Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day Of The Dead (1985)

This is the least popular movie in George Romero’s original zombie trilogy, but I think it’s the second best for many reasons.

In Day Of The Dead, zombies outnumber humans 400,000 to 1. A mixed group of Soldiers and Scientists escaped to a bunker where they debate how to handle the situation. The soldiers, led my Captain Rhodes, want to take their chances and kill the zombies. The scientists, led by Dr. Logan, think it would be a wiser idea to domesticate the zombies, and begins experimenting on a zombie named Bub. The tension between the two groups is the highlight of the movie. Captain Rhodes is a memorable villain who threatens and abuses the entire group til the breaking point. This occurs when Rhodes discovers that Logan is using Bub as a pet and is rewarding him with the remains of a dead soldier. Rhodes shoots Logan and soon after the Zombies invade the base, killing nearly all the soldiers, including a gruesome death for Rhodes. Three people manage to escape and flee to a dessert island at the end of the movie.

The theme that humanity’s lust for power and our inability to agree is a greater threat than a zombie invasion is what really appealed to me. The scene where they groups are having a meeting and Rhodes threatens to shoot one of the scientists for didobeying him was, to me, was one of the most memorable and powerful ive ever seen. Some people point out that the characters in this movie are dark and inhumane, but I think most people who have been abused, censored or in any way exploited can relate to the characters confronted by Rhodes. These themes are also omnipresent in Heavy Metal and punk, and being a fan of both genres of music, I found myself fascinated by the plot.

The climax of this movie is also one of my favorite in the entire genre. The zombies storming the base was terrifying because the soldiers had nowhere to run and were cornered with the choice between suicide or being ripped apart by zombies. One soldier chose the former, shooting himself in the head, while Rhodes, who was shot by Bub, was brutally ripped apart by zombies. Still, the goriest scenes in the movie still occur n Dr. Logan’s office, where we see a zombie with his stoomach ripped open turn to his side and have all his guts fall on the floor.

Memorable characters, fantastic and gory special effects, and familiar themes make this one of my favorite horror movies of all time.

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