Day of the Dead (2008 film)

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Day of the Dead
Day of the dead ver2.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Steve Miner
Produced by James Glenn Dudelson
Robert Franklin Dudelson
Randall Emmett
George Furla
Jordan Rush
Screenplay by Jeffrey Reddick
Based on Day of the Dead 
by George Romero
Starring Mena Suvari
Nick Cannon
Ving Rhames
Distributed by First Look Studios
Release dates
  • April 8, 2008 (2008-04-08)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18 million[1]

Day of the Dead is a 2008 American horror film about a virus outbreak which causes people to turn into violent zombie-like creatures. A number of elements draw inspiration from George A. Romero's zombie film of the same name, the third in Romero's Dead series.[2] The film is directed by Steve Miner and written by Jeffrey Reddick.

The film was principally shot in Bulgaria, with limited shooting in Los Angeles, California. Tyler Bates provided the soundtrack, and screenwriter Jeffrey Reddick has a cameo appearance as an ill-fated police officer.


The movie begins in Leadville, Colorado. Trevor (Michael Welch) and his girlfriend, Nina (AnnaLynne McCord), are in an abandoned building having a romantic encounter. They then head back to their respective parents' homes. They see a long line of cars at a military roadblock sealing off the city. An angry man yells at the officers because his child is sick and needs medical care. There has been an outbreak and medical help is needed throughout town. They are introduced to Captain Rhodes (Ving Rhames) and Corporal Sarah Cross (Mena Suvari). Soon after, privates Bud Crain (Stark Sands) and Salazar (Nick Cannon) show up and Bud immediately falls in love with Corporal Cross. Cross takes Bud to go with her while she visits her sick mother. When she arrives, Sarah talks to her brother (Trevor) and checks in on her mother. She then goes to see Trevor's friend, Kyle, after she learns his symptoms are similar to her mother's.

When Bud and Sarah arrive at Kyle's house, they find the mauled bodies of his parents stashed behind a curtain, with Kyle nowhere to be found. They radio Captain Rhodes and take Nina, Trevor, and their mom to the local hospital. There, Sarah talks to Dr. Logan (Matt Rippy) at the urging of Rhodes, while out in the waiting room all the infected become catatonic. Bud runs to alert Sarah, when all the infected suddenly reanimate. They turn into zombies, transforming while catatonic. They have super-human strength that allows them to run, jump long distances and even crawl on the ceiling.

Nina and Trevor escape, seeking refuge in the local radio station, while Sarah, Dr. Logan and Bud become trapped in an upstairs storage room in the hospital. They decide to crawl through the air-conditioning ducts into another room, where they find an uninfected Salazar whom returns with them through the ceiling-duct to the storage room. The transformed Captain Rhodes was also in the room and now is in hot pursuit through the duct and nearly catches up with Sarah as she brings up the rear. She just makes it safely back into the room and Bud replaces the ceiling grill to stop Rhodes from following, just as Rhodes bites him on the hand.

After dispatching the infected Rhodes, the four escape from the hospital by smashing and jumping from the store room window into the hospital car park, which is over-run with zombies. Here they discover the zombies can be killed by shooting them in the head or setting them on fire. In the confusion, Dr. Logan deliberately pushes a non-infected girl whom is asking him for help into the path of the zombies and escapes in an abandoned vehicle.

Sarah, Bud and Salazar win their battle with the zombies and drive away in a military vehicle. They make a stop at the gun-store while Bud stays in the vehicle. When Sarah and Salazar return they find Bud has transformed but instead of killing him, Sarah insists that as Bud is restrained by plastic wrist-ties he poses no threat and they will just take him with them.

Sarah and Salazar hear Trevor calls for help on the radio and go to the radio-station to rescue them. While driving there Sarah crashes into her zombified mother and kills her before rescuing Trevor and Nina from the radio station.

The group heads back to the abandoned warehouse. Bud is somehow able to think and does not attack his friends. Sarah believes Bud does not attack because he was a vegetarian, but Salazar speculates that Bud is attracted to Sarah. The group finds an underground bunker, where they reunite with Dr. Logan. They learn about a government project directed by Dr. Engel (Pat Kilbane), which accidentally created the virus that turned the townspeople into zombies. The group explores the bunker, but Dr. Engel attacks and kills Logan.

Later, Salazar is ambushed by zombies, giving Sarah a chance to escape and reunite with Trevor and Nina. In the room where they are hiding they find several large gas cylinders. Sarah decides to lure the zombies into the storeroom and burn them with the cylinders. They begin modifying the cylinders into a giant flamethrower.

Sarah eventually finds a mob of zombies and shouts to get their attention. The zombified Dr. Engel drops down from the ceiling behind Sarah and grabs her, but before she is bitten, zombified Bud shoots at Engel. This leads to Engel and the other zombies to attack Bud, dismembering him. Sarah then leads the zombies to the room where Trevor and Nina are hiding, and they torch the zombies. The three escape the bunker, and drive off. The movie ends with a zombie jumping in front of the camera in screamer fashion.


^* Sarah is referred to as Cross during the film, but she and her brother are listed as Bowman in the credits.


The movie was given generally negative reviews, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave it just 14%.[3]


Reddick, who adapted the script from Romero's original concept, has stated that this film does not have any connection to Zack Snyder's 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead (although Ving Rhames had also appeared in that film as a different character). He told "It's going to be a separate movie...We wanted to pay homage to the original with the military and the scientists and the socially relevant stuff that George Romero always does, but we wanted to put a fresh spin on it."

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