Day of the Dead (2008)

DoDR1

A small Colorado town experiences an outbreak of what the army is assuring is a flu type virus, even after they quarantine the entire town. Unfortunately for the town their “flu” bug turns out to be an attack of the undead variety. Now a small group of survivors must try to escape with their lives after the entire town, including the army sent to protect them, become infected and turn into ravenous, fast moving zombies. Loosely based on the original George A. Romero film of the same name.

This movie is completely misleading and really makes me kind of jealous. I’ve harped on fast moving zombies enough at this point so I’m just going to kind of leave it alone at this point. What I am going to harp on is zombie kind being shown as fucking spider zombies. It’s like a bite from a zombie is the same thing as getting bitten from the spider that turned Peter Parker into Spiderman. They scale walls, run across ceilings, and seem able to jump amazing distances without much effort. Fast moving zombies are one thing, zombies with superpowers are something else entirely. I can only imagine how much easier things would be if I had that kind of power, trapping my dinner would be a cinch. Also scaring kids, scaring kids would be really easy too and really fun as well. Damn, I need to go find me a spider zombie now.

Our story starts out in an idyllic Colorado town that’s just being quarantined because of the outbreak of some new type of flu virus. People are sent to the local hospital to be treated and hopefully released. At least that’s what they think. In truth the army is once again trying their hand at making an army of the living dead. I would think that after the amount of movies made on the subject they might be a little safer with their new weapon, but what do I know. Chaos ensues when the virus starts to take it’s toll inside the hospital and spreads out from there and after only a few hours the town is reduced to only a few living humans. A small band of army officials, including their one zombie ally, escape the hospital and attempt to get out of town, stopping on the way at the local radio station (to rescue the group leader’s brother), the army checkpoint (over run by army zombies with guns), and a secret laboratory (guess what happened there).

DoDR3

{They don’t look like the surviving type}

All right so there are some good points to this movie, and some bad points to this movie. Overall it’s not awful, but it isn’t great either. In fact at times it gets down right awful. I won’t say that this is the worst zombie flick I’ve ever seen, but they could have improved on more than a few things. I want to say this was something made to make someone a quick buck, but it didn’t come across as that. It came across someone trying to make a lower budget, different version of Day of the Dead that just didn’t work. Though the smarter part of me knows that while I can believe that someone was trying to make a different version of Day of the Dead, they had to only go after the title for the sole purpose of misleading fans of the original film.

DoDR6

{Yeah, I want to scream thinking about the title too}

The good is some amazing gore. They did an incredible job with the effects for the film, and I was very impressed with both the make up and the bloody bits. Then there’s the action; you are never disappointed at the amount of action that takes place, and it is constantly a fight between the living and the dead from nearly start to finish. It really doesn’t drag out too much, keeping a good pace and never slowing down. The dialogue is fairly well written, and the set pieces are done well. They did a very good job of making a ruined city.

DoDR2

{Plus you get zombified Ving Rhames}

One small thing for the fan of the original is the addition of Bud the zombie. For those of you who havn’t seen the original Day of the Dead, Bud was an attempt to domesticate a zombie that actually turns out pretty well with Bud the zombie becoming the equivalent of a zombie puppy dog. In this movie it is one of the army officials who once bitten retains his crush on the female army commander and protects her from other zombies. It was a pleasant if albeit a little too sappy. I think the biggest problem was he was far too nice (he would never eat meat because he was a vegetarian in life). With the original Bud he is still a zombie, albeit one that is slightly more under control. He’ll eat meat within a heartbeat if given half the chance, but he listened to orders instead of his instincts. This version of Bud would never harm a human, preferring to devour his own kind (gross). They should have made him at least a bit meaner.

DoDR4

{He just looks so sad}

Onto the bad, the story is really awful and has been done way too many times. While the dialogue is fairly well written the actors reading it don’t do that great of a job. The zombies were the things that upset me the most as discussed towards the beginning of the review. They seemed more like mutant spider supermen then zombies. They run up walls, they leap up into the air, and they run faster then a gazelle (maybe even faster then a speeding bullet). The zombies weren’t really zombies. They were the worst thing about this movie. Being dead shouldn’t give you super powers. Then there’s the fact that the moment they turn all their skin boils and bubbles up for no reason in particular. I’m not going to say it looked bad, just didn’t make sense. Of course since we’re talking about spider zombies I guess not much has to make sense in this movie. Also the fact that while it’s called Day of the Dead and marketed as if it were a remake of the original, it didn’t have much in common other than the name. It was almost ridiculous that they tried to pawn this off as a remake when it was so clearly not.

DoDR5

{Spiderzombie, Spiderzombie, does whatever a Spiderzombie can}

I’d almost recommend this one for a rental or a free watch if it weren’t for the title and the marketing. If you’re a zombie fan and can get past some of the more ridiculous elements it’s not all the bad, but in good conscious I can’t recommend a film that so completely lied to anyone hoping to see a remake of Day of the Dead. It’s nowhere near a Day of the Dead remake, and the filmmakers should have given it a different title and not mislead fans of the original. For that reason alone, I’m going to recommend that you not watch this one, if for any other reason to teach the filmmakers a lesson.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Steve Miner (Lake Placid, Warlock)

Starring: Mena Suvari (American Beauty, Spun), Nick Cannon (Drumline, Love Don’t Cost a Thing), and Stark Sands (Flags of our Fathers, Jack Rabbit)

Released By: Millennium Films and Taurus Entertainment Company

Release Year: 2008

Release Type: Straight to Video

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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