Day Of The Dead 2: Contagium (2005)

DVD Cover (Taurus Entertainment)
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In 1968, in the Ravenside Military Hospital in a military facility in Pennsylvania, the army loses control of an experiment of a lethal bacteriologic weapon that changes the DNA and transforms human beings into zombies. A group of soldiers is sent to the hospital to eliminate the infected staff and interns but private DeLuca steals a test tube with the virus and hides it inside a vacuum flask. He is transformed into a zombie and killed but the vacuum flask falls in the grass. In the present days, a group of patients in the mental institution Ravenside Memorial Hospital finds the vacuum flask and later when one of them opens the vessel, the culture tube drops on the floor of a bathroom contaminating the group and their Dr. Donwynn. --IMDb
Laurie Baranyay
Laurie Baranyay
Stan Klimecko
Stan Klimecko
John F. Henry II
John F. Henry II
Justin Ipock
Justin Ipock
Julian Thomas
Julian Thomas
Review by Chad
Added: October 27, 2005
I was going to write a few simple words for this review and leave it at that. Those words would have been "Ana Clavell & James Glenn Dudelson: Die." But alas, I can't do that to you readers, and besides, I haven't really ripped into a movie in ages. So, let's begin with the storyline.

Romero purists know that the series started out with 1968's Night Of The Living Dead, which took place a few days after the zombie outbreak occurred and the dead were just beginning to rise. This led into 1978's Dawn Of The Dead, which picked up a few weeks into the outbreak. Finally, 1985's Day Of The Dead shows us what life is like a few months, maybe even a year into the epidemic. Contagium (I refuse to append the "Day Of The Dead" title to it) is a supposed prequel to Day Of The Dead, showing us how things got started and led into the outbreak that occurred in Romero's movie. Make sense? Of course not, since there were two entries preceding Romero's movie... but Taurus didn't have the rights to those, so they couldn't cash in on them and decided to rewrite movie history instead. More on that later.

It all starts, according to this pile of excrement, back in 1968 with a Russian soldier bringing some vials of bacteria to the United States... or something. It's briefly explained in a two-minute flashback, but that's the gist of what I got out of it. One of these vials was opened inside of the military base that this Russian was being held at which caused a few people to turn into zombies. The problem was eventually solved (how is not explained), and the vials are sent to another government location. This is where the movie starts off at, as the people at this second location have also been exposed to the virus and are turning into zombies. An army force moves in and kills everyone, but not before one of the scientists puts a vial inside of a thermos and sneaks out of the building. He's eventually shot by one of the army men, but the thermos is never found...

...until just "five days ago," as the movie puts it. You see, we're now at present time, and this government location has been replaced with a mental hospital. A few of the patients are out on work release and find this thermos, and since finding a thermos is the coolest thing that could happen to a guy (according to the movie), they take it back to the hospital. It is eventually opened, the virus gets out, blah blah blah. As a side note, if you're going to rip off the events from another zombie film to set the stage for your own movie, at least pick a good one to rip off. Zombi 3 was great because it was pure cheese, not because it was intelligent or thought-provoking.

Sounds like a zombie flick, right? Sorry to tell you, but it's not. The first seven minutes of the movie is zombie action. The last ten minutes of the movie is zombie action. The eighty minutes in between the beginning and the end is basically a romance film involving two of the mental patients of this hospital. We find out about how Thomas (Andrew Allen) and Emma (Laurie Baranyay) are lovers with mental disorders who are planning to get out and have a happy life together. Get used to this storyline, as it takes up eighty percent of the movie. If you like romantic dramas, this would be the perfect movie for you; if, however, you're looking for a zombie film or even a cheesy horror flick, look elsewhere.

Romero created the zombie movie as we know it today. Sure, there were zombies in cinema prior to Night Of The Living Dead, but they were not the flesh-eating corpses that we know and love today. Therefore, I look at Romero's ideas as the blueprint of how a zombie movie should be done. Now, I may bitch when other zombie movies go against what he set up in his series, but I can overlook that. After all, different people have different ideas, and Romero doesn't exactly have exclusive rights to the zombie genre. However, if you're going to cash in on his ideas by calling the movie "Day Of The Dead 2" (2 as in sequel, or prequel, or something that fits into the storyline somewhere), try to keep in mind at least some of the things that Romero put into his movies. This includes, but is not limited to:

1. Zombies are flesh-eating, mindless monsters. They do not communicate with one another, they do not make witty comments when killing people, and they most certainly do not share a telepathic link with one another. No, every zombie on the face of the planet doesn't know your secret plans just because one of them hears you talking about it. And no, I'm not making any of this up.

2. You turn into a zombie when you're bitten or when you die. You do not turn into a zombie thanks to magic fairies getting inside of your head. Again, I wish I was making this up.

3. There's three stages of the zombie transformation. You're bitten, but you're still a human with all of your thoughts intact. Then you become deathly sick, but still aware of your surroundings. Finally, you die and turn into one of the undead. Upon joining the zombie hordes, you do not retain all of your human emotions, your thoughts, your ability to speak, and you most certainly do not have the ability to blend in with the living so as to fool everyone into thinking that you're just peachy in the health department.

As I said, I could have overlooked any of this had it been a separate movie. I'd have laughed at the makers of the movie, but I wouldn't have particularly cared since it was their movie and their storyline. Do not tag on the Day Of The Dead title and pull this kind of shit.

"If the movie is so bad," you're probably asking yourselves, "then why did Romero agree to let them use the name?" He didn't. Those who greedily ate up every last morsel of information about Land Of The Dead prior to its release may remember that the original trailer for the movie featured scenes from his first three zombie movies to show how the movies led into one another. The trailer that you ended up seeing in theaters and on TV did not feature these scenes. That is because Romero does not own the rights to either Night Of The Living Dead (this is now public domain) or Day Of The Dead (Taurus owns those rights). Taurus, you see, had the balls to tell George Romero (the man who made the movie) that he could not use these clips to promote his newest movie, and they then went on to use their rights to the name to create this pile of shit.

The only way I would recommend this movie is if you got it through illegal means. That way, you could have a drinking game revolving around the black blood that everyone spits up after being killed and wouldn't be out the three bucks of a rental. It's hilarious... no matter how you die in this universe, be it having your neck broke, having your arm ripped off, or being bitten on the neck, you will spit up pure black blood. It's sad that the best part of this movie is something that I'm sure was unintentional, but it should be expected that these jackasses couldn't get anything right intentionally.

In closing, I'd like to point out that I did not watch this movie just to bash it. I honestly wanted to give it a chance... sure, I was pissed off about them ripping off the name, but "maybe they got something right" was my motivation. Do not make the same mistake that I did. I'm not going to tell you to avoid this movie... I'm going to tell you to burn it if you see a copy so that nobody will accidentally sit through this mindless piece of cinematic shit. 0/10.
Cryptorchild #1: Cryptorchild - added 10/29/2005, 12:41 AM
Wow, just wow.
I thought maybe I would give this movie a chance but now....ummm no.
And fairies, what the fuck?
Chad #2: Chad - added 10/29/2005, 02:48 AM
I shit you not about the fairies. The guys at the hospital wake up and see these little Tinkerbell-looking things flying around their heads. They laugh, point, stare, etc etc, and then the fairies enter their forehead (no blood, the fairy just disappears at this point). Then, they're zombies that share a telepathic link and feel each others pain. Ridiculous.
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 11/02/2005, 07:32 PM
I had zero hopes for this film when I rented it and, sure enough, it was a total waste of time. What is the point of putting out a 'prequel' like this? It was just announced that the great Steve Miner will be handling the official remake of "Day of the Dead", and that has me pretty excited, but there is absolutely no sense in this film being released whatsoever. 0/10.
Whorm #4: Whorm - added 05/09/2006, 10:29 AM
what's lower than 0/10?
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 05/17/2006, 02:24 AM
Negative numbers. I have been known to give films negative number reviews if the occasion seems right.
Bill Wolford #6: Bill Wolford - added 03/15/2012, 01:18 AM
I must be the only one who willingly owns a copy of this movie? And I'm pretty sure the only one who found it a decent time-waster? Watch a month or two of nothing but releases by brain damage films, then come back to this....you might find something decent about it.
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