Critic Reviews

60

Metascore

Based on 13 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Slant Magazine
Here, a pessimistic Romero dares to tackle the very essence of man’s inhumanity to man. And in the end, Day of the Dead is every bit as compelling and unsettling as its more lauded predecessors.
100
Empire
It's an intelligent, well-written, excellently played movie, with top flight gore/horror effects, perverse humour and a provocatively bleak vision. Also, it has the world's first true zombie hero in Bub, who listens to Beethoven and eats people.
80
Tense rather than terrifying, and with a strong black comic undercurrent, it rests on the mordant observation that zombies or no zombies, chances are the living will tear each other apart. A fitting conclusion to a remarkably astute series, a landmark in the horror genre.
80
Day of the Dead has a less startling setting, since most of it takes place underground. But it still affords Mr. Romero the opportunity for intermittent philosophy and satire, without compromising his reputation as the grisliest guy around.
75
Day Of The Dead is more like Romero's scorching 1973 satire The Crazies, in which anarchy reigns and the very concept of heroes dissolves. The action at the end is lurid, made giddily disgusting by Tom Savini's amazing gore effects, and made gripping by Romero's gift for the cold logic of systemic breakdown. Still, some audiences may give up early, fed up with the shrill claustrophobia.
75
Slant Magazine
Any real zombie fan knows that political parable and decomposing cannibal corpse gore go together like peanut butter and jelly, but Day of the Dead found the subgenre’s reigning master and poet-in-residence mismanaging the proper ratios a bit.
75
Fans of the first two films in the series may be a bit dismayed by Day of the Dead's deemphasis of gory action in favor of characterization, but the need to exploit the horror of the situation has passed and the film works by concentrating instead on its implications and possible solution. The standard 1950s sci-fi/horror film conflict between science and the military is also resurrected here, with distinct political overtones.
60
Though it’s still a disappointment in relation to its two predecessors, it has much to recommend it. It begins and ends brilliantly.
40
Los Angeles Times
Let's hope Romero is not tempted to go for a quartet, for at this point sheer gruesomeness overwhelms his ideas and even his dynamic visuals. He would, in fact, have been better off not having tried for a third installment. [04 Oct 1985, p.4]
38
In the earlier films, we really identified with the small cadre of surviving humans. They were seen as positive characters, and we cared about them. This time, the humans are mostly unpleasant, violent, insane or so noble that we can predict with utter certainty that they will survive.

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