Day of the Dead (2008 film)
|Day of the Dead|
|Directed by||Steve Miner|
|Screenplay by||Jeffrey Reddick|
|Based on||Day of the Dead
by George Romero
|Music by||Tyler Bates|
|Edited by||Nathan Easterling|
|Distributed by||First Look Studios|
Day of the Dead is a 2008 American horror film about a virus outbreak that causes people to turn into violent zombie-like creatures. It is a loose remake of George A. Romero's zombie film of the same name, the third in Romero's Dead series. 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 film begins in Leadville, Colorado. Trevor and his girlfriend, Nina, 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 and Corporal Sarah Cross. Soon after, privates Bud Crain and Salazar 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 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. At the same time, Captain Rhodes fight off the zombies before perishing 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 who returns with them through the ceiling-duct to the storage room. The transformed 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 who 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, 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 film ends as a zombie jumps in front of the camera in screamer fashion.
- Mena Suvari as Corporal Sarah Cross/Bowman*
- Nick Cannon as Private Salazar
- Michael Welch as Trevor Cross/Bowman*
- AnnaLynne McCord as Nina
- Stark Sands as Private Bud Crain
- Matt Rippy as Dr. Logan
- Ian McNeice as D.J. Paul
- Christa Campbell as Mrs. Leitner
- Ving Rhames as Captain Rhodes
- Hugh Skinner as Kyle
- Callum Rory Lawton as Boy in Street
^* Sarah is referred to as Cross during the film, but she and her brother are listed as Bowman in the credits.
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 ComingSoon.net: "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." Variety announced the project in July 2006, and shooting ended on September 7, 2006, after six weeks in Sofia, Bulgaria. Re-shoots took place in June 2007.
The film was poorly received by both fans and critics. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 14% of seven surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 2.7/10. Steve Barton of Dread Central rated it 2/5 stars and called it "dead on arrival". Barton called Cannon's performance offensively stereotypical. Buz Wallick, also writing for Dread Central, rated it 1.5/5 stars and called it "an awful film with awful special features that will hopefully fade from memory in time". Heather Seebach of Shock Till You Drop called it "cheap horror for indiscriminate genre fans" that "tiptoes on so-bad-it-is-funny territory". Brian Orndorf rated it 0/5 stars and called it "a vile, pathetic, slapdash motion picture".
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- Schwinke, Theodore (2006-09-07). "Nu Image wraps Bulgarian shoot for Day Of The Dead". Screen Daily. Retrieved 2015-03-06.
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- Dendle, Peter (2012). The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, Volume 2: 2000–2010. McFarland & Company. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-0-7864-6163-9.
- "Day of the Dead (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-03-06.
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