By Brett Mullins
Directed by Steve Miner; Written by Jeffrey Reddick
Day of the Dead (2008) is a remake of George A. Romero’s 1985 film of the same title.
The story begins as two young lovers return from a romantic escapade in an abandoned house to discover their town has succumb to some illness and is now under military quarantine. The two return to their respective homes where Trever, the boy, reunites with his sister, Corporal Sarah Cross. Finding their mother in a rather sickly state, they rush her to the hospital that is reaching maximum capacity. In a single moment, all the patients seemingly freeze in place, then transform to zombie-like creatures with super-human powers. It’s difficult to convey how illogical this film is, but I’ll give it a try.
While the sick are in their catatonic state at the hospital, before they’ve turned, the audience is led to believe that this is some sort of bacterial infection that was manufactured because of the varying incubation periods. Later on in the film, however, a doctor uses the words “airborne” and “viral” to describe the infection. When people are bitten, they quickly turn into zombies, but their ‘turning’ experience is not consistent with others who have been infected. One would think that someone in connection with this film would have taken an introductory biology course and pointed out this fatal error in logic.
The characters in Day of the Dead are no prize either. Despite having some recognizable names, Nick Cannon and Ving Rhames, the acting is sub par; however, it wouldn’t be nearly as bad if not for the numerous out of character moments courtesy of the screenwriter. Nina, Trever’s girlfriend, could probably be best described as obtusely bipolar. In one moment, she is scared and cowering, while in the next, she is wielding large weapons and threatening others for information. Sarah bursts her mother into pieces by hitting her with an automobile and justifying her actions with: “She’s no longer herself,” yet, when her love interest is turned, she keeps him alive and tied up in the car.
The irony of the film is that by the time the infected have turned to zombies, watching this film has turned from a cinematic experience to a laborious task. In the end, one may begin rooting for the zombies to kill these stupid, and did I mention racist!, characters.
For more on the lack of logic of this film, check out this IMDB forum thread.