Day Of The Dead (1985)

DVD Cover (Scream Factory)
Genres: Horror, Zombie Film
The Dead have conquered earth, leaving just small groups of people out of their clutches. One group made up of both scientific and military personal, hiding in a bunker somewhere in Florida tries to get in contact with other survivors of the zombie infestation, but find themselves quite alone in this new world. Desperately searching for a cure and therefore indulging in strange experiments to overcome this strange transformation into zombies, the scientists lose the faith of the military, resulting in a race against death while the zombies take over the facility. --IMDb
George A. Romero George A. Romero
Lori Cardille Lori Cardille
Terry Alexander Terry Alexander
Joseph Pilato Joseph Pilato
Jarlath Conroy Jarlath Conroy
Anthony Dileo Jr. Anthony Dileo Jr.
Movie Connections:
Night Of The Living Dead
> Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
> Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
> Day Of The Dead (1985)
> Night Of The Living Dead (1990)
> Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
> Land Of The Dead (2005)
> Day Of The Dead 2: Contagium (2005)
> Night Of The Living Dead 3D (2006)
> Diary Of The Dead (2007)
> Day Of The Dead (2008)
> Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated (2009)
> Survival Of The Dead (2009)
> Another Night Of The Living Dead (2011)
> Day Of The Dead: Bloodline (2018)

7.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: August 01, 2006
Night Of The Living Dead showed us how the world handled a zombie outbreak, and it was also the introduction of zombies as we now know them into modern cinema. Then, we witnessed how the surviving population dealt with the zombie threat in Dawn Of The Dead. In the closing film of what is commonly known as "The Holy Trilogy", we get to see what happens when a handful of survivors are more than likely all that is left of mankind.

Our film tells the tale of these survivors and shows how they have isolated themselves away from the threat in a mammoth underground storage facility. There are three "groups" of people down here: the scientists, made up of Sarah (Lori Cardille) and Logan (Richard Liberty), who want to find a way to stop this threat, and then there are the soldiers who want nothing more than to kill off every last one of the walking dead. Led by Capt. Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) and enforced by Pvt. Steel (Gary Howard Klar), these soldiers are not the most logical or caring people in the world, and as a result of this clashing of logic and brute force, the two groups don't exactly see eye to eye. The final group are those who don't really fit into either of the aforementioned sects; there's John (Terry Alexander), the only guy who can fly the helicopter, former-soldier Miguel Salazar (Anthony Dileo Jr.), and mechanic William McDermott (Jarlath Conroy). Of course, there's also the huge amount of zombies both outside and inside the bunker, but the real story to be found here is how the humans can actually be more dangerous than the undead that surround them.

Before I get into the review, I should probably point out that this is one of my personal favorite zombie movies, and it's actually not a whole lot further down in my list of favorite movies period. Therefore, I may be just a little biased in this review... but, in my eyes, the movie deserves every bit of praise that I plan on giving it.

This particular film scored so well with me due to the fact that, quite simply, it's perfect in every way. You want an interesting storyline that puts a unique spin (even today) on the zombie film and is fresh and original? How about a damned fine group of actors and actresses who play off of one another to perfection? Or, would you rather just see a lot of zombies shambling around and more blood and guts than you can shake a stick at? Whatever you're looking for in a zombie film, this one delivers. It isn't very difficult to see why this is Romero's favorite of his own films and why it's also considered his best work by many of his fans.

What makes this film work on so many levels is Romero's style of storytelling and how he never sets out to make just another zombie film. Sure, the basic elements of the typical zombie film are here (humans holed up somewhere with zombies just outside trying to eat them alive), but there's so much more than that in this film. I've already mentioned how the real story of the film is the interaction and eventual gun-slinging between the humans, but there's also the scientific research that Logan, better known to the other people as Dr. Frankenstein, is conducting. He's found out that the zombies can be "trained" and that they also have small pieces of their memory left, and with the help of his star pupil Bub (Sherman Howard), he sets out to prove his findings to the rest of the survivors. On a side note, this small subplot perfectly set up the events in Land Of The Dead - fuck the naysayers who claim that zombies shouldn't be able to think.

As I also mentioned up above, the cast found within the film is perfect. Joseph Pilato is the star of the film with his semi-racist and totally-sexist behavior, and he never fails to be a complete and utter asshole to those who are "beneath" him (in his view). What makes his performance work so well is that it doesn't seem forced at all; watching this man and his actions is not the typical "actor in an asshole role", but it's more like someone making a spectacle of themselves at the local McDonalds in that it seems completely natural and unrehearsed. Of course, Pilato doesn't make up the entire cast by himself, but the same word could be used about everybody else who had a major part in this movie: perfection.

Perfection is also a word that could be used to describe the movie as a whole. It's a shame that it's being remade soon, and I won't gripe about that too much in this review, but I will say one thing about it: Nick Cannon? Needless to say, I don't have high hopes for this remake, but at least we'll always have this piece of classic cinema to remind us that the storyline can be done right when handled by a master. 10/10.
spookychild #1: spookychild - added 09/12/2004, 05:34 AM
Very nice gore in the conclusion to a great trilogy
Siphon #2: Siphon - added 09/23/2004, 02:34 AM
The last of the awesome, gory, Romero zombie films. Night of the Living Dead was excellent...a bit underbudget. Dawn of the Dead was fantastic...a little shoddy with the editing. Day of the Dead? I didn't see any real problems with it. Perfect direction, good editing, and fabulous zombie make up (Go Tom Savini Go!) gave this movie an A+ in my book. The original film was going to be set on a refugee boat, and the movie was going to center around illegal immigration, a big no no at the time...and a big no no now. But I'm glad Romero set it in an army bunker...it adds a sense of solidarity and isolation to it. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Go check it out if you'd like to feel creeped out.
Bluesummers #3: Bluesummers - added 03/07/2005, 02:45 AM
For years, people said this was the worst of Romero's trilogy. They're so wrong. Romero says it's his favorite, and I agree with him. It all comes down to this. If the whole zombie deal did go down, the world wouldn't end with a bang, but with a whimper. Just like this movie. It's also the most positive, showing some regrowth. The gore effects, which no doubt will be mentioned, kick major ass. Captain Rhodes and the shovel-face interaction being some personal favorites. And one more thing. I love Bub. If only some people these days could evoke as much emotion as I got from Bub. He was like a lost child or something. People might overlook this in favor of Dawn or Night, but personally, this is indeed the best of the trilogy, and should be watched a pair of times. Again reflecting on the decade it was made in, Day focuses on the self-centeredness, the vulgarity, the sheer assholery. So...watch this, please, I beg of you. In closing...

Helloooo aunt Aliciiaaaa
crAckerr #4: crAckerr - added 08/01/2006, 03:17 PM
Fuckin awesome movie, It's my favourite of the trilogy as well. I thought the Dawn remake was actually pretty good, but they better make the Day remake end with a crazy amount of gore to live up to the original.
Tristan #5: Tristan - added 08/01/2006, 11:19 PM
Was this movie not here, but there were comments? Because there's comments from 2004. Anyway, this is probably my least favorite of the Living Dead flicks. It is in no way a poor film, I absolutely love it, but I just find it not to be as powerful as the first two. Mind you, the way Romero portrays the survivors in this one is probably more realistic, in the sense that people would care about nobody but themselves. That was a very long sentence. 9/10.
Chad #6: Chad - added 08/02/2006, 03:15 AM
The review I had previously posted was pretty shitty, so I decided to rewrite it.
Dametria #7: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 11:12 AM
I was bored by this movie. Not enough good solid zombie action for me. I bought it because I want to give Romero my money but I think I may have taken it out of the celophane just so it dosent stick out in my collection.
bluemeanie #8: bluemeanie - added 05/12/2007, 06:45 PM
BORING! Romero totally forgot what made "Night of the Living Dead" work. He re-discovered it in "Land of the Dead", but this was my least favorite of the lot. The remake might indeed suck, but I thought this one was pretty boring and pretty tame itself. It's like watching 90 minutes of expositions and 2 minutes of blood and guts. How do you get away from the fucking zombies? JUST WALK AT A MEDIUM PACE and they'll never get you. "They're coming to get you, Barbara...and they're still coming...and they're still coming...wait a moment...just a second longer...and a little more..."
Tristan #9: Tristan - added 05/12/2007, 10:30 PM
I want to punch you.
bluemeanie #10: bluemeanie - added 05/13/2007, 03:29 AM
Go ahead. If I were a zombie in a Romero film, that would probably kill me.
Chad #11: Chad - added 05/13/2007, 04:57 PM
The selling point of Romero's zombie films has always been the way the humans react under pressure. Sure, the zombies are what put asses in the seats, but it's the characters that make the films so memorable... and in my ever so humble opinion, the characters in this movie are the highlight of the entire quardrilogy. About the zombies being slow... granted, you could outrun a handful of them with no problems, but what makes them work is the fact that they never stop coming after you once they've got your "scent" (or see you, or however you want to explain their tracking abilities). Watch the beginning of this film when they're looking for survivors in that Florida city and the zombies start piling out of the buildings (and pretend you didn't have a helicopter). Could you have outrun them? Probably, but where would you go? Lock yourself up in a building, and then figure out what comes first: them breaking down the doors, you starving to death, or living the rest of your life in isolation with the undead pounding on the walls outside.
Tristan #12: Tristan - added 05/13/2007, 10:25 PM
I almost don't see them as zombie movies anymore. I just see them as great movies, with zombies.
Weird, I know. But I guess I've gotten past just the "OMG it's a zombie!" childish phase and really understand what they're about.
Nirrad #13: Nirrad - added 01/15/2008, 12:12 AM
Holy shit! Thats all I gotta say about this movie. I love Night of the Living Dead, though Dawn of the Dead was dumb and annoying. But this film I thought was a goddamn masterpiece. The people weren't stupid, the gore was great, and most of all it wasn't boring (to me anyways). Some parts were kind of goofy, like the zombie training sequences. But in the end I actually thought those scenes were great. This is by far my favorite of the Zombie movies. Unless I like Dawn of the Dead remake or Land of the Dead which I have, but still haven't watched yet. This movie gets a 10/10.
Shakes #14: Shakes - added 01/22/2009, 11:55 AM
Dawn of the Dead was good... but this one is actually my favorite of all of them...10/10
Shakes #15: Shakes - added 01/22/2009, 11:58 AM
The experimentation on Bob was a neat and original idea on its own.
Hisdinnerisintheoven #16: Hisdinnerisintheoven - added 04/28/2010, 12:49 AM
This movie definitely gets better with age for sure. The only point I'd disagree with is that some of the acting is a bit heavy-handed and over the top.
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