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  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

Day Of The Dead 1985 Reviewed

Featured Image For Day Of The Dead 1985 Reviewed.   The poster for "Day of the Dead" showcases a vivid zombie face against a yellow and red backdrop with bold title text.
As the dawn fades, the dead rise in the 'Day of the Dead,' where the twilight of humanity wrestles with unyielding horrors.

The world is gray, a smoldering funeral pyre in the rain. Hope hangs by a thread, thin and brittle, and fear coils itself around the hearts of those few who remain. It’s in this world of horror that the dead walk, their hunger an insatiable void. And beneath the scorched and shattered earth, under tons of cold concrete, a desperate humanity squirms in the face of its own extinction. Welcome to George Romero's 1985 masterpiece, "Day of the Dead." This isn't just a zombie movie; it's a gut-wrenching descent into the bowels of human darkness.

Day Of The Dead 1985 Reviewed Key Takeaways

  • Humanity is the True Monster: In "Day of the Dead," the zombies are a constant threat, but the film constantly argues that the greater danger comes from within. The power struggles, the brutality, and the descent into madness within the bunker underscore how quickly humanity crumbles even when facing a common enemy.

  • Science Without Ethics is a Dangerous Path: Dr. Logan's obsessive experiments on the undead walk a chilling line between exploration and exploitation. His disregard for human life, even the reanimated kind, raises disturbing questions about the sacrifices we're willing to make for survival and where the line between science and monstrosity blurs.

  • Survival is an Ugly Business: There are no heroes in this film. Instead, there are shades of gray, of flawed individuals trying to navigate an impossible situation. Every decision is morally compromised, and the desperation leads to shocking acts of savagery.

  • Hope May Be the Most Dangerous Illusion: Bub, the film's iconic zombie, offers a fleeting glimmer of hope - a suggestion that even the undead can retain a shred of their former selves. Yet, his ultimate fate is a brutal reminder that in Romero's world, hope is a fragile, and often cruelly extinguished, thing.

  • Our Divisions Will Be Our Undoing: The film's central conflict between the scientists and the military isn't just about differing ideologies; it's a metaphor for our inability to cooperate even when our very existence is at stake. The petty battles for power and control ultimately doom the bunker's inhabitants.

  • The Zombie Apocalypse is Just a Lens: Romero uses the walking dead trope to dissect deeper issues - the fragile nature of civilization, the dark impulses that lie beneath the surface, and the question of whether humanity is worth saving, even from itself.

Woman with a horrified expression watches a classic zombie film.
The gore on the screen was grotesque, but it was the sounds… those guttural moans, that made her skin crawl.

The film, the third installment in Romero's iconic "Living Dead" series, is steeped in a claustrophobic terror that worms its way into your very bones. The vast, open graveyards of "Night of the Living Dead" and the consumerist satire of "Dawn of the Dead" are replaced with the sterile, unforgiving confines of an underground bunker in Florida, a missile silo transformed into the last refuge for a dying breed.

The dwindling remnants of humanity, a small group of military officers and scientists, coexist in a volatile atmosphere of desperation and crumbling ideals. As the world above is overrun by endless hordes of the undead, the bunker becomes a festering pressure cooker of paranoia and violence, a perverse microcosm mirroring the apocalyptic ruin raging outside.

The scientists dwell in the delusion of finding a solution to the zombie plague, their experiments grisly and macabre. Leading them is Dr. Logan, nicknamed 'Frankenstein,' a chilling nod to his mad obsession. Played with chilling brilliance by Richard Liberty, Logan sees the undead as subjects, not monsters.

His twisted pragmatism clashes violently with the military men, particularly the hotheaded Captain Rhodes, brought to life with snarling ferocity by Joseph Pilato. Each pull of the trigger, each head blown open, widens the chasm between them, the social commentary screaming louder than any zombie moan.

Elderly woman with eyes wide in terror, watching a horror movie.
The lines between the nightmares on the screen and her own troubled memories were beginning to blur.

A Fan Favorite In The Rotten Tomatoes User Reviews

And in the midst of this crumbling world, amidst the over-the-top gore and biting tension, rises a single ray of aberrant hope – Bub. Romero’s zombie is not merely another groaning corpse. Played by Sherman Howard, Bub is a horrifying echo of the man he once was. Taught and tormented by Dr. Logan, he holds a shattered mirror to the audience, to the humanity still left within us…or the lack thereof.

For fans of the zombie genre, "Day of the Dead" is both a controversial and essential experience. Its bleakness is uncompromising, its pessimism an almost suffocating blanket. Romero's focus isn't on the action, though Tom Savini's gory special effects are a masterpiece of stomach-turning realism. No, what Romero is trying to rip out and throw in our faces are our own entrails, the darkest parts of ourselves laid bare.

"Day of the Dead" is as much an introspective horror as it is a splatterfest. It lingers in the shadows of your memory long after the credits roll, whispering insidious questions about who the real monsters truly are. Some called it a bleak, nihilistic disappointment after the satirical brilliance of "Dawn of the Dead." Others hailed it as a raw, unflinching masterpiece that dared to go where no zombie flick had gone before.

Whether you love it or hate it, "Day of the Dead" cannot be ignored. It is a milestone in the world of horror movies, a testament to Romero's genius and a brutal gut-punch to our romanticized notions of survival. If you dare, if you have the stomach for it, descend into the bunker. But be warned – the darkness may consume you whole.

And that is Day Of The Dead 1985 Reviewed. Another classic zombie horror movie from the eighties we think you will like.

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If You Liked Day Of The Dead 1985 You Might Also Like These Films

  • Night of the Living Dead (1968): The granddaddy of all modern zombie films and the first in George Romero's influential "Living Dead" series. This black-and-white classic established many zombie tropes while delivering a powerful exploration of social breakdown and human nature in the face of crisis.

  • Dawn of the Dead (1978): Romero's sequel to "Night of the Living Dead" expands the scope of the zombie apocalypse and introduces biting satire on consumer culture as survivors seek refuge in a shopping mall. Epic, gory, and thought-provoking.

  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985): Released the same year as "Day of the Dead," this film offers a darkly comedic and punk-infused take on the zombie apocalypse. It features fast, flesh-eating zombies unleashed by a chemical spill and boasts iconic special effects.

  • 28 Days Later (2002): This British horror film revitalized the zombie genre with its focus on rage-infected humans rather than the classic slow, shambling undead. Its raw intensity and themes of societal collapse in a pandemic setting will resonate with fans of "Day of the Dead."

  • Re-Animator (1985): A cult classic horror-comedy that takes a mad scientist approach to the undead. Based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, it follows a medical student who develops a serum to bring the dead back to life, leading to grotesque and hilarious results. While not a traditional zombie film, its themes of science gone awry and reanimated bodies will appeal to "Day of the Dead" fans.

Day Of The Dead 1985 Reviewed FAQs

Q: What is Day Of The Dead? 

A: Day Of The Dead is a 1985 zombie film directed by George Romero, known for his iconic "Living Dead" series. It's the third installment in his original trilogy, a bleak and introspective horror masterpiece that delves into how humanity crumbles in the face of overwhelming odds.

Q: Who are some of the key actors in Day Of The Dead? 

A: Some of the key actors in Day Of The Dead include:

  • Lori Cardille as Sarah, a strong and resourceful survivor trying to maintain sanity.

  • Terry Alexander as John, a helicopter pilot grappling with the dwindling hope for humanity.

  • Joseph Pilato as the ruthless and power-hungry Captain Rhodes.

  • Jarlath Conroy as McDermott, a soldier battling both external and internal demons.

  • Richard Liberty as Dr. Logan, aka "Frankenstein", a scientist who crosses ethical lines in his obsessive quest for knowledge.

Q: What is the plot of Day Of The Dead? 

A: Day Of The Dead takes place in a world overrun by zombies. A small group of military officers and scientists seek refuge in an underground bunker in Florida, desperately hoping to find a solution to the zombie plague. Tensions escalate and alliances fracture as the bunker becomes a microcosm of societal collapse, and the horrors outside the bunker mirror the conflicts within.

Q: How does Day Of The Dead differ from other films in Romero's Living Dead series? 

A: Day Of The Dead is the third film in George Romero's original "Living Dead" trilogy, following "Night Of The Living Dead" (1968) and "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978). Here's how it stands apart:

  • Setting: It primarily takes place within a claustrophobic underground bunker, unlike the more expansive settings of its predecessors.

  • Focus: While still packed with gore, the focus shifts to the crumbling psychology of the survivors and the moral dilemmas they face, rather than just external survival.

  • Iconic Zombie: It introduces Bub, a partially domesticated zombie who shows remnants of his former humanity, raising questions of the undead's potential sentience.

Q: When was Day Of The Dead released? 

A: Day Of The Dead was released in 1985. It had a limited theatrical release initially, but gained a cult following over the years.

Q: Who is the director of Day Of The Dead? 

A: Day Of The Dead was directed by George Romero, a legendary figure in horror cinema known for revolutionizing the zombie genre and using it for social commentary.

Q: What are some other notable works by director George Romero? 

A: Director George Romero is also renowned for his other groundbreaking zombie works:

  • Night Of The Living Dead (1968): The seminal classic that established many modern zombie tropes.

  • Dawn Of The Dead (1978): A scathing satire on consumerism and social collapse set during the zombie apocalypse.

  • Creepshow (1982): A horror anthology he directed, with segments written by Stephen King.

Q: Is there a modern equivalent or successor to Day Of The Dead? 

A: While no film truly replicates the unique tone of "Day of the Dead," here are a few that share elements:

  • Return Of The Living Dead (1985): Often considered a spiritual successor to Romero's "Dead" films, it takes a more darkly comedic approach to the zombie apocalypse

  • 28 Days Later (2002): A revitalization of the zombie genre, focusing on fast, rage-infected creatures rather than Romero's slow zombies.

  • The Walking Dead (2010-2023): The long-running series explores the long-term survival and societal decay in a world overrun by the undead.


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