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Day of the Dead (1985)

Not Rated | | Horror, Thriller | 19 July 1985 (USA)
Trailer
1:58 | Trailer
A small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies.

Director:

George A. Romero
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Popularity
4,993 ( 915)
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lori Cardille ... Sarah
Terry Alexander ... John
Joseph Pilato ... Rhodes (as Joe Pilato)
Jarlath Conroy Jarlath Conroy ... McDermott
Anthony Dileo Jr. Anthony Dileo Jr. ... Miguel (as Antonè DiLeo)
Richard Liberty Richard Liberty ... Logan
Sherman Howard ... Bub (as Howard Sherman)
Gary Howard Klar Gary Howard Klar ... Steel (as G. Howard Klar)
Ralph Marrero Ralph Marrero ... Rickles
John Amplas ... Ted Fisher
Phillip G. Kellams Phillip G. Kellams ... Miller
Taso N. Stavrakis ... Torrez
Greg Nicotero ... Johnson (as Gregory Nicotero)
Don Brockett ... Featured Zombie
William Cameron ... Featured Zombie
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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:

Now life has become a NIGHTMARE! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Todd auditioned for the role of John. He would later play the lead role in Night of the Living Dead (1990), a color remake of the first movie in the 'Dead series', Night of the Living Dead (1968). See more »

Goofs

(around 1h 27min) Zombies have just caught a private who is still shooting on the ground. There is no magazine in his pistol. 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 seat and ...
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Alternate Versions

The film was released in Australia on the Roadshow Home Video label, and is the complete, uncut version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in How Didn't This Get Made?: Delay of the Dead (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Escape Invasion
(uncredited)
Composed by John Harrison
Performed by John Harrison
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User Reviews

 
Greatest special effects ever, and that isn't even the best thing about this movie.
30 December 2008 | by gottschalkchris24See all my reviews

George Romero's zombie movies have always been standouts in the genre. Easily the best zombie movies ever, and contenders for the best horror movies ever. Night of the Living Dead (his first movie) set the ground work for every single zombie movie to come after it, and Dawn of the Dead, which came 10 years later in 1978 set the new standard for splatter and gore flicks. If you ask me, without George Romero's zombie trilogy, horror movies would have never been the same.

Day of the Dead takes place after the entire Earth has become over-run with zombies. Every human must either hide, fight, or die. The movie follows two groups of people: doctors and army men. The army men pose as the bad guys in this movie (just as Mr. Cooper did in Night of the Living Dead) and the doctors pose as the good guys (as Ben did in Night). The groups of people are hiding out in a secluded underground base. The zombies await outside, while the humans try to come up with a plan to eliminate the zombie plague.

Day of the Dead falls at the end of the trilogy. Being made in 1985, zombie movies were already high on the charts. Since the popularity of Dawn of the Dead, especially in Europe, a ton of independent film makers were pushing out these zero-budget zombie flicks faster than you could watch them. Finally, in 1985, George Romero and Tom Savini grouped back together to show the kids how it was done. Day of the Dead fixed all the mistakes that occurred in Dawn of the Dead, and turned out to be the perfect zombie movie. Day of the Dead IS the best zombie movie ever made.

The main mistake that was fixed was the way the zombies looked. In 1978, Tom Savini (special makeup effects) was fairly new to the job, and couldn't take on the very large amount of zombies he had to apply make-up to. Therefore, he simply painted their faces blue. Here, Tom Savini had his own team of make up artist. The zombies in Day of the Dead look far more disgusting and gross. Facial decays and bite marks were abundant in this movie. Not only that, but every zombie looked different. No two zombies looked exactly the same, which added a small shock element every time a zombie appeared on screen. The gore in Day of the Dead was even more amped up than Dawn of the Dead. It looked more real, and came in much higher amounts. Day of the Dead ranks up with some of the goriest movies of all time; only Cannibal Ferox and Dead-Alive surpass Day of the Dead. For the way the gore looked, Day of the Dead holds the trophy for the best special effects I've ever seen in a movie - bar none.

While the special effects have greatly improved, they aren't even the main reason I favor Day of the Dead over every other zombie movie. The reason Day of the Dead is, and always will be labeled as my favorite, is for the extremely serious tone of the movie. The characters in this movie (with the small exception of the doctor) are extremely serious and brutal in tone and pose an even bigger threat to the good guys than the zombies! It's Night of the Living Dead turned up to 11! The characters in this movie (especially Captain Rhodes) are very, very well written characters, although I wouldn't hold then as high as the characters in Dawn of the Dead.

Day of the Dead is an extremely serious zombie flick with absolutely no humor whatsoever. It's serious, it's brutal, and has an extremely thick script with plenty to offer. Remember to bring a barf bag!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

George A. Romero's Day of the Dead See more »

Filming Locations:

Sanibel Island, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,700,000, 21 July 1985

Gross USA:

$5,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,000,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono | 4-Track Stereo (Zombieing Sound System) (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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