Cast: Sophie Skelton, Johnathon Schaech, Jeff Gum
Directed by: Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Written by: Mark Tonderai, Lars Jacobson
Running Time: 90 minutes
Day of the Dead: Bloodline is a remake or, perhaps better stated, a re-imagining of the 1985, Directed by the late George Romero and the third in the series of his zombie films. I’ve never quite understood the fascination of remaking Romero’s films since the zombie genre is one that allows so many different tales to be told from personal, small-town stories like the original Night of the Living Dead to global, apocalyptic epics like World War Z. While slapping the name “Day of the Dead” on it might give it some initial push ultimately the fans will decide and likely…they’re not going to be overly kind to this pointless remake.
Like the original, the remake follows a group of survivors living in a military bunker. The installation is run by Commander Miguel Salazer. Salazar believes zombies (or rotters as they are called) should be killed and frequently clashes with the scientists who experiment on the subjects. One of those is Zoe (Skelton), a young medical student who fled her university at the onset of the zombie outbreak and has become the base’s de facto doctor.
A silly backstory involves Max (Schaech) a man who frequented the university to donate blood and who had an unhealthy obsession with Zoe. Max’s blood was discovered to have an unusual amount of antibodies. Max essentially fills in for “Bud” from the original film as the “smarter than the average zombie” that Zoe experiments upon. Schaech truly has one of the worst makeup jobs ever seen in a zombie film, looking like an undead version of Batman nemesis The Joker.
Day of the Dead: Bloodline has none of the sense of the claustrophobic helplessness of the original whose tight confines eventually led to violence and made the living even more of a threat than the dead. This slow descension into madness was a recurring theme in Romero’s films and one that is completely absent from Director Hèctor Hernández Vicens’ lackluster attempt. We can applaud his attempt at fleshing out these characters and giving them a backstory but what’s the point? By nature zombie films end up with just about everyone dying anyway. Who needs contrived nonsense about a lovesick zombie’s preoccupation with a pretty medical student?
Outside of a few frantic action sequences (made artificially more frantic by the fact that these are the fast moving variety of zombies) there’s just not a whole lot to recommend with Day of the Dead: Bloodline. This is one for hardcore zombie fans only.
Day of the Dead: Bloodline: Reviving Horror (15:00) – A purely promotional vignette