Every once in a while, I have to take in a horror movie to see whether I find it a) comical, b) grotesque, or c) all of the above. Day of the Dead falls squarely in category c) for me. However, even though it was comical in places (I have a sick sense of humor), I thought this was a decent zombie movie remake. It was smart, had decent special effects, and generally held together to the end.
The 2008 version of Day of the Dead is a remake of the original Day of the Dead from George Romero. Director Steve Miner and writer Jeffrey Reddick helmed this one, starring Mena Suvari, Nick Cannon, Christa Campbell, and Ving Rhames.
This version of the movie is set in the small mountain town of Leadville, Colorado, but not filmed there (similar to Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, which was set in, but not filmed in, Buena Vista, Colorado late in 2006). An outbreak of zombie-making virus hits this pleasant mountain town, spreading like wildfire. Funny enough, you CAN have a quasi-scientific reasoning and behavior for a virus that turns you into a zombie!
What did I learn about surviving an attack of virus-infected zombies by watching Day of the Dead?
- Don't let your boyfriend bleed on you during a city-wide quarantine.
- Don't let a friend's mother cough on you during a city-wide quarantine.
- Don't lose your keys when wrestling with a zombie. You never know when you'll need to become a world-class sprinter to get to your car in the parking lot.
- If you are responsible enough to carry a gun, be sure to also carry a few extra clips and keep it loaded at all times.
- Don't lock yourself into a "safe" place with infected people who really want to eat you when they change into zombies.
- Be sure when building a hospital sure to be attacked by zombies that you use industrial-strength ventilation ducts.
- If your name is Ving Rhames or Mena Suvari and you want to keep your career going, be sure to find a new agent who will get you better scripts.
- If you're a zombie and need a snack, the following items will work in a pinch: your own eyeball, the intestines of a high school girl, and your wife's face.
- It's very freaky when you see a zombie crawling on the ceiling.
- And lastly, when it starts raining zombies from second and third story windows, it's time to RUN!
I'd really like to know when high school students became marksmen, but other than that this wasn't a bad zombie flick. It doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't. A virus infects people. People become zombies. Those people not zombies either become food or fight back to escape the area. Pretty much the same plot in nearly every zombie movie I've seen, with minor variations.
My favorite part of this movie? Zombies with guns! They weren't great marksmen, but they more than make up for it in enthusiasm. Also, who ever would expect to hear the words "zombie" and "crush" in the same sentence?
My least favorite part? Mena Suvari. Yes, she's cute, but this was not her kind of role. Ving Rhames, though under-used in this film, actually did okay and probably enjoyed becoming a zombie during one scene!
The DVD includes several extras, including:
- Cast And Crew Commentary
- "On the Set"
- Alternate Ending
- Several trailers (international, unrated, and theatrical)
- Photo Gallery
Overall, this movie turned out better than I expected. Yes, it followed the traditional zombie formula, but it had some great one-liners. I've seen more intelligent zombie flicks, but this one was okay in my book.
Day of the Dead will be released on DVD on September 9, 2008 at major retailers across Canada.