What can be said about George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead, the third and final part of his original zombie trilogy which hasn’t already been said?
The film is a bona fide classic of any genre. It’s well acted, brilliantly written and directed and has a superb hopeless grim tone running throughout the film. This movie is dark, really dark but there are glints of light attempting to shine through. Those glints are mainly from Lori Cardille’s Sarah the only woman in the bunker where some of the last survivors of the zombie holocaust are holed up. Sarah is a one tough lady who gives Ellen Ripley a run for her money in a film just oozing with alpha males including Joe Pilato’s deranged Captain Rhodes who is one of cinemas most frightening individuals. There is a little bit of humour mainly from the token mad scientist ‘Frankenstein’ played beautifully by Richard Liberty and his zombie specimen Bub. Thankfully this lightens the heavyweight depressive tone but considering the situation they’ll in, it’s certainly no picnic.
The make-up effects by Tom Savini still hold up today and there are some seriously icky and gross moments. All shot live on set, none of that hokey CGI here.
Day of the Dead is still my favourite zombie film because of the great character development and the really depressing tone. Umbrella Entertainment have rammed this package with stacks of BLOODY extras (cheap joke!!) and gets an extra thumbs up for using the original theatrical art on the cover instead of some photoshopped non-sensical tat.
Still brilliant all these years later and don’t even think about watching the appalling re-imaginings and that terrible Day of the Dead 2, which was a total abomination.