Great Movie Scenes #007: Day of the Dead (1985)

Warning! The clip shown below is super not safe for work. I mean there is no nudity but there is a ton of gore so….be warned. Although, nude zombies? I’m sure that’s been made into a porno already.

Out of all of his zombie films, Day of the Dead is my least favorite of George A. Romero’s. Partly because the acting, while not great in all of his films, is particularly bad but mostly because of its tone. Granted a film about the dead eating everyone isn’t normally a fun time for anyone (except if it’s a comedy). But in the previous entries by Romero there was some sort of fun to them. Night of the Living Dead was fun because it was the debut of the genre and seeing any apocalyptic setting start is always interesting. Dawn of the Dead is basically a comic book come to life and even the more gory elements are cartoonish.

In Day of the Dead everything is bleak. The characters are bleak, their situation is bleak, and the zombie deaths are just gruesome. Captain Rhodes death, at first, is the same level of ‘fun’ because of Bud seemingly evolving to use a gun. Plus it helps that Joseph Pilato as the Captain is hilariously going over the top as he keeps getting shot. But once the horde gets a hold of him and, in an iconic moment, rips him in half it’s just horrifying. Even the line ‘Choke on ’em!’ comes across as pretty sad. All of the zombie kills in this are just as depressing and gory to the point where they become unwatchable. Although most of Romero’s films have a depressing outlook on civilization there is at least some glimmer of hope in the end. It’s why I love Land of the Dead because it is incredibly silly but it also has an uplifting ending. I’m not saying Day of the Dead is a bad movie but this bleak outlook is why it mostly collects dust on my DVD shelf while the other Romero films get constantly viewed.

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