31 Days of Halloween #11 – Day of the Dead

Can anyone or anything top Dawn of the Dead?  I’m thinking George Romero already knew that.  He didn’t even try.  So in effect, we get this movie, the anti-Dawn of the Dead.  It has a slower pace, a quieter tone, and a more reflective quality.  The characters still can’t work together, but Day of Dead still has allegory and all the things we expect from Romero.

Why would anyone want to escape an underground bunker that is secure from the zombie threat outside? That’s the first question that ran through my head when thinking about this movie.  Why would anyone want to abandon the work towards a cure?  Hey, let’s go hang out on a completely unknown island in the wide open sea.  Great idea, idiots.  I guess maybe Paradise Island is a great idea when compared to darkness and confinement, when you’re thrown in together with a bunch of lunatics.

The cast is wacky and not at all subtle.  Richard Liberty plays the doctor, and his take is reserved compared to Joseph Pilato’s character, Captain Rhodes.  Rhodes is an absolute maniac.  It’s hard to believe a military guy would act as demonstrative as he does in the movie.  He doesn’t have a decent bone in his body, and that makes for a one-note character, which is bad.  Still, he makes for a great villain, and a good counterpoint to the scientists.  That’s pretty much the point of the movie, to show the opposing forces of science versus military, hope versus oppression.

The film’s message is its best feature.  It has several layers and the situation brings out obvious differences between the characters, and the movie’s allegory shows the need for communication in society.  The situation may represent the allegory of time, as in the representation that ‘time is fleeting’, which supports their motivation to ‘go somewhere else’ like Paradise Island.

Overall, I like this movie, though the over-the-top performances can be off-putting.  Still, there are many great scenes, and good characters, like Bub the zombie and Sarah.  The message is woven into the framework of the movie, which works as well as Dawn of the Dead, and it’s way better than most 80s fare, which is far more simplistic and straightforward.  Tom Savini does good work once again and the effects are better than other zombie movies he’s done.  It deserves credit for what it achieves, and it’s great for Halloween!

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31 Days of Halloween 2016
31. Young Frankenstein (1974) 
30. Jason X (2001)
29. Cloverfield (2008) 
28. The Monster Squad (1987) 
27. Bad Moon (1996) 
26. The Haunting (1963) 
25. Splinter (2008)
24. Frenzy (1972)
23. Aggression Scale (2012)
22. The Exorcist III
21. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963)
20. Silver Bullet (1985)
19. Joy Ride (2001)
18. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
17. The Funhouse (1981) by Tobe Hooper Shin Godzilla (2016) 
16. Videodrome (1983)
15. Re-Animator (1985)
14. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
13. Cube (1997)
12. Evil Dead 
11. Day of the Dead (1985)
10. Tales of Halloween (2015) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
9. They Live (1988)
8. The Innocents (1961)
7. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
6. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
5. I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990)
4. Hatchet (2006)
3. The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
2. Halloween II
1. Silence of the Lambs

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