Day Of The Dead

Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Antone DiLeo
Director: George Romero

The second sequel to the magnificent NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, the setting this time round is an underground military base where the government have quickly put together a team of scientists to come up with a solution to defeat the zombies. There is also a small military presence there to protect the scientists led by Major Cooper.

The team of scientists led by Sarah (Lori Cardille) and accompanied with the highly stressed Miguel (Antone DiLeo Jr) fly up and down the coast with helicopter pilots John (Terry Alexander) and McDermott (Jarlath Conroy) to find anyone who might be left alive. Returning back to base, they find a whole army of zombies outside the parameter fence. As the military lookouts are about to refuel the helicopter, Sarah suggests everyone to get underground immediately so that their activities do not rile the zombies to fever pitch. To aid the research, a small group of zombies, which are held in captivity, are regularly experimented on by Dr Logan (Richard Liberty). Unfortunately when Sarah and Miguel help two of the military personal, Steel and Rickles, to obtain two more zombies, Miguel fumbles and nearly lets one of the zombies loose. Steel attacks Miguel and it would seem that the military and scientists personal just cannot get along.

After sedating Miguel, Sarah finds that the power happy Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) is now in charge who apparently is a lot worse than the deceased Major Cooper. Visiting the doctor’s laboratory, we fid out why some people call him Frankenstein. Cutting up zombies, Logan’s theory is that the zombies can be controlled as they work on primal instinct. Sarah tells Logan that he is going to have a hard time convincing the military of his assumptions.

Captain Rhodes calls a meeting, wanting to know whether the scientists are doing anything to end the situation. Sarah tries to walks away from the meeting after receiving verbal abuse from Rhodes’ men but when her life is threatened, she reluctantly returns to her seat. Rhodes makes it clear that this is now going to be a military operation and anyone who disobeys him will pay the price. Dr Logan reveals that there might be a possibility to control the zombies from eating people.

Without any word from the outside world, a power mad military Captain who wants to escape to goodness knows where, tension brewing between the two fractions below the surface and the growing number of zombies top side, will Dr Logan’s experiments produce the answers needed or will everything fall apart for the survivors?

The original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD had a claustrophobic feel due to the heroes locking themselves away in a cabin and the internal struggle between the occupants. DAWN OF THE DEAD, my personal favorite, has an undertone subject regarding consumer madness and was mostly set in a newly built shopping mall which Romero was allowed to use at night. DAY OF THE DEAD this time round reveals to the viewer that both ideals favoured by scientists, that the zombies are “just like us” while cutting up their brain to see what makes them what they are and the military’s view of killing them all, you begin to wonder who really are the bad guys. Horror make-up artist Tom Savini’s work is realistic and shocking and is the best I’ve seen in a horror movie for a long time.

The extra features include trailers for the three Dead movies, an entertaining 20 minute behind the scenes feature that makes you wish that you an extra playing a zombie on the movie and bios of Romero & Savini.

4 out of 6 stars

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