Day Of The Dead (1985)

Hello! My name’s Adam and this is day 7 of my 31 days of Horror. As mentioned, this is my third year of doing this, and having started with Night Of The Living Dead – I’m now up to the final, and best, of the classic Romero zombie films – Day Of The Dead.

Uh, yeah, so that trailer isn’t hugely reflective of the final product. It’s.. a little silly, where Day of The Dead is on the whole, a much darker and deadpan entry into the Living Dead series. We enter the story several years after the events of Dawn Of The Dead. The war is over, and zombies have overrun the world – with best estimates that every human survivor is outnumbered by 400,000 to 1.

One group of survivors live in an underground bunker somewhere in the Everglades. The group is made up of civilians, soldiers and scientists, who are hard at work trying to find a solution to the zombie crisis. Except, things are- a little tense. The soldiers, being on the front line, are rapidly losing patience and men, and on arrival at the base, it is revealed that the soldier’s commanding officer has been killed, and that the decidedly unhinged Captain Rhodes, played by the sublime Joseph Pilato. Dr Sarah Bowman (Lori Cardille) is quick to come to blows with Rhodes, and urges for calm between the groups. Things have perhaps got a little too bad, and Rhodes demands to know what the lead scientist, Dr Logan (or Frankenstein, as the soldiers refer to him as), is actually up to. 

It’s revealed that he has been performing grisly dissections of the zombies – with an aim to training the zombies to be docile and perform simple tasks. The best example is one zombie, affectionately known as Bub, who is able to use everyday items and, at one point, almost be able to speak!

Things eventually come to a head when the lack of communication, tension and discovery of Logan’s insanity sets actions into motion that lead to the bunker being overrun in what can safely be described as a masterclass in special effects, shock and drama.

The performances from the cast are flawless, with Joe Pilato developing a fully deserved cult following for his role as Rhodes. It’s exceptional. That’s the main takeaway. Day Of The Dead oozes with passion and love, especially from Tom Savini, whose props and effects have to be seen to be believed, way ahead of its time. In fact – the only thing is, it does make me feel quite hungry-

Day Of The Dead is the absolute gold standard and holds up to this day. It’s just a shame it’s so hard to find – but if you can get it, do. It’s the best.


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