Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate George Romero’s Day of the Dead more and more. However, when it released in 1985 it wasn’t well received. Many critics accused the film of being too dark, depressing and slow paced. Personally, I love the bleak outlook it has on the zombie apocalypse. It’s less about the undead and more about how people would slowly degrade mentally due to isolation and the changing world. The scenario that it presents makes for a thick atmosphere in which tensions escalate until boiling point. It’s by no means a perfect film but one that I really enjoy. You can check out our reviews for the original/remake (2008) here & here.
In a time when remakes and reimagining’s are so prevalent, it was only a matter of time before this happened. Day of the Dead: Bloodline is a second attempt at a remake, after Day of the Dead (2008) had failed miserably. Apparently, the makers of this reimagining wanted to be as faithful as possible to the original. How did they do?
The premise is equally similar and entirely different all at the same time. Zoe Parker is a young doctor who finds herself part of a military group and some survivalists who dwell in a bunker. However, it’s less of an underground bunker and more of a facility that surrounded by a mountainous region. The world is overrun by zombies as the survivors seek a cure to end their nightmare. The undead in the original were the slow, shambling types. However, in this they are fast, smart and super ferocious. I found them to be quite similar to the infected seen in 28 Days Later. None are more intelligent than one particular zombie, named Max.
Before everything went to hell, Zoe was stalked and sexually assaulted by Max. Well, he may be a zombie but that has done nothing to stop him from wanting her. He hunts her down at the facility but is captured. Now, Zoe is free to conduct experiments on Max and find out what it is that makes him different from the others. Somehow, she discovers that his blood would work as some kind of immunity cure and that certain organs are still alive. It is mentioned earlier that Max has a special type of blood so I guess that’s the reason.
Can Zoe find a way to distribute the cure and save the world? Watch Day of the Dead: Bloodline to find out.
There’s a serious amount of negativity surrounding this film online. People are giving it 1/10 or 0/10, it’s even rated “Rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes! However, while it is by no means a good movie I’m in the mind that people are going a bit over the top.
One thing that absolutely nobody can criticize are the effects used in the movie. Everything from the zombie make-up to the bites are surprisingly well done. It shouldn’t be that shocking as it did have a fairly decent budget. Still, I can’t deny that I was thoroughly impressed by the practical blood and gore effects on display. Even Max looks fairly decent, even if there is something a little off about his make-up.
Also, I’m certain we can all agree that the zombies used here opposed to the original are much scarier and more intimidating. With these types of strong, runner zombies it isn’t hard to imagine how they might take over the world. I always had issue with how such slow, clumsy monsters could achieve world domination.
Now, the negatives. I could write a stupidly long list of dumb decisions that characters make in this movie. Still, what’s really the point? It feels like every horror movie can be accused of the same thing. I’m starting to believe that the genre wouldn’t function without dumb people. Just leave your brain at the door for this one and you’ll likely enjoy it more.
As you would imagine there are as well many strange choices made my characters. One that bothered me the most was the decision to have Max chained in the same room as Zoe. Surely they could have placed him elsewhere. If he had to be there then why wasn’t be retrained better? Why not put a muzzle over his mouth or cut off his arms and legs. I know Zoe needs his blood but I’m sure he could do without those.
The scientific aspects of the film are poorly explained. Max is a super intelligent “rotter” and somehow this makes him capable of curing the virus? How? What? Why? It’s brushed past far too quickly. Also, he’s dead right? Surely his blood would be a little different from when he was alive.
Zoe is a really unlikeable character. She makes constant choices that get others killed and is just generally selfish. It is her decision to bring Max into the facility so it is entirely on her what happens. I agreed with Miguel much more who has a similar role to Rhodes in the original except 100% less psychotic. It’s just silly that he comes across as the most reasonable person in the film. Also, he doesn’t even get a memorable death like Rhodes does.
Another thing, the acting is quite bland on the whole. There’s just something off with it, its severely lacking in any kind of emotion. The film actually tries to make you care about character deaths who had mere moments of screen time.
The ending is horrible, it’s actually quite happy! I’m not sure George would approve of that….
Overall, Day of the Dead: Bloodline is a bit of a waste of time. On the whole, it’s an alright zombie film with better effects that it has any right to have. Still, it does nothing to improve upon the original so what’s the point of its existence? It’s nowhere near as bad as some would have you believe but it’s nothing special either.
Day of the Dead: Bloodline