Day of the Dead ★★½

Bringing back the grimness of Night of the Living Dead and toning down the comedic aspects of Dawn of the Dead, the third entry in George A. Romero's Living Dead series is no doubt laudable for its make-up & practical effects but it suffers from the lack of a sturdy storyline and is further marred by the inept acting of its cast.

Just like its predecessors, Day of the Dead concerns a small group of survivors in a world overrun by zombies, this time focusing on a team of soldiers & scientists who are living in an underground bunker, performing experiments on the undead in order to study their anatomy and find a solution to the dilemma but the soldiers' patience soon runs out.

Written & directed by George A. Romero, the film opens on an interesting note, offering a view of the post-apocalyptic world before heading beneath the surface where majority of its plot unfolds. Romero here attempts to show how lack of transparency in communication can trigger a downfall & turn people against each other but its execution isn't entirely gripping.

While there are moments of tension every now n then, what's missing is a sense of direction. The awful performances from its cast doesn't help either and only ruins the seriousness the story was aiming for. Pacing is slow, few moments come off as silly, music fails to add a touch of foreboding, much of the zombie mayhem is saved for the final act, and the characters are simply forgettable.

On an overall scale, Day of the Dead may still work for those who were enamoured by the previous two chapters but it doesn't bring anything new to the table despite its bigger production budget. It may pack a thrilling moment or two but there's nothing memorable about it, other than its make-up effects & unadulterated showcase of violence n gore. Nevertheless, for me, Day was still less of an ordeal than Dawn.

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