DAY OF THE DEAD
Length: 87 minutes
Director: Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part 2 & 3; Halloween H20)
Writer: Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination)
Starring: Mena Suvari, Nick Cannon, Ving Rhames, Ian McNeice
Every zombie movie fan knows you’re usually going to get more bad than good- though it’s always rewarding when you find the good. This remake of George A. Romero’s classic “Day of the Dead” (if you can even call it a remake) is anything but good. It’s just as bad as the so-called sequel “Day of the Dead 2: Contagium”. It’s no wonder that despite the success of the “Dawn of the Dead” remake and with Mena Suvari, Ving Rhames, and Nick Cannon in the cast that it didn’t get a theatrical release. Director Steve Miner, who made some of the best “Friday the 13th”s (does that make him a talented director though?), clearly is trying to duplicate the “28 Days/Weeks Later” films and he fails miserably. The movie has basically nothing to do with the original- which is probably the most underrated of Romero’s zombie flicks. Instead, Miner decides to follow the usual formula and starts with a mysterious outbreak of a government virus (as luck would have it the survivors run into one of the doctors who worked on it, so we get a nice explanation- very convenient) in a small town. The army comes to quarantine the town and soldier Sarah (Suvari) is brought along because she grew up there. Of course the army is no match for the walking dead and she finds herself trying to save her family and survive along with a few of her fellow soldiers- including Cannon in what is possibly the most annoying performance in the history of cinema (the “comic relief” he literally doesn’t shut up the entire time he is onscreen). Don’t be fooled by Rhames being involved- this has nothing to do with the “Dawn” remake- he has a brief role as Sarah’s chief. The zombies, like in the “28” series are a lot faster than in the Romero films, but they are also a lot smarter (I guess taking note from “Land of the Dead”)- they can talk (kind of), think, and shoot guns! They can even crawl on the ceiling when it comes in handy! A zombie movie doesn’t have to have good acting, dialogue, etc. to serve it’s purpose, but it can’t lack in the quality of it’s zombie action too. Here everything moves so fast they you can barely decipher what the hell is happening. There’s a lot of gore and carnage, but if you blink you’ll miss it. Even if you have an extreme case of A.D.D. you’ll be aggravated. At least there’s the new Romero directed “Diary of the Dead” on it’s way. Skip this and wait for that instead.
Pre-order the DVD here (available on 4/8/08)