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The concluding part of George A. Romero's cult horror trilogy opens with the undead roaming the planet freely. The living have been forced underground, where they make their base in a hidden missile depot, helping with the experiments of scientist Doctor Logan (Richard Liberty), who hopes to domesticate the zombies. However, the military faction of the human survivors favour a more direct approach, and with food stocks becoming ever more depleted, they decide to take action. What folllows is the final showdown between the forces of the living and the armies of the dead.
Day of the Dead, chapter three of George Romero's mighty zombie trilogy, has big footsteps to follow. Night of the Living Dead was a classic that revitalised a certain corner of the cinema, and Dawn of the Dead was nothing short of epic. Day of the Dead, however, has always been regarded as a comedown compared to those twin peaks--and perhaps it is. But on its own terms, this is an awfully effective horror movie, made with Romero's customary social satire and cinematic vigour--when a "retrained" zombie responds to the "Ode to Joy", the film is in genuinely haunting territory. The story is set inside a sunken military complex, where Army and medical staff, supposedly working on a solution to the zombie problem, are going crazy (strongly foreshadowing the final act of 28 Days Later). Tom Savini's make-up effects could make even hardcore gore fans tear off their own heads in amazement. --Robert HortonSee all Product description
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In a masterful opening scene we meet Sarah (Lori Cardille), a tough scientist trapped underground with army psychos, including Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) and Miguel (Anthony Dileo Jr.), fellow doctors Logan (Richard Liberty) and Fisher (John Amplas), helicopter pilot John (Terry Alexander) and radio operator Bill (Jarlath Conroy). Tensions rise as Logan pushes for more "specimens"; nicknamed Dr. Frankenstein, he's been studying the zombies' cognition. They keep a herd sectioned off and try "domesticating" them with strange tests.
Though the army guys are typical jarheads, a la James Cameron's films, the scientists aren't spotless. As cold as he is, Rhodes has a point; Logan and Fisher happily risk his men for their experiments then repay them by defiling their remains. Real conflict occurs between a quest for knowledge and a need to survive. In this respect you could argue that Day is also the darkest Dead film. It isn't as nihilistic as Night or as epic as Dawn, but it provokes troubling thoughts. Who's the real villain here, Rhodes or Dr. Frankenstein? Standing outside the fray are Bill and John, who waxes philosophical. This of course is a tradition; each film has a wise black man and a sympathetic white woman. Sarah, meanwhile, is the strongest and most likeable Dead heroine.
The soldiers' acting can be ropey. A couple of goons played by Gary Howard Klar and Ralph Marrero don't have too much screen time, thank God, then there's the line "we need his ass", delivered with an emphasis on "ass" which makes it sound like a Freudian slip. I also don't know if Rhodes speaks more than he screams.
Despite these minor flaws, however, Day of the Dead is a perfect genre pic. Its lurid colours and grainy shots make it look like a sleazoid slasher (The Mutilator, Sleepaway Camp), but it's a smarter, scarier story.
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