Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This is not the original Day of the Dead, nor is it that inexplicable "sequel" Day of the Dead 2: Contagium. This is the remake of original, which I guess also kind of makes it a sequel to the remake of Dawn of the Dead. It's got the fast zombies like that movie did, and they both star Ving Rhames, although he plays a different role in each. So maybe they just want you to think that this is a sequel.
Romero's original Day of the Dead is (much like his recent Diary of the Dead) one of his worst movies, made somewhat entertaining by Romero's flair for zombie action and graphic violence. This remake, by a guy who did some of the Friday the 13th movies, is I guess in someways more competent and more watchable than Romero's film, but it's so ho-hum in all respects that there is nothing that sticks out about it. I guess I wasn't bored, but I don't think there was a single standout scene or idea in the whole thing. It's the very definition of mediocre. Romero's film sucked, but it at least showed ambition and vision.
So we got the fast zombies here (seems unavoidable post-28 Days Later) and I'm not really a fan of them to begin with, but here they're handled especially poorly. The director uses this awful effect, I don't know if the footage is sped up or if they are under-cranking it or whatever, but they move in this artificially fast manner, and do weird impossible shit like jumping ten feet in the air and climbing on ceilings. I think they're trying to convey a manic energy in these scenes, but it just looks retarded.
As a remake, it doesn't have much to do with the original. There are zombies, and soldiers, and a guy name Rhoads, and a zombie that takes orders, so they at least saw the original. But otherwise it's just a generic zombie movie with a stock cast of (unlikable) characters, it's violent without having any memorable special effects, and it's competently but ineffectively shot and staged. The final result feels more like a Sci-Fi channel original movie than something you'd actually pay to see (oops)... in fact, it feels like it could be one of those lame Return of the Living Dead sequels Sci-Fi showed a few years back. And now that I think about it, that's the perfect criticism for this movie: it's like an average made for TV movie.