#31in31 2018: “Day of the Dead” (2008)

“Hey – what happened to fuckface?”

Story: It’s the zombie apocalypse again y’all! And the military are doing just fine thank you very much. Oh who are we kidding? It’s a shit show everywhere. Except for the zombies. A few seem to…understand. Great. Man, it sucks being a first responder during the zombie apocalypse, having to check out things you should be running away from.

Scares: Not many, especially if you’re a fan of the orignal. Or have ever seen a zombie movie in your life.

Splat factor: Romero remake with straight-to-video FX.

Closing scene “shocker”?: A jump scare, but no stupid twist.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Remake of the 1985 original. A part of the Romero Zombiverse, I guess.

Trick or Treat?: Yeah, this is a remake of the orignal Day of the Dead. And this one’s like lightning. Shit hits the fan at 22 minutes in. (Well, there are noshed on bodies earlier, but it’s a quick peek.) Unlike the original Day, this one shows the start of the apocalypse, rather than having survivors try to deal. Basically this is a remake In Name Only.

While this is definitely inferior to the original Day, there’s bits of enjoyment here. There’s an Invisible Voyage trip through a victim’s bloodstream after infection. It’s a great look at how the virus sprints through someone’s system. Nice touch that I haven’t seen very often. Fast zombies too. They’re also able to soar through the air – jumping is an understatement – at their victims. That soaring is hilarious, btw. Very Underworld. They’re also smart. They drag victims away, hit the ceiling tiles to try to make living humans above fall down, and some even understand speech/recognize those they know. And hey – they explode ala vamps in BtVS when they’re on fire. POOF! And of course, since this is Day, get ready for Bub! It’s a cool spin on this beloved character, and I can’t hate it. Not even a little bit.

But…OH COME ON – from chatting and coughing to masses of weeping ulcers all over their bodies in ten seconds flat? I call bullshit. Especially as they’re fast zombies – if their bodies break down so fast that they become a mass of sores like *that*, how are they able to move so fast? Sorry. I didn’t mean to bring science up in here. But the outbreak and zombification is so obviously a pastiche of the creators favorite monster movies that my mind started to drift. It happens to me sometimes, when I’m disappointed as hell.

The cast seems game at first, but as things go on, the phoning-it-in gets stronger and stronger. Nick Cannon does his best Eddie Murphy impression as the soldier who Just Doesn’t Want To Be Here. He’s thisclose to caricature, but I’ll give him a pass this time. Mina Suvari does a decent job with the Final Girl material she’s given, and Ving Rhames is always fun to watch, even though he’s not onscreen nearly enough.

This movie was direct to DVD, and it’s definitely got that cash-in vibe going on. It feels like some rich college kid got a bunch of stars to act in his college graduation film project. It’s not complete garbage, but it’s not very good either. It’s just something to pass the time while everyone decides what other scary movie to watch. Best seen if you’re only half-watching. I can’t decide if this is a waste of director Steve Miner (F13 Part 2), or if he was just phoning it in for a paycheck. Ditto screenwriter Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination). As it stands, this Day is for fans who already know the basics of the original, wanna put on some background noise, and don’t care if a movie seems thrown together.

Score: 2 out of 5 pumpkins.

About Denise

Professional nerd. Lover of licorice.
This entry was posted in 31 in 31, In Horror, Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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