It’s one thing to make a shitty remake; it’ s an entirely different, and more insulting thing, to make a shitty direct-to-DVD remake of a Romero zombie film staring Nick Cannon.
This Day of the Dead bears little to no resemblance to the 1985 original in both terms of quality and actual plot. In fact, the only thing that links the two films is the title, and the fact that both films feature scientists and the military.
This go-around focuses on the military instituting quarantine in a small Colorado town with no explanation given to either the townspeople or the audience.
Soon we learn that the “influenza-like” outbreak turns people into terrible, fast running zombies. Oh did I say soon? I met not until about 30 minutes into the movie. After that, it’s just middling set-pieces of zombie killing until the runtime runs out.
This movie also breaks zombie convention too much for our liking. Despite being fans of shambling and shuffling zombies, we can still cope with running ones….but zombies that can inexplicably crawl along the ceilings, that’s just not on. There is a scene in this movie that looks like it was stolen from the Exorcist 3 (the scene in the hospital where a patient crawls across the ceiling) when a zombie with spider-man qualities scuttles across the ceiling. Plsu these zombies can also leap about 20 ft as well. Yawn. It all adds to the confusion as opposed to increasing the sense of threat or menace.
Everything about this movie is terrible: Much of the gore effects are CGI, which robs the eventual kills of their intended visceral impact; the docile zombie – this time called “Bud” instead of “Bub” for NO REASON – seems to be explained as being docile because he was a vegetarian in real life; Ving Rhames (who is also in the Zack Synder remake of ‘Dawn of the Dead‘) shows up for maybe five minutes of total screen time to try and convince you this movie will be good; there’s an annoying brother/sister relationship between two of the main characters.
But by far the worst sin this Day of the Dead committed was by making Nick Cannon some wise-cracking zombie killing machine, who always walks into new rooms holding two guns like he’s only seen all the worst parts of the Matrix trilogy and says “jokes” like saying “By the power of Grayskull!” while waving a machete around.
It’s also hard to root for this movie because the pacing is so slow. Nothing of importance happens for the longest time and there’s no tension to carry us through scene to scene to make it at least easy to sit through.
The politics of remakes makes it hard to expect them to succeed on any artistic level and not be obvious cash-grabs. But with remakes like Day of the Dead, it’s easy to see why remakes have such a deservedly bad reputation as unoriginal pieces of commerce.
Watch the official trailer for Day of the Dead (2008):
Watch Day of the Dead 2008:
|Buy the film at Amazon.com|
|Buy the film at Amazon.co.uk|