DAY OF THE DEAD


DAY OF THE DEAD
   Film (1985). Laurel. Dir George ROMERO, starring Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato, Richard Liberty, Howard Sherman. Screenplay Romero. 101 mins, cut to 100 mins. Colour.
   Romero's plan, after showing the initial zombie attacks (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD [1968]) and the total breakdown of society (DAWN OF THE DEAD [1978]), was to complete the trilogy with a film showing a new coalition between humans and controlled zombies. Partly for budgetary reasons, he settled for something less ambitious. An underground military/storage base is used by a small company of scientists and soldiers in their desperately rushed study of zombie behaviour. Can they be controlled? What causes the infection? The behaviour of both groups becomes increasingly psychotic, with one scientist (Liberty) profaning the military dead by using their bodies to reward zombies in a B.F. SKINNER-style attempt at conditioning, and the senior military officer (Pilato) treating the scientists with insane violence and contempt. One almost likeable zombie, well played by Sherman, shows signs of human memory. Only three people, including the intelligent woman scientist (Cardille) who is the point-of-view character, escape to uncertain sanctuary in this small-scale, beautifully paced, claustrophobic film. DOTD, copiously illustrated with scenes of dismemberment and cannibalism, is sickening, but as ever Romero contrives to give metaphoric resonance to his exploitation-movie images.
   PN
   See also: MONSTER MOVIES.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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