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Film Review: Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018)

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SYNOPSIS:

A small group of military personnel and survivalists dwell in an underground bunker as they seek to find a cure in a world overrun by zombies.

REVIEW:

Normally, I will scan through other reviews of certain movies to make sure I’m not way off base in my opinions. Maybe I missed something important, or maybe there is some factor I was unaware of that might have some impact on my final thoughts on a film.

Day of the Dead: Bloodline” is not a film I need to check my reaction to. As a result, my comments will no doubt echo those of many other reviewers. In fact, if many reviewers are saying that same things, then you can be fairly sure the movie is to blame.

Unlike a good number of horror fans out there, I happen to like Romero’s “Day of the Dead”. I felt it summed up what humanity would boil down to in such a situation: either military bullies who demand control or deluded dreamers that see Humanity saving itself. Unfortunately, the future as portrayed in Romero’s films is not a happy place, and we are ultimately to blame for the bulk of the downfall. In the end, if doom is inevitable, then strive to enjoy life as best you can until it is taken from you.

Others saw deeper political/social meanings in the dark, slow, and depressing original film. I think even the film’s enemies would at least allow that Romero was making a statement about the human condition, even if, in their eyes, he failed miserably.

Remake director Hector Hernandez Vicens must have felt the inclusion of any subtext or deeper meaning to the action on screen would either be confusing or unneeded. Probably didn’t want to risk offending anybody. Please remember to avoid looking beyond the surface.

The needlessly convoluted opening shows the zombie holocaust as it kicks into full swing before taking you back four hours so you can learn that Mankind’s only hope is a family-obsessed medical student who is to medicine what Harry Potter is to magic because in less than four hours, her training will come to a sudden end. Oh, and you find out she has a stalker with antibodies off the chart. Not that such a thing could possibly have anything to do with our story, right?

Five years pass and Zoe, our medical student, is in charge of finding a cure for the zombie outbreak at an underground bunker that is holding what could be the last vestiges of civilization. I’m guessing that every other person with complete medical training was wiped out. See, slackers like me who want a position without doing the training just need to survive a zombie holocaust, and we can write our own tickets. “Hey, sure, I’m a brain surgeon. Lemme git my chainsaw.”

A possibly life-threatening illness is contracted by a young girl in the bunker. How? Oh, it was in the script, so why provide reasonable explanations for anything? Our perky, but utterly boring and bland heroine demands everyone put their lives on the line so she can return to her old school and get the supplies she KNOWS are still there. No one else in the whole world would think of checking a medical school for medical supplies over the last five years, I guess.

Insert cliché breakdown of a vehicle, phallic display of weapons, and a last second escape to fill more time. Once at the medical school, guess who has been lurking around the building FOR FIVE FREAKING YEARS just waiting for the object of his warped desire to return? Yup, Max, the loony stalker with the antibody disorder, just knew Zoe would come back. Never mind he is some sort of human/zombie hybrid now. Inappropriate sexual attention never dies. Just ask Bill Cosby.

Somehow Max sneaks out behind everyone after they leave, yet he manages to latch onto the underside of one of the military vehicles and infiltrate the secure bunker where Zoe and the rest live. In short order, Max is captured. Gasp! He might be the answer to the zombie plague? Wow, I guess Mankind should be thankful Max is such a single-minded creep. Once he is captured, then we are given needless events to fill the running time until the disease whiz-kid can whip up the cure.

Yes, I told you how it ends. Trust me when I say that knowing the ending of this film will not ruin the film for you. Watching any 10-minute segment of the movie will ruin things for you, if you have seen the original. If you haven’t seen the original, then the constant idiotic choices made by the characters and the blandness of the characters will make you consider a colonoscopy in place of finishing this movie.

It is easy to heap insults onto this film because it took a minor classic, and, instead of building on a solid foundation, gutted any social/political meaning from the story and gives you writing and acting that makes you cringe because it depends so much on cliché and stupidity that you cannot muster any concern or empathy for the movie, the situations, and/or the characters.

Do they get anything right? Well, the gore isn’t bad. That’s about it. If you just want mindless gore, go watch “The Burning Moon”.

Here’s a suggestion to the filmmakers: Max is an interesting character. Put him against a heroine who has some backbone and character. Better yet, remake “Cape Fear” with Max as a person slowly turning into a zombie, and he is racing against time to have his way with Zoe before he becomes a mindless zombie. Or remake “D.O.A.” as a zombie film. Hell, I’d even be open to “Zombie Kane” in place of “Citizen Kane”.  Just don’t ride the coattails of George Romero’s legacy and hope to fool the fans into watching bland junk.

 

5 comments

  1. SteelScissorsInYourSkull

    What I don’t like about this review are the backhanded compliments handed out to the original ‘Day of the Dead’. Romero was a genius and ‘Day of the Dead’ is one of his most satisfying films; my personal favorite of all his movies. It’s an out and out classic and anyone who doesn’t think so has likely been jaded by the countless films that followed Day, cribbing many of it’s scenes and ideas. Romero went there first.

     
    • Well, if I had been reviewing the original film, I would have heaped tons of praise on it. It is also my favorite of the “Dead” movies.

      Unfortunately, I was reviewing this misguided nightmare that became increasingly brainless AND boring with each scene.

       
  2. SteelScissorsInYourSkull

    P.S. I saw this film. It was bland and poorly written. I’d call it a cheap cash gran and an insult to Romero’s work. The producers should have their genitals mutilated for film rape.

     
  3. The original Day of the Dead got horrible reviews back in 1985. Look at it now, people praise the film. It gained a cult following.
    I don’t think this 2018 Day of the Dead is any worse than the 1985 film. They are pretty on par with eachother.

     

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