Day of the Dead (1985)

Unrated  |   |  Action, Horror  |  19 July 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 47,225 users  
Reviews: 414 user | 179 critic

A small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Pilato ...
Rhodes (as Joe Pilato)
Jarlath Conroy ...
Anthony Dileo Jr. ...
Miguel (as Antonè DiLeo)
Richard Liberty ...
Bub (as Howard Sherman)
Gary Howard Klar ...
Steel (as G. Howard Klar)
Ralph Marrero ...
John Amplas ...
Phillip G. Kellams ...
Johnson (as Gregory Nicotero)
Don Brockett ...
Featured Zombie
William Cameron ...
Featured Zombie


Zombies rule the world, except for a small group of scientists and military personnel who reside in an underground bunker in Florida. The scientists are using the undead in gruesome experiments; much to the chagrin of the military. Finally the military finds that their men have been used in the scientists' experiments, and banish the scientists to the caves that house the Living Dead. Unfortunately, the zombies from above ground have made their way into the bunker. Written by Matt Puskas <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


First, he brought us the most frightening film ever made. Then he took his unique version of horror one step further. Now, George Romero takes us out of the night, beyond the dawn, and into the darkest day of horror the world has ever known. See more »


Action | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day of the Dead  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Unrated Edition) | (Sci-Fi Channel) (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Akram Midani:  The former Dean of Fine Arts in Carnegie Mellon appears as a Fisherman Zombie pursuing Steel through the Mines. (You can see his wife Watfa Midani right next to him as another Zombie.) See more »


When Sarah, John and McDermott gun down the zombies in the corral the last one reveals the cable to detonate the explosive squibs running up his trouser leg as he falls. See more »


[first lines]
McDermott: Nothing, nothing at all.
Sarah: Send again.
McDermott: I've been sending up and down the coast from Sarasota to the Everglades and still getting back the same dead air. There's nothing! There's nobody or at least nobody with a radio.
Sarah: All right then let's set down, we'll use the bullhorn.
McDermott: Set down? Wait a minute, that's not in our contract!
Sarah: It's the biggest city within 150 miles and we're going to give it every chance.
McDermott: Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Sarah: Set down, John!
John: I'll set us down. But I won't leave my ...
See more »


Referenced in Fan of the Dead (2007) See more »


Symphony No. 9 in D minor ('Choral'), Op. 125
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Berliner Philharmoniker, Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Wien with Gundula Janowitz,
Waldemar Kmentt, Walter Berry, Hilde Rossel Majdan
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan
See more »

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User Reviews

Good tension and sick gore with only a few failings in the plot and the failure to paint a convincing Armageddon
24 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Months after the first dead rose from their graves, the world has seemingly become overrun. Deep in a storage bunker in Florida, a group of soldiers and a group of scientists have formed an uneasy alliance in order to try and discover something that can help reverse their spread. However Dr Logan is not making the progress that the soldiers require and Captain Rhodes becomes increasingly impatient and erratic as a result. Things continue to worsen as the zombies gather above and Logan's work gets more worrying.

Having seen and enjoyed (if that's the word) the remake of Dawn, I decided to re-watch the three originals on their own values. While I had seen the other two before, this was the first time I had seen Day and assumed that it would be bigger than Dawn was (in the same way as Dawn extended the ideas from Night). In that regard I was a little disappointed to find that the film stayed on a rather small scale and didn't manage to really convince me that the world was actually over on the surface of the earth. However this is not to say that it is not a good story in itself, because it is, albeit very different from both Night and Dawn. To me it lacked the social commentary that was to be found in Dawn but it is still tense, gory and gripping. The claustrophobic nature of the bunker and the battling characters means that tension is easily created even when the zombies are distant and seemingly pose less of a threat than the humans do to one another. The film is a little weak at points – the medical experiments are given too much time and the character of Bub is not clear as to his reasons for being included as much as he was. I didn't like the idea of Bub, the film didn't seem to know what to do with him other than using him to fill out the story – Logan's progress with him seemed such a waste of time that, even if that was the point, it didn't work.

When the gore comes it is very hard to watch and a little sickening at times – bodies are ripped into and ripped apart in full bloody colour – as a horror it succeeds because I was looking a way quite a lot of times! Even though Shaun of the Dead has made fun of these slow zombies recently they still manage to be very effective here – I personally find them scary as they are relentless and simply wish to kill. True, the fast ones are scarier but these ones are too. The cast are more than just victims and are reasonably well drawn and acted. They have to be engaging or else the tension between them wouldn't work and, while hardly totally real people they still are good enough for a horror movie and they are not just fodder to rip apart – even if they are clearly penned as 'goodies' and 'baddies'.

Overall this is not the best of the trilogy but it is still a good horror film. The tension between the characters creates as much of a threat as the zombies do – even if some of the plot isn't that good. It all builds well to a gory finish that really only lacks teeth because both the film and the actual ending both fail to really show just how bad things are and never convinces that the world has come to an end in the way that the whole trilogy suggests it has.

37 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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