When it comes to Romero I think I agree with you entirely! Day of the Dead stands head and shoulders above the zombie films he directed up to that point and certainly what came later. However it is still not quite enough for me to pronounce the film my favourite or best in my view. That honour still, and this will not surprise you, gets bestowed on Lucio Fulci for Zombi 2. It is the Romero film that never was. despite Lucio's protestations concerning Jacques Tournier it sticks pretty rigidly to Romero genre rules that have now become the zombie standard. Only the drumming soundtrack is especially Tournier. Anyhow the antaganisms in Day of the Dead seem to make it the most overtly political of the series with any political theme overstated in regard to the prior two films. This one deals with antagonisms.In a way it is a remake of The Crazies, but that is another story altogether.So, for me, it is Zombie Flesh Eaters that rules the genre. It has too many iconic zombie set pieces not to. However Day of the Dead runs a close second and is possibly the only one of the trilogy that I still revisit from time to time.
Hi Nigel, thanks for the awesome comment! That antagonism element you mention is a large part of what makes Day so fascinating, aside from the zombie horror. Sara says it best “maybe if we try to work together, we could try to ease some of the tensions; we’re all pulling in different directions.” Each group is working towards their own interest, and the hostility and conflictions between the different groups, the scientists, civilians, and military escalates and eventually explodes, and the overall message ends up being that humans are more of a threat to themselves than the zombies are. This also happens in a way with Dawn, considering the showdown between the bikers and mall refugees, but this was more of a territorial hostility.When I first saw Zombi 2, I was completely ignorant of Fulci at the time and was only in the mindset for something like a Romero dead film and so, only having an eye for the Romero genre rules that you mention, I ended up thinking it was an inferior imitation. It wasn’t until I saw The Beyond that Fulci clicked with me. I remember thinking “oh this movie is from the same person that made Zombie (as it is known here), this is going to be terrible”, but I was completely turned on and moved by it, and for some reason all of a sudden I remembered Zombie as a great film, and it was even greater than I remembered after watching it again. For me Zombie and The Beyond are a lot more fun than Day (and I can’t decide which I like better), but I just have a huge fascination and soft spot for Day. So it’s opposite for me in that Zombie and The Beyond are tied at my second favorite Zombie film.
Solid film, solid review... I do agree that you have to take Fulci's work on its own... Personally I think Night is the best, largely for what it did to the genre. If I had to pick an absolute Romero favorite, it would probably be Dawn though.Day is right behind it though :)
Thanks Kev! Night is extremely significant, and without it we wouldn’t have ever had Dawn or Day, hell, we might not even have the zombie genre as we know it today. Dawn was my first Romero film and basically my initiation into the world of cult horror films and is largely responsible for my affinity for older low budget stuff; since then I’ve never been able to get enough. It was my zombie fascination that started with Romero's Dawn which led me to Fulci which then gave rise to my interest in Argento, then Soavi and Bava and so on and so forth, so it basically made me the Euro horror junky that I am.
Great blog, read it with a calm and follow both sites! :)
Thanks Luigi :)
I never understand how people can dislike this one in comparison to the others when it seems like the ultimate logical extension of them: first you have the premise, then the what-if shopping mall strategy explored, and finally the fully stocked and secure fortress which the zombies destroy anyway. It doesn't get much more desperate than that!I agree with your praising remarks. This one is easily my favorite also.
It not only seems like the ultimate logical extension, but I always felt like it was a logical conclusion to the initial trilogy. There seems like so much progress between Night, Dawn, and Day, and while I'm not as jaded on Romero's more recent films as most viewers, I didn't sense the same amount of progression in any of them.