Archive for Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (1985) Review

Posted in Day of the Dead with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

20130303-120250.jpg
DAY OF THE DEAD

**** Out of 5

Tagline- The Darkest Day the Horror World Has Ever Known

Release Date- July 19th, 1985

Running Time- 102-Minutes

Rating- NR

Writer/Director- George A. Romero

Starring- Lori Cardille, Joseph Pilato, Terry Alexander, Anthony Dileo, Jr, Gary Howard Klar, Ralph Marrero with Richard Liberty as Dr. Logan and Sherman Howard as Bub

Released in 1985 George Romero’s Day of the Dead was seen as the weakest of the trilogy (when it was still a trilogy that is) and it’s not really hard to grasp why. Upon first viewing of Day of the Dead it isn’t as eerie and creepy as Night of the Living Dead and isn’t quite the epic that Dawn of the Dead was; also released the same year was The Return of the Living Dead, which was a fun take on a tired sub-genre and Romero’s Day of the Dead was mostly forgotten about and cast aside and the only things that really kept the movie known was the name George A. Romero, Tom Savini and that it was a sequel to Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead.

I’ll admit I was one of the people that casted this movie to the side as a nice try, but ultimately a failure on the record of George Romero and about the only real positive thing I could say about the movie was the brilliant gore F/X by Tom Savini. But over the years many people were revisiting Day of the Dead and suddenly the feedback was becoming and more positive where some have even hailed it better than both Night of the Living Dead and Day of the Dead. For the longest time the movie sat on my shelf and the only reason I even bought a copy was simply to complete the trilogy, but after collecting dust on my shelf I wiped it away and decided to give the movie another chance and even I had my opinion on the film totally changed; personally I don’t rate this higher than the first 2 films in the series, but it comes close however.

I think the writing in not just Romero’s zombie flicks, but his films in general is often over-looked and fact of the matter George Romero is an excellent writer. Everyone talks about George Romero the director and for good reason, but I really think more attention needs to be put on his scripts; the characters in Night of the Living Dead were interesting and Ben made for a great hero and Mr. Cooper made for a great jerk, but overall the characters may not be the best developed, but due to the plot it doesn’t matter. Even with the dead coming back to life we are still in a comfort zone since the primary setting is a house and all these characters are brought together and we feel the mass confusion with them and therefore we can relate to them and with Dawn of the Dead in my opinion Romero created the best characters as a unit in a horror film or any film for that matter. We the audience get attached to these characters and the mall setting is something that we can all relate to.

I think however this is part of the reason Day of the Dead was dismissed for the longest time since now we are in an underground bunker out of our comfort zone and stuck with characters that aren’t the most likable and the other characters are so close to going over the edge or borderline insane it’s kinda hard to find someone we the audience can root for and relate to. But when you really break things down George Romero creates some of his most complex characters if not his most complex; Day of the Dead relies more on the characters than any of the other Dead flicks. Night of the Living Dead isn’t action packed or anything, but what works is the mass confusion the characters feel and Dawn of the Dead while character driven also has a lot of action in the film whereas Day of the Dead has a little action through the movie, but it’s mostly saved for the final act and seeing as the characters are so different than the first two Dead flicks I can understand why I and so many others originally dismissed Day of the Dead.

Of all the Dead movies I think Day of the Dead just might be the best written and just might be George Romero’s best screenplay in his career. Like I said the characters here may not be as likable as the characters in the past two, but they are again very complex and interesting and Day of the Dead also starts to evolve the zombies as well, which is something a lot of filmmakers have attempted, but it almost always fails, but Romero on the other hand makes it work, which adds a lot of depth to the movie.

When rating the series Day of the Dead would be my 3rd favorite of the series, but there are many aspects I like more about Day of the Dead than Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. Many people now rate this as the best of the series so it’s quite a drastic change in opinion on the movie.

As director George A. Romero crafts a movie a movie loaded with tension and a very bleak tone. Of all the Dead movies I’d say this one was probably the darkest. From the very opening scene, Romero establishes a bleak and dark tone with humanity at its final stand. As I stated before the action is mostly confined until the final act, but Romero is still able to keep the movie very interesting; again I think due to the characters and setting so different than the previous two it might be a little harder to get into, which is partly the reason for the longest time this was seen as the weakest. But when all is said and done George Romero creates a dark and ugly world where almost all hope for a normal life is lost. Once again if I’d rate this installment my 3rd favorite I think the writing is possibly the best of the series as well as the directing.

Possibly the highlight of the movie are the gore F/X by Tom Savini, which are nothing short of amazing; if I were to rate Savini’s work Friday the 13th might take my top spot simply due to the simplicity of the death scenes they simple, but effective, and of course the Prowler is nothing short of brilliant, but at the same time Day of the Dead might take my top spot due to how realistic they look for the most part. Not only are the gore F/X top notch, but the zombie make-up is amazing as well. Regardless of how you feel about the movie itself I think we can all agree Savini’s make-up F/X are brilliant.

Overall Day of the Dead is an excellent movie that has finally gotten its respect; the movie may not be perfect, but it’s very much on par with the first two Dead flicks.

20130303-120316.jpg

20130303-120335.jpg

20130303-120349.jpg

20130303-120400.jpg

20130303-120410.jpg

20130303-120427.jpg

20130303-120439.jpg

20130303-120452.jpg

20130303-120504.jpg

20130303-120523.jpg

20130303-120545.jpg

20130303-120600.jpg

20130303-120610.jpg

Zombie Series AKA Confused Yet?

Posted in Zombie Series AKA Confused Yet? with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Is there anymore of a confusion set of films than those titled Zombie? I’m gonna try and keep it as simple as possible without confusing anybody. But most people don’t realize most of the so called sequels aren’t sequels at all, but were marketed as sequels in certain places.

It all started in 1978 with the release of Dawn of the Dead; when released in Italy Dawn of the Dead was called Zombi. There are movies that actually predate Romero’s Dawn of the Dead AKA Zombi that are billed as a sequel, but those movies used the Zombi title during a re-release, but it still creates a confusing mess for most people.

So we set up Romero’s Dawn of the Dead going under the title Zombi in Italy and the movie was a big success and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters was already shot and the producers changed the title to Zombi 2 and was released in 1979 so now people thought it was a sequel. The sad part is due to the Zombi 2 title, Fulci’s film is called a ripoff, which does make me laugh since if you’ve seen both movies they couldn’t be anymore different besides having Zombies. And again Fulci’s film was already shot.

In 1988 Lucio Fulci would release Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 and in Italy it would go under the title Zombi 3. By right Zombi 3 is actually the 2nd part since Zombi 2 isn’t really a sequel to Romero’s film.

I might have missed a few movies, but its not easy to find every movie under the title Zombi also I have no idea when any of these movies used the alternate title Zombi. In most cases the distributors changed the title for theatrical or video releases and most likely re-releases.

So in Italy the series would go like this.

Zombi (Dawn of the Dead)
Zombi 2 ( Fulci AKA Zombie, Zombie Flesh Eaters)
Zombi 3 (Fulci’s movie AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters 2)

In the UK the series is slightly different and different titles well sort of. Zombi 2 is called Zombie Flesh Eaters, which of course is the original title. Zombi 3 would be called Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 so thus far the UK releases are the correct ones until we get to Zombie Flesh Eaters 3. The 3rd part is called After Death, but in the UK it carries the Zombie Flesh Eaters name even if it isn’t part of the series.

So the UK series goes like this.

Zombie Flesh Eaters (Zombi 2)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (Zombi 3)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (After Death)

Upon their release in Germany they would be slightly different. Once again Romero’s Dawn of the Dead would be called Zombi, but in Germany, Fulci’s Zombi 2 isn’t considered part of the series. Instead Zombi 2 is actually Day of the Dead, which is the actual follow up to Dawn of the Dead and Zombi 3 would be well the 1988 film by Fulci Zombi 3, which is Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 since once again Fulci’s Zombi 2 (Zombie Flesh Eaters) and Zombi 3 (Zombie Flesh Eaters 2) are the only official parts.

Are we confused yet? Kind of odd how Fulci’s Zombi 2 isn’t seen as part of the series.

So in Germany the series goes like this.

Zombie (Dawn of the Dead)
Zombie 2: Das Letzte Kapitel (Day of the Dead)
Zombie III (Zombi 3)

I find the Germam series the most interesting since its correct on the first 2 movies, but weird how they would include Fulci’s Zombi 3 rather than Fulci’s Zombi 2.

Over in Thailand like the UK they are almost correct. The first film is Zombie Flesh Eaters (Zombi 2) then comes Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (Zombi 3), but than they have 2 more films. Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (After Death) and Zombie Flesh Eaters 4 (Killing Birds).

The interesting thing here is After Death was released in 1990 and Killing Birds in 1988 yet in Thailand After Death is part 4 of the Zombie Flesh Eaters series. But different parts of the world gets these films at different times so I guess they got After Death before Killing Birds or the distributors for whatever reason could have just changed up the order.

So in Thailand the series goes like this.

Zombie Flesh Eaters (Zombi 2)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (Zombi 3)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (After Death)
Zombie Flesh Eaters 4 ( Killing Birds)

Over here in the US the series is the same as it is in Thailand only with different titles and perhaps more confusing. So we’ve already established this all started with Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which in some places is called Zombi. But here in the US it only goes under Dawn of the Dead.

Some releases of Lucio Fulci’s film goes under Zombi 2 and other releases Zombie. I can’t tell you how many times I have read people buying Zombi 2 then seeing Zombie unaware they are the same film under a slightly different title. Or how many people have asked I have Zombi 2 is Zombi 1 out?

So the series in the US is Zombie with some releases as Zombi 2. Then comes Zombi 3, which like Thailand is correct until we get to parts 3 and 4. Like Thailand the series goes in the same order with different titles. After Death is now called Zombie 4: After Death and Killing Birds is now Zombie 5: Killing Birds and remember Killing Birds came before After Death, but like Thailand After Death gets the 4 and Killing Birds 5.

So the US series is the same as Thai only different titles.

Zombie (sometimes Zombi 2)
Zombie 3
Zombie 4: After Death
Zombie 5: Killing Birds

Are we confused now? Well I’m not done yet. By the end of this you’re head will probably be spinning much like mine was trying to write this.

The film by Joe D’Amato called Antropophagus sometimes goes under the title the Grim Reaper or Antropophagus: The Grim Reaper. There was also a sequel of sorts released, which is called Absurd. Yet some video releases link these movies in with the Zombie series and screw up the order.

Now remember folks, Antropophagus comes first than Absurd yet some release Absurd is billed as Zombie 6: Monster Hunter and Antropophagus is called Zombie 7: The Grim Reaper.

None of these films are even zombie movies they are slasher flicks. Also despite the order being wrong when called Zombie it doesn’t matter since there is no connection between the 2 films. If anything look at them as their own movies and not sequels, but they follow a similar plot and that’s why Absurd is called a sequel even if it has no real connection.

You didn’t think I was done yet right? Well in 1974 Let Sleeping Corpses Lie was released, which also goes under the title Living Dead at Manchester Morgue and for some reason Don’t Open the Window and the poster and trailer make it look like a slasher flick, but its a zombie movie. Here in the US it went under all 3 of those titles. I believe the theatrical release was Don’t Open the Window and Anchor Bay released it in DVD as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie and when Blu-Underground released it they also released it under Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, but then re-released it on DVD and blu-ray as Living Dead at Manchester Morgue.

Why am I bringing this up you ask? Well it has also gone under the title Zombi 3. It actually predates both Dawn of the Dead (Zombi) and Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters (Zombi 2).

Then we have Zombie Holocaust, which also goes under the title Dr. Butcher, MD and also Zombi 3

Burial Ground has also been called Zombi 3.

Still not done yet.

Nightmare City also called City of the Walking Dead also has been called Zombi 3

Wow so many movies called Zombi 3 lol. There are posters for Let Sleeping Corpses Lie as Zombi 3 as well as obviously Fulci’s Zombi 3 and Burial Ground. I will include those posters at the end of the post.

As for the others I assume there are posters somewhere. But can’t find them. Odds are the other movies called Zombi 3, were called that during video releases or re-titled for a theatrical release as I stated earlier. It’s very common for Italian horror movies to go under a number of different titles, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie I believe was from a production company in Spain, but had a few Italian crew members same for City of the Walking Dead, but while a Spain production was directed by Italian filmmaker Umberto Lenzi.

And lastly we have Hell of the Living Dead, which is also called Virus, Night of the Zombies and Zombie 4 lol

Well I hope I didn’t confuse anybody here lol if I did sorry lol. Writing this I got confused lol

Dawn of the Dead posters

20121014-204601.jpg

20121014-204628.jpg

Fulci’s Zombie 3 AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters 2

20121014-204710.jpg

20121014-204723.jpg

Fulci’s Zombie AKA Zombi 2 AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters

20121014-204815.jpg

20121014-204832.jpg

20121014-204849.jpg

Day of the Dead AKA Zombi 2

20121014-204928.jpg

20121014-204944.jpg

Don’t Open the Window AKA Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, AKA Living Dead at Manchester Morgue AKA Zombi 3

20121014-205046.jpg

20121014-205058.jpg

20121014-205113.jpg

20121014-205123.jpg

Burial Ground AKA Zombi 3

20121014-205154.jpg

20121014-205223.jpg

After Death AKA Zombie 4: After Death AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters 3

20121014-205350.jpg

Killing Birds AKA Zombie 5: Killing Birds AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters 4

20121014-205443.jpg