We all knew the Day of the Dead remake was going to be horrible. Dawn
was a fluke, we all knew it in our hearts…. and the fact that no one involved with
that film was working on this one was a little distressing. Then the planned theatrical release for Day fizzled
out and it hit dvd a little while ago with the ridiculous cover on the
right that looks more like a Garbage Pail Kids card than anything that
happens in the movie. Turns out that our fears were well founded. This
movie’s a pile, not even worth watching it for free on Netflix like I
did. You will get angry.
One thing the Dawn of the Dead remake
did fantastically was to throw you right into the shit from the
beginning. Think what you will of the film, but there’s no way you can
deny that the opening scene isn’t as close to goddamn perfect as you can
get. It’s simply one of the best openings to a zombie flick, ever,
showcasing all the kind of wanton destruction and chaos that they always wanted but never had the budget for.
Here in Day you
know you’re in trouble from the beginning, as right from the boring
credits sequence you’re thrust into an equally boring scene with
young teens in an abandoned building attempting to slowdance to
pop-punk and explore the shadowy place while strange noises and
“scary” MTV-cuts abound. Meanwhile, Ving Rhames and Mena Suvari (playing a Army
Corporal who doesn’t like guns. hah!) are nearby, in charge of
blocking off a road and fending off angry drivers during a “military
Boring and totally ordinary, am I?
We go back and forth from the two camps for a bit. What does
one have to do with the other besides being part of the same terrible
script? Well Suvari’s brother’s one of those teens, and they eventually
meet up to try to add some backstory to the boring, one note characters. Oh yeah, and the whole town’s infected
with a flu that gives you nosebleeds before turning you into a zombie.
There’s the usual zombie chowdown scenes, the usual headshots, even a
secret military lab and an experiment gone wrong. There’s absolutely
nothing you haven’t seen done before in a zombie movie, and better.
Then again, it’s from the same writer who penned the Final Destination series. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the Final Destination movies
(they probably top my list of guilty pleasure movies… especially the
second) but no one’s watching those for the characters or plot.
There is none. You’re just watching them to see people get killed in
There’s really no reason this could be considered a remake, anyway.
Besides Ving Rhames’ character being named Rhodes, and the concept of a
thinking zombie (named Bud instead of Bub) there’s nothing else to
suggest the director has even seen the original film. The first half of
the movie is a stupid slasher flick, the second a stupid action movie.
If you think I’m kidding about the slasher film comparison, the first
kill of the film involves a sex-hungry teen getting separated from her
friends and eaten… off screen. Since when do zombie movies do things
In fact, the zombies don’t even appear till 23 minutes into the movie.
Most of the beginning seems to be trying to make you wonder about
what’s going on, in fact. Oh no! Everyone’s got a mysterious flu! That
nose bleed sure doesn’t look good! Mena Suvari’s investigating houses
with strangely mutilated corpses! What could be happening to this town?
I’d like to take this time to direct the filmmakers’ attention to the title of the movie. It’s called Day of the Dead.
WE KNOW IT’S FUCKING ZOMBIES! Christ, did they think buildup was going
to work here? Was anyone sitting on the edge of their couch wondering
what these poor people were infected with and what was going to happen
to them? This is why Dawn got right into it without any nonsense.
It doesn’t help that almost every part of Day is completely inept…
just look at the casting. Whoever decided Mena Suvari would make a
convincing soldier needs to think long and hard about their life.
Sorry, but a petite woman’s never going to make a convincing badass,
unless the girl happens to be Japanese and in a schoolgirl outfit. Drumline‘s
Nick Cannon shows up to help the script set relations between black and white folks back about
40 years…. because we all know black people only talk about their
race or why shit is gangsta. “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”
As for Ving Rhames, well, thankfully he’s only in the movie for
around 5 minutes. They allow him to bark a few orders and take down a few zombies before
being eaten. Oops, spoiler!
The worst part is that he gets dragged off screen while bleeding CGI
blood from his hand. Not exactly a “CHOKE ON THEM!” moment, if you know
what I mean. He then
comes back as a legless zombie who tries fruitlessly to bite Suvari
while barking like a dog.
Oh, and you people who hate fast zombies? They’ve got their running
shoes on here. In fact, it’s not enough that they run, they actually
speed up the film when they’re attacking, which makes it look
absolutely hysterical… almost exactly like those hideously outdated
shots in Nosferatu
of Orlock’s carriage bustling down the lane. The zombies also scream
like crying children that have just seen the wrong end of their
father’s belt (the non-sexy end). It makes it instantly laughable.
Also, you might not know this, but this movie exposes the truth of what
happens when zombies get set on fire. Their head explodes and they burn
to ashes like a vampire in Blade, natch.
If you’re a horror fan you’re unfortunately used to characters making
stupid decisions, but here it gets worse and worse. Like when
one of the characters makes a speech about how one among them is
infected (in a scene reminiscent of the blood test scene in The Thing,
if every actor was a mongoloid) and then sees his mother outside in the
street and runs outside to let her in. I guess he forgot that they took
her to the hospital before because she was sick with the zombie flu.
There’s also a hysterical scene where our heroes are climbing through
air ducts in a hospital when the zombies notice them and start banging
on the ducts with mops. They manage to smash through it and Mena Suvari
falls down, and they all claw at her like Mexican children scrambling
for candy from a broken pinata. I shit you not.
“¡Suvari! ¡Suvari! ¡Ándele, ándele, arriba!”
Add in an absolutely ridiculous use of “smart” zombies, some Saw-style
quick, jerky edits, more cliches than you can shake your dick at
(“Wha-huh! Why’d the lights turn off all of a sudden!” *ZOMBIE
ATTACK!*), and you’ve got a mess of a movie with no redeemable moments.
It’s barely better than Day of the Dead 2: Contagium. Avoid this piece of shit.
Fully clothed fucking
2 corpses neatly stacked by zombies in a closet
1 Vegetarian Zombie
1 Big Bad Boss Zombie
Dozens of decapitations
1 super secret and easily stumbled upon military lab
Gallons of digital blood
The least believable female action star since Milla Jovovich