October 21, 2015

Day of the Dead (1985)

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First, there was Night of the Living Dead...

Then there was Dawn of the Dead...

Now there's Day of the Dead! And the guys sat down to watch it...so you don't have to!

What up, cap'n!
Day of the Dead, like its predecessors, is about zombies and the terrible people they eat. However, unlike those films that came before it, this one has a bunch of people who look like better actors! For instance, there's the guy who looks like Nathan Fillion:

He's a horrible piece of garbage who is the highest ranking soldier in his group of about ten dudes and a lowly woman who are all hiding underground in a mine somewhere in Florida. He uses his power position to pretend he knows what he's doing, although it's pretty clear about five minutes in that he does not. Every word that comes out of his mouth is yelled at top volume.

Then there's the guy who looks like John Goodman as Walter from The Big Lebowski:

By an amusing coincidence, the character's name is also Walter, which led the guys to speculate whether this was meant to be a prequel to The Big Lebowski. Even if it's not, they decided to pretend it was. He also yells everything, occasionally punctuating it with a shrill, wheezing laugh.

Walter's partner looks like"Road Rash", the bouncer at Club Scum in Hobgoblins.

When they're not yelling at everyone--including each other--these three imbeciles corral zombies for Dr. Frankenstein (not his real name) to experiment on, ostensibly to find a way to stop the dead from coming back to life. (Nobody, it seems, saw the first two movies.)

In the meantime, I shall turn them into clowns for our amusement!
He doesn't yell nearly as much as the others, and even manages to give a monologue or two that give the appearance of actual acting. Needless to say, he is one of the most talented of the non-dead.

His assistant, whose name we are too uninterested to look up, looks like a young Dave Foley from The Kids in the Hall.

He, too, has a positive attitude about menstruation.
He really doesn't last long enough to do much yelling, so there's not much more to add about him.

One of the other soldiers is names Martinez. Despite him being, as fake John Goodman calls him, "a goddamn spic," he looks a lot like actor/comedian Jason Mantzoukas:

What's up, Jerks!
Although it's not really explained, he's unhealthy, and, of course, the other soldiers treat him like something they found stuck to their shoe. He gets his revenge, though...Oh, yes...

Then there are these two guys:

Comically Jamaican Guy and Emaciated Mr. Bean!
Comically Jamaican Guy, as is normally the case in the Romero zombie movies, s the most rational, clear-thinking person in the group. Mr. Bean up there is an alcoholic. He's all but useless. Neither of them yell very much at all.

And finally, there's Sarah, the token female character:

Martinez is sad that Sarah will not share her stash of sweet, sweet heroin.
Unlike her predecessors, Sarah actually contributes. She displays grim determination as she takes care of Martinez, including cutting his arm off when he gets bitten by a zombie (trust us; it helps), helps corral zombies for Dr. Frankenstein, and is even willing to shoot Nathan Fillion and his cronies! A big change from the comatose Barbara from Night of the Living Dead and whatever the hell the name was of the pregnant, clothes modeling woman from Dawn of the Dead.

All of these people are just awful. Really. You start rooting for the zombies to eat them right away, even before we get to meet the most charismatic and interesting character in the entire movie: Bub.

You do not want to miss the dramatic manscaping scene.
Bub is Dr. Frankenstein's real experiment. The doctor believes that it is possible to train the zombies to work for the living, as opposed to them just eating us. And, although there are a few test subjects that just don't cut it, Bub turns out to be pretty good at picking up old habits, such as using the phone:

No, you hang up! Tee-hee!
And listening to music.

It's like Adele is singing just to me!
The real breakthrough, though, comes when the doctor discovers that Bub used to be a soldier, and has Sarah give Bub her gun, because what could possibly go wrong there?

Oh. Right. That.
Suffice to say, lots of people get eaten (Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness make-up effects guy Greg Nicotero!), and you really won't care at all. As we said, they're all just awful. And then Martinez does his best to make sure there are no survivors at all, including himself, by allowing a huge crowd of zombies to use the elevator into the underground hideout. It's messy.

Derek did not like this movie. At all. The only redeeming qualities, to him, are the make-up effects and Bub. So he spent most of his time trying to figure out who all these terrible actors looked like. He also kept calling the Jamaican guy "the 7-Up guy", despite the fact that he looked nothing like him, and his voice was too high. Derek is an idiot.

Jake agrees that it's not very good, but he still finds it to be entertaining. He also tries to figure out the timeline and this movie's placement in it for the entire "Living Dead" series. Although he doesn't come up with a definitive timeline, he makes a little headway.

Larry loves this movie, and he doesn't care who knows it. He is, however, willing to concede that some of the actors were maybe hamming it up a tiny bit too much, but that doesn't take away from the story for him. It just makes him want the zombies to eat everyone faster. Especially that asshole Rickles. Man, did that guy suck.

There's also news in The Lobby, new releases in Coming Soon, Larry's List, Hollywood Purgatory, and another round of Movie Mash-Up -- Larry's game show!

As a bonus, the guys have a frank discussion about which "Saturday Morning Cartoons of Old" should be rebooted into movies and which directors could make them the most disturbing versions.

So tune in and give it a listen! And remember: Next week, we finish off the Month of the Living Dead with Land of the Dead! See you then!