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"We don't have enough ammunition to 'shoot them all in the head'. The time to have done that would have been at the beginning. No, we let them overrun us. They have overrun us, you know. We're in the minority now. Something like 400,000 to 1 by my calculations."
— Doctor Logan
Day of the Dead (also known as George A. Romero's Day of the Dead) is a 1985 horror film by director George A. Romero, the third of Romero's Living Dead movies. It is preceded by Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. George Romero describes the film as a "tragedy about how a lack of human communication causes chaos and collapse even in this small little pie slice of society". Steve Miner directed a remake which was released on February 15, 2008, and there is an official sequel called Day of the Dead 2: Contagium which nobody from the original movie had any involvement with.An undead apocalypse has ravaged the Earth whilst America's last surviving humans study them from within an underground military establishment. The survivors in the film are horrified at the prospect that they "are the only ones left", creating a crisis within human civilization over whether or not the idea of human society should be continued or abandoned. The living characters in the film are made up of three distinctive groups, each of whom have been given a task by the government - but since the government is no longer providing oversight (and may no longer exist) each group is becoming increasingly subject to temptations that go beyond their instructions. The scientists have been ordered to find a resolution to the epidemic but are tempted to violate nature's boundaries guarding life and death, soldiers who are assigned to protect the doctors appointed to study the zombies but are tempted to enforce fascistic martial law and destroy the specimens in an act of rebellion, and the civilians who are assigned to serve both groups with basic though necessary services like transportation and communication but are tempted to abandon the cause and, instead, live out their last days in reckless abandon.Not to be confused with November 2, aka Día de los Muertos in Mexico.
This movie contains examples of:
Apocalyptic Log: When Sarah and Bill are searching through Logan's office, they decide to listen to his recorded lab notes, which quickly degenerate from clinical analysis of one of his zombie test subjects into an argument with his dead mother, where he claims that "[The zombies'] minds are talking to me," proving to them that the doctor has totally lost it.
Armies Are Evil: George Romero's less than flattering opinion on the US military is particularly obvious in this film; none of the soldiers have any redeeming qualities. It could be argued that they were going insane after all the isolation and the threat of zombies.
Well, all except Miguel, who's an outcast from the rest of the soldiers because of racism and the fact that he's sleeping with Sarah.
Plus two others, Johnson and Miller, these two are pretty mellow most of the time. But they are the first two killed off.
Torrez wasn't so bad either. At least until the army finds out that Logan was feeding Bub the remains of their fallen comrades, where he assists Rhodes in holding the others at gunpoint. It was really just Rhodes, Steele, and Rickles that were complete assholes.
Book Ends: The film begins and ends with Sarah having nightmares about being attacked by zombies.
Break the Haughty: Rhodes starts out big and bad when it comes to bullying the living, treating the Zombie situation like an active war zone. However upon facing Bub who is armed, he's reduced to running, screaming and getting wounded, before becoming a screaming mess when faced with an Overrun. He does get a cool line in the end though.
Chekhov's Gun: Bub is shown to remember portions of his life, including saluting, shaving, and the operation of a handgun. That last one comes in handy.
For Science!: Dr. Logan believes he can teach the zombies good manners - an obsession that comes to a head when the soldiers guarding the place finds out he's using the corpses of their fallen comrades as positive reinforcements.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: If one looks closely as Rhodes is torn in half, they'll see that a large section of his innards is a blood-covered rubber chicken.
Hidden Depths: Steele is just as racist and awful as Rhodes and Rickles. However, while the zombies are tearing him apart, we get a look at his hand and see he was wearing a wedding ring.
It Can Think: Rhodes is seriously freaked out when the Mad Scientist demonstrates that zombies can remember how to use objects from their previous lives as humans. Such as operating a Colt .45 pistol.
He seems reluctantly impressed by Dr. Logan's achievements up until the point where Bub mumbles into the toy telephone "Hello, Aunt Alicia". This is the point when he visibly freaks out. Not even the gun display gets such a reaction out of him.
Mad Scientist: Dr. Matthew Logan, nicknamed "Frankenstein" by the soldiers, is the embodiment of this trope. He is so obsessed with his work he fails to consider how the soldiers will react to him cutting up their deceased comrades for his experiments.
Shout-Out: "Logan" and "Bub", as if to dispel any doubt, the two are listed in the opening credits together. In fact, they are the only characters to be named in the opening credits. George Romero has allegedly denied this, attributing it to coincidence.
Sole Surviving Scientist: Dr. Logan is a prime example of the archetype (even though there is another scientist, and she outlives him). His obsessive pursuit of understanding the undead was a harsh critique on the pursuit of scientific knowledge without practical application.
Thematic Series: The entire Night of the Living Dead series is loosely connected by Romero, the zombie apocalypse, and times of day.