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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
4,420 ( 573)
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:

A plague that could not be stopped! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original script, for which George A. Romero couldn't get budget, involved the scientists living above ground in a fortress protected by electrified fences and the military living safely underground. It also involved a small army of trained zombies, and the conclusion to the trilogy more brutal than the released version. This later became the basis of Land of the Dead (2005) See more »

Goofs

When Sarah sits in front of the helicopter a lot of seagulls can be seen and their shadows pass over her. When camera closes in, the gulls are gone. 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 UK 4-Front/Arrow films video release (1997) is uncut, as are all later DVD releases. The cinema version had been cut by 34 secs by the BBFC with edits to the killing of Rhodes, Miller's neck being bitten by a female zombie, Miguel's arm amputation and shots of Rickles's fingers being bitten off, and the same cut print was used for early video releases. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's in My Bag?: Elvira (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Escape Invasion
(uncredited)
Composed by John Harrison
Performed by John Harrison
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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 bob the mooSee 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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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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