When this movie started making the rounds with critics, reviews in advance found themselves barred or privately listed, the interviews welcomed, and finding a positive remark equal to finding a pin in pile of sewing needles, and so soon after Romero’s demise. As horror fans know some movies absolutely do not need to be done again, especially when if a remake had already gone through the process of being remade. Therefore, allow us to backtrack as likely many recalled director George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (1985) which had a sequel, considered illegitimate by many fans called Day of the Dead 2: Contagium (2005) by directors Ana Clavell and James Glenn Dudelson. Now an actual remake Day of the Dead did appear 2008 by famed horror director Steve Miner, that then leads to this mess of movie, which follows the blueprint for the most part from director Hector Hernandez Vicens with his first attempt into making a horror film. His prior work falls firmly in the family genre with over 380 writer credits, but this time uses a script from Mark Tonderal and Lars Jacobson, based from Romero’s original work. When other filmmakers did remakes of George’s films Night of the Living Dead by Tom Savini and then the stellar rendition of Zack Synder’s Dawn of the Dead (2004) the created something different and rather entertaining. The most one gets from this one is a creepy zombie lower than the famous Bub character, this version named Max is a rape and sexual assault pervert.
It starts with a violent zombie attack, and the character Zoe (Sophie Skelton) calmly walking down street, talking to her mother while zombies devour the living around, and looking so very cheap. Then the film switches to a title card and backdating several hours ago. Hence the introduction of the character Max (Johnathon Schaech), as a blood donor with strong antibodies who hungers for Zoe, by carving her name into his forearm and later the same night attempts to rape her in the morgue of Whittendale University Medical Center. She escapes thanks to a resurrected corpse who mooches on Max, as the chaos starts she escapes and fast forward 5-years later where the med-student now medical doctor, at High Rock Bunker a refugee camp/CDC research facility. But of course, a common infection at the camp threatens to kill many and Zoe pushes for a supply run to her medical center, but Max still there and she drops personal items while fleeing from him and other zombies. Max somehow hitches a ride back to High Rock (holding onto the underbelly of a Humvee), although quite impossible and he’s has intelligence, more than Bub (Sherman Howard) did, however this one contains a bullying predator with sexual overtones. He sniffs his way to Zoe in the compound and finally gets captured, only to later ache for her even licking her face with his zombie tongue. In the end, Zoe embarks into a rape avenger storyline, with her love interest Bacca (Marcus Vanco) on her side while battling his brother Miguel (Jeff Gum) brings on the macho just like the character Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) in the 1985 film. By the third act, the zombie outbreak starts inside the compound, all thanks to Max (who steals a key to free himself) becomes soldiers versus zombies. Max kidnaps a little girl and talks (sort of), yeah it doesn’t make much sense.
The flick makes a lot of silly jumps, and even has Skelton jog along a flimsy perimeter fence, while zombie gather on the other side, it appears often the characters make foolish decisions and Max turns more into a horny possessive zombie. Que the rolling of the eyes, and mouth WTF. The special effects work at some moments flesh tearing and intestines pulling, but CGI results in horrendous actions such as constant blood drops on the camera lens. The actors often working with a loose script, the refugee camp allows for a higher body count a plus, but so much sadly lacks as it focuses on Zoe and Max’s twisted relationship.
While trying to create new storylines in the zombie genre, it might become increasingly difficult, filmmakers strive to discover those new variations. However, while some remakes work, this one lacks a convincing story, and gives a happy ending (really it happens), it misses the mark with no political or social examination, but attempts to exploit the stereotypical characters, but the Max character’s actions just push everything a tad too far for most zombie loving gore hounds and splatterpunks. It all dwindles down into a thin remake representation of Romero’s original, but widely accessible for those interested in experiencing another dead movie, as distribution was secured in 2018 from Lionsgate, Saban Films, and Millennium Films.
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IMDb Rating: 3.4/10
Baron’s Rating 2.5/10