Day of the Dead (1985) in Pictures
This is a retrospective analysis of Romero’s Day of the Dead in pictures. This is a movie I like a lot, even though it’s way over-the-top and campy in places. I think it makes up for that with good dialogue and interesting situations. The story and Romero’s usual dark analogies and symbols are awesome too. Here are some pictures that show what I mean.
This first picture is from the beginning of the movie. Sara is dreaming of a calendar and the endless days spent in isolation. She stares at this calendar forever, lost in a trance, which probably symbolizes her monotonous life, stuck in an underground base.
John and Sara stand in front of the helicopter as they discuss their fate and the latest death. They discuss just leaving. The helicopter frames their discussion perfectly, as if taunting them. Where can they go? Nowhere, that’s where. It’s hopeless.
This next picture is of Miguel after he screws up at the zombie trap. He is arguing with Sara. Notice he is leaning back against the calendar, which we’ve already said symbolizes hopelessness and futility. This is the way Miguel feels.
This picture is from the argument with Rhodes at the gathering. This scene is an exposition dump disguised expertly as a team meeting and a tense fight. It is also a conflict between the two opposing philosophies amongst the characters. The military guys want to flee and the scientists want to keep working, so it’s pretty much a battle of apathy and indignance versus intelligence and nonconformity. The hippy helicopter pilot probably best embodies nonconformity.
Bub is the perfect antithesis to his buddies. He’s an intelligent zombie. And he’s also the paradox the Doctor has been looking for: a zombie who can be trained and won’t eat us. Too bad he’s unique.
This picture shows part of the zombie breakout, or break-in, as it were. The football zombie is funny. Could he be a youngster who was killed on the field? Football also symbolizes the endless pursuit of the characters trapped by the invading zombies. Too bad they can’t call time-out.
The death of Rhodes is probably the most over-the-top death I’ve ever seen. He yells at the zombies until the end. Notice two guys with helmets attacking Rhodes. Are they military?
The characters end the movie on the beach. Some of them are fishing and enjoying the freedom of the outside, breaking free of the confines of the underground base. They are happy even though they have not much to look forward to. However, even a philosophical victory is a victory.