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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Compared to the other two films in Romero's original trilogy (joined by a new trio in the last five short years) it is Day that gets the least praise from fans and critics alike. It's not as revolutionary as Night Of The Living Dead was and lacks the immediate social resonance of Dawn... Still, it's a film that rewards repeated viewing, and while certainly the least commercially viable of the three, it is also the most thought provoking, and in many ways, entertaining.

Where Day... appears to have let people down is in its uncompromisingly nihilistic approach. There is nothing of the fun of Dawn... held over for this picture. From the locations and cinematography to the methods of ghoul dispatch, there is a touch of depression to this movie, no sign of anything resembling hope. Instead, Romero's focus is on the development of his creations. In the first truly progressive film in the series, he explores an idea only prodded at in the Dawn...finale- the living dead have memory, yes, but how can this be exploited? The plot of the movie sees a group of twelve holed up underground in a vaguely alluded-to research mission. The scientists are working away at increasingly risky endeavours while their assigned military keepers are dropping off, a point of contention with their leader-by-default, Captain Rhodes. While Dr. `Frankenstein' Logan toils away at training the zombies, Rhodes' and his men's behaviour begs the question if society is really worth saving at all.

The film is built around a tight group of involving performances by turns frenzied and subdued. Joe Pilato is a fury of constantly simmering discontent, a military man whose frustrations and inadequacies prove lethal to his co-inhabitants. Pilato hams it up in arguably the most memorable role in any of Romero's canon. Support comes from the late Richard Liberty, chewing scenery as the one scientist determined to tame the living dead, with Sherman Howard (or Howard Sherman) as his primary subject and the first (and only?) zombie icon, Bub. Lori Cardille keeps the feminists at bay with the first strong lead in a Romero zombie film, and Anthony Dileo and Gary Klar offer up turns manic and macho respectively. Terry Alexander and Jarlath Conroy entertain as a Caribbean and an Irishman duo living in a Winnebago dubbed The Ritz in the heart of the mine.

By this, his ninth film, Romero was a master of his craft: gone are the editing problems of earlier movies (though the constant energy remains), and his countering of ideas and action is expertly handled. Scenes in which zombies must be collared for research are as tense as anything he's directed, as is a trek through the mines for our outcast heroes. True to form in this period, his writing is as sharp as a tack- the characters' interactions are scripted sufficiently to bolster the many themes of the film.

One thing which I've learned to appreciate over the years is producer's John Harrison's score for the film, which acts as a strong counterweight to the film's gloomy aesthetic- it's dated, yes, but it's also full of rich themes and performs as actual film music, unlike Goblin's superb work on Dawn..., which was simply a prog masterpiece stuffed into a movie.

Savini steps up the gore from Dawn... (though sadly does not star himself), working with a bigger team of professionals. Thriller seems to have had a sizeable influence on the makeup effects here, though Michael Jackson was never seen enjoying as much grue as Romero's carnivorous hordes. The squeamish need not apply, as after 90 minutes of abstinence we are treated to the visual of comeuppance in a baptism of gore. My only complaint concerns the false teeth used on too many of the unlucky dead- a little too kids-at-Hallowe'en for my liking.

Day Of The Dead is not at first an easy watch, particularly in comparison to its joyous, comic-book-in-motion predecessor, but it is a smarter film and can easily hold its own with Dawn... or Martin as a candidate for the director's best work.

It doesn't quite benefit as much from its HD upgrade as Dawn... did on Arrow's Blu-Ray release for that film, but it certainly looks better than their 2005 DVD. The image is free from dirt (save one or two flecks) and grain is absent without sacrificing clarity. The bookending shots of sunny countryside look marvelous, but the majority of the film that's set in the bunker underground isn't much to look at, so the HD isn't, to use the often-favoured term, glorious. No other artifacts are there to observe. Overall, a near spotless transfer of a film that may not have deserved the overhaul (Arrow recently scrapped their planned BD release of Martin due to insufficient source materials).

The sound mix is perfectly fine too, but again, not much to write home about. We're talking Romero, not Bay, so expect plenty or clear dialogue and the odd blast of gunfire. The surround is effective (one scene where an otherwise unheard zombie replies to Alexander's raised voice in the distance chilled me to the core), and the score doesn't overtake the dialogue or SFX. A perfunctory track, then.

The new extras for this edition turn the spotlight on Pilato, in a 50 minute candid interview (fun if familiar anecdotes) and a 17 minute piece following his Q&A Tour in Ireland and Scotland. The Audio Collections Of Richard Liberty and the Wampum Mine promo video on the second disc are taken from the US edition, and this is their first time on UK DVD. The 'The Many Days Of Day Of The Dead' features a decent selection of interviews but only about four cast members show up. More interesting is an ancient onset feature about creature effects. Also included are trailers, galleries, and the effects team commentary from the previous Arrow release.

Anyone that owns the Dawn... BD can expect the same level of quality from this release- the matching packaging features four options for cover art, an interesting essay, a double sided poster and an well-written but averagely-drawn comic inside a kind of windowbox slipcase. Really beautiful and well worth an upgrade, Arrow's latest release confirms their dedication to cult movies and this fan-friendly package is the best release of the movie yet.
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on 8 December 2004
What a film!!!!! The first scene where we get the first taste of the claustrophobic atmosphere that surrounds the film is brilliant. The scene makes you jump out of your seat and you know you're in for a movie that'll be full of surprises.
The film has plenty of clever dialogue and, of course, plenty of gore (thanks to the brilliant special effects and the make-up skills of Tom Savini) . It might not be as long or have as many gore scenes compared to the classic Dawn of the Dead but is still enjoyable and terrifying at the same time.
There is dialogue that will make you laugh or get you thinking philosophically and dialogue that will keep you guessing as to what might happen to the survivors in the film. The characters are cleverly drawn together and the zombies are scary looking, bar a few who look like they having a day out in the studio!
You'll be reaching for the sick bag when you see the gory scenes like the one where one of the characters gets his "chest-flesh" bitten off by a zombie; the flesh, as it is bitten off, looks like the stretchy cheese you see on a pizza that hangs on the side of your mouth! You'll see plenty of body parts torn apart and eaten and plenty of zombies that look like they seriously need to see their dentist, as well as their dermatologist!
Romero keeps you guessing as to who are the real bad guys (only one woman not a zombie in the film and she's a goodie!) and you only find out in the last few scenes.
If you've seen the previous two Dead films and not Day then you'll love this film (If your're a real fan you'll realise that the actor who plays the Army Boss is the guy who was in Dawn of the Dead as one of the "cops" that escapes in a boat before the main characters fly off in the helicoptor)
Top marks for everything then to Romero for this third installment of the Dead Trilogy.
Buy the film! It's a true classic!
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on 4 November 2012
In my opinion Day of the Dead is the best of George A. Romero's Dead trilogy. Night was pure suspense, Dawn a satire, and Day a science v. nature parable. We learn what drives the zombies while also wondering if we should; the studies shown raise moral questions which are fun to chew. If it's the smartest, however, Day of the Dead also the goriest. There's more blood, entrails and dismemberment here than in the first two films put together.
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 November 2013
Recently I've been upgrading my collection of what I think of as 'Modern Classic Horror Films' to BD. As Kim Newman suggests in his book 'Nightmare Movies', the post-Gothic, Modern Horror film appeared with 'Night of the Living Dead' in 1968. For me, by the end of the 1980s, the genre was in terminal decline, so the kind of films I've been purchasing for maybe the third time has included the aforementioned Romero classic (which looks fabulous on the official BD), 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', 'Halloween', the works of Dario Argento between 1975-1982 and the like.

I saw 'Day of the Dead' at the cinema when it first appeared. While it doesn't have the immediate iconic appeal of 'Night' and 'Dawn', I've always felt it is a great film and easily the most consistent and even of the initial 'Dead' trilogy (I won't mention the second trilogy). The film is of a piece, flowing seamlessly from one scene to the next, with superior effects and music to its predecessors, with no jarring moments - for me some of the library music of 'Night' ruins the consistency of the film, while to my way of thinking, there is not yet a definitive cut of 'Dawn' - the ideal version for me would be a revision of the extended cut that incorporated the additional thrills and violence of the European cut and featuring only the music by Goblin, albeit pumped up in the mix...and all of this on bluray in hidef, DTS 5.1, naturally. I can dream.

'Day of the Dead', however, can't really be improved, except in terms of quality of presentation. The Arrow UK 3 disc edition incorporates all the special features from the previous US divimax edition DVD on 2 DVDs (plus the film on DVD) and of course, a BD disc.

Arrow are by now well known for delivering inconsistent results on BD. To be fair, you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear, but when a film as technically proficient as Argento's 'Tenebrae' ends up with a worse transfer than Fulci's 'Zombi 2' (aka 'Zombie Flesh eaters' something is amiss - not to dis the Fulci, it's a cracking feature and my enjoyment of it has been improved enormously by Arrow's stunning transfer, despite the 6 seconds of missing footage at the start of the film), you know that their quality control needs questioning. who is in charge at the office, Arrow?

The BD of 'Day' looks better than the divimax DVD, but is a disappointment: so many of the well-lit sequences seem very soft-focussed, especially in the backgrounds, while the foregrounds sometimes fail too - in numerous scenes the actors' faces lack the sharpness one expects from good cinematography and proper bluray mastering. The darker scenes in the mine are absolutely fine and the gore sequences are pretty amazing. Although this is a big improvement on the DVD versions - the blues have the kind of steeliness only seen on DVD and theatrically - I still feel a better transfer must be possible. No way were the actors' faces out of focus when filmed...

Overall, this BD doesn't approach the quality of 'Suspiria' and Arrow's 'Zombie Flesh Eaters' - and remember, these were Italian films both made some years before 'Day of the Dead'. Another worthy comparison is the Blue Underground BD of 'the Living Dead at Manchester Morgue', which looks amazing -and this was a cheapish film made in 1974 (and to my mind, the best living dead movie of them all after 'Night').

Finally, I'd urge fans to seek out the recent double CD reissue of the soundtrack - not listed on amazon - from the USA, as it's a stunning bit of work and massively underrated.
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on 2 March 2001
Despite being dismissed by many critics as a mere excercise in splatter, Day Of The Dead is, put simply, the best zombie film ever made; in some ways surpassing even Romero's own achievements on the other classic films in the series, Night Of the Living Dead and Dawn Of the Dead. It is a much more mature and intelligent film than the others in the series, and has loftier goals.
When the film opens, humanity is effectively lost, it's few representatives outnumbered as they are by several hundred thousand to one in favour of the walking dead. Only a few scientists and their military protectors survive, huddled into a missile silo in Florida, where they work to find some sort of defense against the marauding threat. It is of course hopeless, but there may be a glimmer of hope left, if they can find a way to domesticate the zombies.
How many horror films have the guts to start the film by saying, 'It's all over. There ain't no going back'? This one sure does.
Exceptional writing and directing from George A. Romero, gruesome effects from the maestro, Tom Savini and wonderful acting from Lori Cardille, Joe Pilato, Gary Klar and the late Richard Liberty this is the horror DVD that no self-respecting fan of the genre can afford to be without.
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on 19 November 2011
There's no denying it, George Romero's original Dead trilogy is the greatest and most influential trilogies in all of horror, or at the very least the zombie genre. DAY OF THE DEAD is perhaps the goriest of the lot, with so many great characters, zombies, story and blood and guts. This Arrowdrome DVD is perfect for those in need for some zombie action whose wallets are slightly empty. The quality of this DVD is top notch, with a very interesting commentary, a couple of featurettes, an informative booklet and awesome reversible artwork. It's a great package especially at the price it is!

Highly recommened for those you've yet to see DAY OF THE DEAD and dont want to spend too much of their hard earned cash.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 November 2015
Day of the Dead is a great Zombie film with some gruesome and gory special effects.

This is a brilliant release from Arrow and my personal best. You get three discs, a revisable cover.

You all so get a nice little booklet and the Blu-ray quality is stunning it gets a HUGE!! 5/5.
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VINE VOICEon 3 July 2015
Really loved this film. If you enjoyed Dawn of the Dead this is the perfect accompanyment. Romero is an absolute genius filmmaker.

As more and more dead have risen since Dawn the only way to stop them is to figure out why its happening. Sadly that would involve humans cooperating, something the dead seem to be much better at. The film is an exciting thrill ride that draws from the classic Dawn but improves on it in some areas. Its much more gruesome and some of the effects are really quite impressive. Remember this is pre-CGI which makes it even more impressive.

This Arrow release like so many of their other releases is spot on. The picture quality is great and so is the sound. Thouroughly recommended for a great nights entertainment.
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on 6 October 2007
Anchor bay have always been a good label but now the foray into the world of HD for them on blu ray. Day of the dead is one of the first releases on the labels initial hd output and its a welcome treat.

Don't be expecting a transfer akin to the blockbusters of the last couple of years as this is a 20 yr old low budget horror but this is a nice upgrade ove r the standard dvd.

As you would expect the daytime scenes look the best,depth to the image is noticably better as are the colours. The bunker scenes come off the worse but still lokk better than dvd. The tunnel sequence near the end looked alot better..blacks were rock solid..my old dvd had a washed out black look but here looks fab.

Great film and decent if not mindblowing hd transfer make this a good package.
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on 20 April 2014
I encountered a problem with this disc which turned out to be the result of a faulty pressing. I returned the disc to the seller as per their instructions but am yet to receive my refund.
I was able, during the troubleshooting process, to create a watchable copy (now deleted) of the main feature, so can offer this brief review:
The picture quality is fantastic. I was torn between this and the Anchor Bay BR release, mainly because the Shout! Factory release has a distinctly warmer colour tone, but I'm glad I chose this one. The colour tone makes the characters look naturally tanned, whilst the gore gains a great deal more impact because of the more visceral colour of the blood. The image detail is fantastic throughout.
Unfortunately, the audio has a small flaw: sibilance seems exaggerated and can cause "s" sounds to be overly sharp and to squash other sounds. It doesn't distract from the film as a whole, however.
Definitely recommended to fans and newcomers alike.
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