YMMV: Day of the Dead

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In the original, Captain Rhodes: a complete monster? Or a man at the end of his patience doing the best he can with what little he has to try to put order into a society that has degenerated into chaos?
    • Also, just what makes the scientists and helicopter pilots any more nobler then the army guys? They act out of selfishness and make irrational decisions as well, yet somehow they're portrayed as the good guys in the movie.
      • But the pilots at least stick up for Sarah when the soldiers threaten her.
      • The pilots are the only sensible ones because the film essentially depicts the zombie threat as having won already. The scientists are wasting time trying to understand them, the soldiers are basically embroiled in a dick-measuring contest, and the pilots just want to live the rest of their lives peacefully. And in DOTD's world, that is arguably the most sensible option.
    • The difference, as far as the movie depicts, is that the soldiers are quickly reverting to basic animal survival, while the scientists and the pilot are trying to retain as much of the civilized society as they can. Rhodes is an ineffectual bully who can only excert authority through threats but has no kind of plan or vision of his own. The scientists are at least trying to do something constructive and not succumb to infighting.
      • But then it doesn't help that the likes of Frankenstein resort to subterfuge in order to get what they need. If he'd been more open and told Rhodes what he was doing with the corpses - even asked to use the corpses of the soldiers, he likely wouldn't have been killed. Certainly Rhodes and his men are more irrational, depicted as being more aggressive, but the scientists don't cooperate either. The two pilots with their little spot of paradise tucked away in the facility are more neutral, since they aren't obsessed with asserting their authority, nor are they obsessed with trying to figure out an 'enemy' who by Frankenstein's calculations render any efforts to control or understand the zombies a moot point. What's the point of Frankenstein's research, after all? You could never implement that on a scale large enough to win.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • Day of the Dead's electronic theme is very cold and clinical and very good at conveying the isolation and paranoia the main characters feel.
    • The brief reprise of "The Gonk", rendered in organ form.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • (1985 version) Terry Alexander was born and raised in Detroit, but pulls off an excellent Caribbean accent. Funnily enough, Roger Ebert thought that Jarlath Conroy's Irish accent was fake and commented as such in his initial review, even though Conroy is actually a native Irishman.
    • (2008 version) The DJ was played by Ian McNeice, who you'd never guess was a classically trained British actor who spent four years with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Any scene with both Rhodes and Logan in it is practically made of ham.
  • Nausea Fuel: Virtually every scene involving the zombies, though Rickles getting his face ripped apart and Rhodes getting ripped in half stand out in particular.
  • Rooting for the Empire: A good proportion of viewers/fans find themselves rooting for Rhodes and co. towards the end.
    • Others are rooting for Bub and the Zombies to go after Rhodes.
  • Sequelitis: The original film, while perhaps not considered an all-time classic, is certainly regarded as one of the better zombie films out there. By contrast, Contagium is widely felt to be absolute crap, and the remake arguably even worse.
  • Strawman Has a Point: People try to make a case for the original Rhodes. Just look at this discussion.
    • Moreover, it becomes clear that Rhodes has pretty much the exact same opinions as John about how utterly pointless the scientist's work has become and his desire to leave it all behind and escape in the helicopter are exactly what the heroes do in the end.
      • Lets also not forget that as cute as the teaching Bub to shave and salute scene was; actively teaching zombies how to use guns when guns are the only things that are keeping the humans alive? He was absolutely right to call them out here.
      • Technically Logan didn't teach Bub how to use a gun. He just set it down in front of him to see what he'd do with it. It's just coincidence that Bub had prior firearms knowledge, and didn't have a liking for Rhodes.
  • Tough Act to Follow: This film's reception was mixed, in contrast to the first two films, which are nearly universally acclaimed, genre-defining works. Interestingly, this would later apply to Romero's 2000s Dead trilogy, of which only the first film is not critically reviled, and which is agreed to not hold up against the more solid trilogy of Night, Dawn and this film.
  • Uncanny Valley: Torrez's head when the zombies are ripping it off invokes this, but to its credit, it only helps in making the scene even more horrifying to watch.
  • The Woobie: Bub.
    • Miguel. He's under constant pressure from the army, the fact that he sees nothing but Zombies all over, does not want to sleep, gets bit, has the infected arm cut off with no anesthetic and to top it off losing his mind from the beginning to the end of the movie.