Day of the Dead (1985 – 2008 comparative)

Now giving Day of the Dead the same half assed treatment.

ROMERO! Back once again with the undead Master.
So, we’re still in the world of NotLD and DotD (That being Dawn of the Dead), some undisclosed time after the events of Dawn, in another undisclosed bunker somewhere underneath.. well somewhere, one of the last remnants of humanity are holed up, though we can safely assume there are other pockets of survivors out there but Day of the Dead is set within this bunker where soldiers and scientists are working together for their very lives.
Only the alliance of the two is very stressed, from supplies running low to the ever increasing amounts of undead pounding at the gates and even the lack of fuel for their helicopter, tensions raise until the military personnel start throwing their weight around, despite a lack of any actual authority over the scientific personnel.
During their experiments, the scientific members of the group have been taking the undead and testing their ability to learn in an attempt to turn the undead into a useful source of labour.
The arguments between the group rise until the soldiers attempt to take over the complex, at which time the undead number are unleashed causing a zombie riot of mega proportions.
During the riot the trained zombie ends up breaking out, a trio of friendly personnel manage to escape only to…

Okay, so I didn’t go into depth over the plot, it’s basically a tale of how things can go drastically wrong after the outbreak, even when we have found somewhere to hide, somewhere we are safe the differences within us divides us.
It is a continuation of the earlier themes of unification or destruction, once again showing us that even when we have no longer any real division, we are very good at creating enemies even when we are among friends.

One of the notable examples of progression of the zombie genre are spotted early on, as Doctor Logan proudly shows off his trained zombie crudely named “Bub” using items from his lifetime such as a razor, a telephone and an unloaded gun, though the acts are dubbed as mere “tricks” the scene shows a pivotal moment in Romero’s continued Universe, though he has hinted that the undead still retain fragments of memories from their life, this is the first time it has been conclusively shown that life does not end completely when a human turns zombie.

Okay, I will level with you, despite loving 1985’s Day of the Dead, I am struggling as the general “hopeless” atmosphere in Romero’s work has not changed only gotten worse, but what ever you might look down at the story over, it is significantly better than what is to come.

Day of the Dead, 2008 edition.
Starring Mena Suvari as a tough talking Marine who happens to be dispatched to her home town the same weekend of a zombie outbreak, everyone turns, she manages to grab her brother from the local hospital (where he took their mother who is infected) and they, an infected soldier and someone else manages to escape to an underground bunker from where the outbreak originated…

Okay, so this movie is entirely different, the effects are terribly low budget and the plot doesn’t really make much sense, let me explain.
The idea to remake Day of the Dead using an entirely different plot makes little sense, even less sense when we consider that new Of the Dead movies have been made, if the story line had been considered that strong then surely it would have been used to make an entirely new movie and not this.
The choice of Mena Suvari as lead actress in this movie was such a bad choice of casting, despite her strong performances in previous films, Mena is not the typical choice for female army personnel, she seems dwarfed by her uniform and comes across more as a teenager playing army than a serious soldier, both a bad case of casting and a bad choice of role for Ms Suvari.
The character names in the 2008 remake are the same as the original.
The vegetarian zombie Bud doesn’t eat meat, being kept during the adventure as a pet zombie, akin to the originals trained zombies.
The animation shown during zombie transformation looks like the sort of effects Uwe Boll would employ, not to mention zombies crawling over the fucking ceiling.
The idea of the scientist “super zombies” seems to counter the established and coming conventions of the Romero universe.

The only real connection 2008 has to 1985 (apart from the character names) is that the climax of the second is a similar location to the first, in all other sense the Day of the Dead 2008 is a terrible zombie movie that abuses Romero’s legacy.

Day of the Dead 1985 scores a respectable seven zombie soldiers out of ten.
Day of the Dead 2008 scores a generous one point five out of ten.

See the original, avoid the remake, unless you’re a hardcore zombie addict.

Originally written on a previous incarnation of Geekenbrau.
Content remains identical however article titles have been changed.


I am Silent, part time programmer and full time narcissist, gamer, geek and man on a mission.

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