Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day of the Dead 1985

Day of the Dead holds a special place in my heart, as it's the first of George Romero's zombie films that I actually saw in a theater.

I recall seeing the film reviewed on Siskel and Ebert's At the Movies and then having to wait several months before it arrived in theaters locally on October 4, 1985 (exactly 23 years prior to our ADOTD screening). Siskel's dismissive comment was that Romero's latest film was all guts - no brains.

While the film has gained much respect from the fan community following the release of Romero's Land of the Dead, at the time many found it to be too talky. Frankly I think that is one of the films real strengths. While it is true that Tom Savini's practical visual effects in Day have never been surpassed, as with all of Romero's films, it's not just about another pound of flesh.

This time out, it's clear that the dead are in control, while the remnants of society have (literally) been driven underground, and are at a greater risk of destruction due to internal struggles than any external threat.

The film also features Romero's first overt indication that the mental capacity of the dead may be greater than the survivors dare realize. Bub, in fact, is not only the most interesting, but perhaps the most sympathetic character in the film, thanks to a brilliant performance by Howard Sherman.

Longtime Romero collaborator John Harrison provides an excellent score, and production designer Cletus Anderson not only did a fantastic job with the underground mine location, but made us believe that the dead in fact had overrun the world as we know it, in a masterful opening sequece shot in Fort Myers, Florida.

We hope you'll join us for my personal favorite sequel to Night of the Living Dead.

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