Thursday, 8 July 2010

Day Of The Dead (2008 Remake)

Recently I have been thinking about the evolution of Zombie films and how the slow shuffling undead no longer hold the same impact as they once did, having been replaced by faster running zombies the present a far greater threat. Even the video game series Resident Evil that helped the zombies rise to fame has dropped the undead to allow crazed parasite infected villagers to take their place.
So I decided that I would review one of these new age zombie films and then in a few weeks I would follow up by reviewing one of the older variations. The obvious choice to review was Zack Snyder's brilliant 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead with gritty action, interesting characters and an amazing use of tension

But instead here is a review of the crappy Day of the Dead remake.

Directed by Steve Miner this film (unlike the original version that told the story of a group of soldiers trying to survive together in he aftermath of a Zombie Apocalypse) tells the story of a small town in Colorado that has is under quarantine my the military with many of the local suffering from flue, but all is not well in this small town as it turns out the suspected flue may not be what it seems at all.

Before you ask this film is in no way related to the Dawn of the Dead remake i mentioned earlier
(apart from the fact that Ving Rhames appears in both film as different characters). In fact this film doesn't really relate to any of The Living Dead series at all, it is best to view this film as a B-movie masquerading under the name of successful series, as this film has almost no relation to the film that it is supposed to be based except the fact they both have zombies and a character called Bud in them. if it were up to me this film would not be called Day of the Dead but instead be called The Bad Case of Sniffles.

The plot is week and can at best be summed up as a series of encounters with zombies and various locations moving from a hospital to a radio station to a road blockade and then finally "the hive" from Resident Evil

A early point worth mentioning is that Miner obvious needs some teaching on the basis of zombie do's and don'ts for instance Zombies DO charge in head first and rip their victims guts out; they DON'T dodge bullets like Neo from The Matrix, drag off their victims into the night or run along ceilings like the kid from the Exorcist (I'm not even joking).

Now granted this was a straight to DVD release but i remember the time when it looked like it was set t be released in cinema's and the film would have simply made cash by leaching off the name of a far better movie.

There is a few things about this film I like and that is the seemingly original idea of having all the town sick but suddenly changing into zombies at the same time like a viral time bomb, this is a cool concept but unfortunately many zombies appear before this time which undermines this idea the point that it just seems out of place. I like the way the zombies throw themselves out of the hospital's windows when they realise there is someone outside showing their one tack mind for flesh and finally the location creates some beautiful scenery. those are all the things that are good about this movie now back to the bad.

The casting choices are poor with notable mention going to Ving Rhames as jackass Captain Rhodes but you cant help but wonder why Rhames accepted a role in this movie when he has already stared in a far better and more successful zombie remake as a far more interesting character also why isn't he in this film longer?. The rest of the cast don't really warrant a mention. Mena Suvari is unbelievable as Corporal Sarah Cross and the rest of the cast are simply your typical B-movie line up introduced to get killed off in unoriginal fashions and are plain annoying. I spent the majority of the movie hoping all the characters would hurry up and get eaten(which isn't exactly a good sign)

As far as zombie kills go there as some decapitations but nothing special (even Zombieland had beating zombies to death banjos and dropping pianos on their heads). The zombie appearance are fairly standard (but good god the zombies fall apart quickly! and fire does not cause exploding heads!) and the speed of the zombies when running is sped up so fast it looks ridiculous (new age zombies are fast but they ain't the Flash for gods sake!)

All in all The Bad Case of Sniffles is a bad movie, No! A terrible movie unworthy of the name it clings to. This film has made me long for the shambling zombies of old that could tear a man in half as if he were play doe! So instead watch the Dawn of the Dead remake or at least the original series which have more drama, horror, tension and more satire than this.

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