This movie gets a lot of crap, and I’ve never heard any other criticism other than “the thing about the zombies being smart was stupid.”
While I agree that the concept introduced in DAY OF THE DEAD regarding the zombies beginning to learn was flat-out retarded, you shouldn’t judge an entire movie on this one concept. Quite frankly, I love this movie…and I’ll tell you why with three little words.
That’s right, the good old days where people actually did stuff for the gore and zombie makeup, as opposed to just doing shit in computers. And while there are some computerized effects (ie. priest zombie) the gore is nearly entirely practical special effects…and dammit if it isn’t done well.
It’s movies like these that remind you just how real things can look without the aid of computer graphics. And there’s a reason for that…because IT IS REAL!!! I know it’s expensive and a pain in the ass, but hey…what happened to taking pride in your movie making, Hollywood? Do you just not care anymore?
Aside from the effects, the characters are extremely likable, even if they are un-likable. Meaning, you actually don’t mind spending the entire movie with them. They have depth, they are interesting, they have clear motives other than ambiguous “I gotta survive” notions.
Then there’s the scathing social commentary…which seems all the more relevant today than it ever did when the movie was released. Call me a bleeding-heart liberal if you will (and for the record I’m actually more of a moderate) but something about rich folk living in a secluded tower while the rest of the people scavenge in shanty towns outside in the wastes really rings home with the current social climate. Sure, this is taken to the EXTREME…things aren’t quite that bad, but it’s certainly eerily similar.
The dialogue is also fairly impressive for a zombie flick, as in, it doesn’t make you want to shoot yourself and seems somewhat inspired in places.
Bottom line…if you ignore the shit about the zombie leader teaching the other zombies how to use guns and all that other nonsense, you’ve got a great time ahead of you. But…if you can’t…well, you might want to steer clear. Because the concept hasn’t gotten any more tolerable since DAY OF THE DEAD.