A 2004 remake of the 1978 zombie classic starring Ving Rhames and Sarah Polley, and directed by Zack Snyder. The film is generally considered to be on-par with the original, despite some heavy differences.Ana, a Milwaukee nurse, finishes a long shift at her hospital where — along with other bits of Foreshadowing — she discusses a patient who was bitten in a bar fight. After work, she chats briefly with a cute neighbor child, then returns to her suburban home and her waiting husband. The next morning, she wakes up to find her zombified young neighbor in her house; the girl kills her husband, who then rises a zombie and comes after Ana. Ana escapes in her car, only to learn that, overnight, the town has fallen into chaos. A living human attempts to carjack her vehicle, causing her to panic, drive off the road, crash into a tree, and knock herself unconscious. When she awakens, she meets up with a police officer by the name of Kenneth, and then a small group of survivors more-or-less led by jack-of-all-trades Michael. They all break into a nearby shopping mall, where they are confronted by a trio of mall security guards, led by the surly C.J. Via binoculars and dry-erase boards, they also "meet" gun-store owner Andy, who is stranded alone in his shop across the mall's zombie-infested parking lot. The guards are eventually disarmed, and some more survivors are let into the mall, among them teenaged Nicole.For a while, the group wallows in the mall's materialism, and Ana and Michael edge into a romance, but due both to general stupidity (thanks Andre!) and the collapse of the power grid, the situation finally deteriorates to the point where the group decides to reinforce a pair of parking shuttles, drive to the local marina and escape out to an island on Lake Michigan. An attempt to get some food to starving Andy ends in general disaster (thanks Nicole and Steve!), and when the zombies finally break into the mall, it forces the survivors into a premature evacuation.
Provides Examples Of:
Aborted Arc: After establishing that infected blood is the culprit in turning people into zombies, Ana is clearly seen washing infected blood off of her hands in a mall water feature. Later, Kenneth falls into this water, and the movie even makes a point of emphasising an injury to Kenneth that cuts open his arm in the infected water. Despite this, nothing further comes of this incident and Kenneth does not turn into a zombie.
Bolivian Army Ending: The survivors take Steve's yacht and leave, but the credits reveal that, as soon as they hit the island, a massive horde of zombies bear down on them - and all they've got are some shotguns.
Boom, Headshot: Features an impressive shotgun-blast-to-the-head scene.
Chainsaw Good: Subverted in the breakout, where they're used to saw the legs off of zombies climbing on the buses, but the bus takes a hit, and it sends the chainsaws barreling into the other survivors. The resulting bloodspray makes the bus crash.
Death by Irony: C.J. says about midway through the film, "I'll kill each and every one of you to stay alive." Guess who ends up committing a Heroic Sacrifice?
Also, Michael was pretty dead set on killing the infected Frank before he turned. It's simultaneously ironic, impressive and heartbreaking when he reveals his own infection, says goodbye to Anna, and sets the others off in the boat before shooting himself in the head.
Also, Andre's death eerily mirrors the conversation where he tells Kenneth that his purpose was to bring his child into the world. Err... mission accomplished?
Death by Pragmatism: C.J. is a jerk, but his original plan to stay firmly buttoned up inside the mall was much safer. He finally executes a Heel-Face Turn and goes along with a escape plan. Good idea, since the lack of power and increasing number of zombies was getting a bit big.
Death by Sex: Luis, Monica, and Steve. Averted with Ana, who is one of the survivors.
Developing Doomed Characters: Firmly averted; the zombies literally come bursting into the heroine's bedroom within ten minutes of the start of the film.
Emergency Presidential Address: In the news report-style DVD Bonus Content, the ongoing media coverage temporarily switches to an announcement from the White House press office, wherein the press secretary confirms that an unknown virus is causing people to rise from the dead, the President has been moved to a secure facility, and then turns the podium over to a general who declares that martial law is in effect for the United States.
Tucker was noted as having a gimped foot, which nips him in the bud when he falls through a manhole and breaks his leg.
Steve taunted Ana by giving her the go-ahead to shoot him if he ever turned. She gladly obliges when he does.
The destruction of Fort Pastor is hinted at early on, when news footage from the base clearly shows several infectees (victims sporting bite wounds and other mutilations) being brought in via truck.
Friendly Sniper: In the film, though we only see him personally in his video log, included as a DVD extra.
The Fundamentalist: The televangelist, who blames the zombie apocalypse on America's sinfulness (read: tolerating pre-maritial sex, abortion, homosexuality and homosexual marriage). He's played by Ken Foree, and gets to utter his famous line from the original.
Guns Akimbo: Tucker, after he breaks his leg in the sewer. Not like he has much of a choice, and he gets leaped upon when he has to reload.
Hero of Another Story: Lots, many of them seen only in news reports from deleted scenes on the DVD. Special nod goes to Sheriff Cahill and the survivalist and his crew who make an instructional video on how to kill zombies.
Heroic Sacrifice: C.J. stays behind to draw away the zombies and detonate the buses to kill a good number of them].
Steve maintains this right up to the moment he gets zombified and has a bullet planted in his brain.
Also C.J., until he learns trust is the foundation to any successful relationship.
Bart and Monica also qualify.
Just Eat Gilligan: Within ten seconds of meeting him, the audience knows that Steve is going to end up screwing everyone over and wonder why none of the characters save themselves some hassle by just shooting him or kicking him off the damn roof?
Although it's clear by her tone that Ana definitely is tempted.
Kill 'em All: The credits scene has a horde of zombies rush toward the final three survivors, and only one is armed. It's left ambiguous.
Michael:[holding a shotgun] This is the dangerous end, right?
[Kenneth reaches over, *click*]
Kenneth: Now it is.
Our Zombies Are Different: The 2004 version compared to the 70's version. The new zombies are capable of running and jumping, with no sign of exhaustion and very persistent. Making them a much more severe threat. The 70's version was mostly scary due to numbers. They were slow and shambling but could easily overcome the humans if they managed to corner them.
Power of Trust: C.J. is more compelled to cooperate with the other survivors after reading some magazine articles while locked up.
"Trust. The primary ingredient in any relationship."
Remake Cameo: Ken Foree (Peter from the original), Scott Reiniger (Roger) and Tom Savini (Blades) all have cameos in the remake, playing, respectively, a televangelist, a general and a sheriff who appear on the TV. Gaylen Ross (Francine) doesn't appear in the remake, but she gets one of the department stores named after her.
Russian Woman Suffers Most: Luda is infected, but Andre hides it from the others, denying her the chance for a mercy kill. After she dies and turns, she gives birth to a Zombaby.
Scenery Censor: A bizarre example is present on the US Director's Cut DVD, where a scene is censored by the addition of gore to cover up nudity. CGI blood smears on the wind shield of a car were added so that they obscure the view on the breasts of a nude woman walking past the car. This is especially bizarre since the DVD in question is unrated and features at least one other topless scene, which remained uncensored.
Sequel Hook: Featured, though a sequel now seems unlikely. The remake of Day of the Dead is not a sequel despite the return of Ving Rhames in a different role, which seems to be the case for most of the Romero movies.
Shout-Out: Contains numerous nods to the original versions of both Night and Dawn, along with a couple of subtle references to the siege of the Alamo.
The Stinger: Footage was belatedly added to the closing credits.
Straight Gay: Glen. In the theatrical version, the only hint that he is gay is him trying on shoes during the montage of time passing in the mall, although the directors cut includes a scene where it's outright stated.
Nicole is so worried about her dog that she somehow hijacks a truck and crashes it into the building he's in, only to be trapped by zombies. Made even more stupid as it's even pointed out to her that the Zombies are only interested in eating human flesh and we even see them completely ignore the dog! In this case it's an aversion, as Nicole lives to the end of the movie, albeit at the expense of multiple other lives.
In the Emergency Broadcast shown on the DVD, we see some teens risk infection by tying up a zombie girl to have sex with, as well as one moron get his throat ripped out when a cage match against a zombie goes as horribly wrong as you'd expect.
Whose bright idea was it to use chainsaws in a moving vehicle, a high speed moving one at that? Answer Michael! Yeah, it was to knock off any zombie stragglers. But there were dozens of other effective methods that would've knocked them off quickly and been less dangerous.
The group never once thought to share crucial information about the zombies with Andy, not even when performing the risky move with the dog.