from the original. Some advice: if you want to make a different movie, have the creativity to come up with your own title.

A small town in Colorado is under quarantine due to the pervasive outbreak of a virus with flu-like symptoms. Cpl. Sarah Bowman (Mena Suvari) is recalled to her hometown to serve in the military lockdown under Captain Rhodes (Ving Rhames). She is teamed with privates Bud Crain (Stark Sands) and Salazar (Nick Cannon) to manage the crisis. As the situation worsens, Sarah goes home to ensure the safety of her mother, brother Trevor (Michael Welch) and incidentally his girlfriend Nina (AnnaLynne McCord). Things get ugly unbelievably quick as the infected suddenly and simultaneously become flesh-eating monsters that take over the town.

George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (1985) was the third chapter of the living dead series. It took place in an underground bunker post-zombie outbreak, where government scientists are attempting to understand and possibly cure the zombie epidemic. Their research reveals the creatures maintain residual elements of their pre-dead selves.

In this version, in which horror director Steve Miner states he wanted to make a different movie, there is a military presence, the infected do remember and the characters eventually end up in a bunker. However, the infected are not really zombies but victims of a government experiment gone wrong that was fatal but awarded them superhuman abilities.

This is a second-rate zombie flick without any real scares. The dialogue is repetitive and there are several unexplained holes in the story and character development. The cast performances are adequate but short of notable, with the exception of Sands. Fortunately, the special effects crew does excellent work creating nasty, creepy monsters.

There is an alternate ending among the DVD special features that is worth checking out and the interviews are faintly interesting but the rest (feature commentary, on the set) are lacklustre.

Related Topics
Share This
More Stories