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Day of the Dead (1985)

 -  Horror  -  19 July 1985 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 44,032 users  
Reviews: 409 user | 170 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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Title: Day of the Dead (1985)

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Cast

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

Storyline

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 <s0047192@monteagle.niagara.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day of the Dead  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Unrated Edition)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr. Logan figures that the ratio of the undead to the human survivors is 400,000:1. When the film was made, in 1985, the population of the United States in our universe stood at about 240 million. If Dr. Logan is right, and the US population of this universe stood at roughly the same, and this film took place in 1985, there are 600 living human beings left in the USA. However, since the history of the universe in the "of the Dead" movies had radically diverged from real world history even before the ghouls emerged (notice the Venus probe in the first Night of the Living Dead (1968) movie), the timeline of the "Dead" movies remains unclear (the Stephen King novel 'Salem's Lot appears in this film, even though in the real world it came out in 1975; note that the first film in this series came out in 1968; Diary of the Dead (2007), set simultaneously with the events of Night of the Living Dead, features technology not available in 1968 in our world), and we do not know how long after the ghouls emerged that this film takes place, one cannot easily presume that this film takes place in 1985 or that the US population would have remained the same. This is one of many continuity series (eg. Superman, Austin Powers, etc.) affected by "timeslip" wherein more time has passed in the real world between entries which take place in less time, yet each is set in the time it was made. (This often happens in superhero comic books where the same characters experience the Iran-Contra Affair of the 1980s and the 9/11/01 massacres, but only "one year" has passed in the characters' "lives".) It is one of the suspension-of-disbelief conventions that viewers simply have to accept. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, the calendar on the wall show the month of October, beginning on a Tuesday. At the end of the movie, her November calendar begin on a Monday. Unless they skip several years, November should begin with a Friday. However as the calendar at the end of the movie is hand-drawn, it could be a mistake of the character, not a goof. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Lizzie McGuire: Night of the Day of the Dead (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dead Walk
(uncredited)
Composed by Jim Blazer, John Harrison and Sputzy Sparacino
Performed by Modern Man
Produced by Tom Cossie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


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