After hearing about how awful this film was from friends and reading the reviews I wasn’t optimistic entering this film. Sadly this film lived up to my abysmal exceptions, even though it sports a number of actors that I really do enjoy. Ving Rhames makes a return to the series, though this time he’s playing Captain Rhodes. He’s joined by Mena Suvari, and AnnaLynne McCord, who blew me away with her performance in Excision. Though even with all these excellent performers, Day of the Dead manages to be bland and generic. A poor job that doesn’t live up to the original in a single aspect.
Day of the Dead opens with a group of kids, Trevor Bowman (Michael Welch), his girlfriend Nina (AnnaLynne McCord), his friend Kyle (Hugh Skinner) along with his girlfriend in a run down house in the woods. While exploring Trevor comes across a hidden door, but Nina wants to go back to Trevor’s place, so they decide to go. This breaks up Kyle’s and his girls make out session. To further kill the mood Trevor develops a nose bleed and bleeds on her. He keeps pushing the her to go back to his place till she just chooses to walk home. On the way she’s attacked and killed. At a nearby road block, Captain Rhodes (Ving Rhames) and Corporal Sarah Bowman turn back an angry father with a sick son as their town is currently under quarantine. They keep that information secret under the guise of training exercises. Sarah Bowman heads into town with Private Bud Crain (Stark Sands) to check on her mother. When she arrives to her mothers she breaks up Trevor’s make-out session, chastises him and checks on their mother (Linda Marlowe). Who turns out to be really sick, causing Sarah to decide to get her to the hospital. But first she goes to check on Kyle after hearing that he has symptoms that matches her mom’s. When she arrives at Kyle’s she finds a ton of blood along with Kyle’s parents bodies, which look mauled and Kyle not to be found. She returns to her moms house gets her mom along with Trevor and Nina, then heads to the hospital. Which is flooded with the sick. Sarah is joined by Captain Rhodes and Private Salazar (Nick Cannon). Captain Rhodes has Sarah talk to Dr. Logan (Matt Rippy) about what she saw in Kyle’s house. While she does she has Bud watch her mother as she waits to see a doctor, but notices something’s wrong when everyone freezes. He rushes to warn Sarah, just in time for them to witness the hospital turn into a slaughter-house as the sick turn into zombies. Forcing them to try to escape the hospital as the dead spread out over the town slaughtering everyone…
The only thing, well things I liked were Ving Rhames and Mina Suvari, As both do an amazing job with the little they were given to work with. Ving Rhames especially, as his Rhodes comes off far more like-able than Joseph Pilato’s rendition. Though here the character fills a very different role. Ok, I also liked Mina Suvari and Stark Sands chemistry on screen.
But that’s about the extent of it. The zombies in this film are uninteresting and bland. Something I didn’t know zombies could be. I think it’s because they come off more as mutated people than they do the undead. My biggest peeves steam from Zombie Rhodes eating his own eye and the Zombies eating another Zombie. Which is a first for me, as one of the generic zombie rules is that zombies don’t eat their own. They eat us.
The effects are done in a clunky CGI, which doesn’t do this film any favors. This Day of the Dead could have taken some pointers from the 1985 version in regards to effects. Since out of the two, with over twenty years of technological advancement this version looks by far the worst.
Final thoughts, it’s awful and lives up to its poor reputation. I can understand why this film was straight to video and I can’t honestly suggest to anyone. As a fan of the zombie genre, this one nearly put me to sleep. Which is something a zombie film shouldn’t do. Because even with all the action going on on-screen, Day of the Dead still managed to be boring. 3/10