The complete Analysis as to why Dad of the Dead 1985 is the Best Zombie Movie in my opinion.
Warning: I am about to discuss crucial plot points, if you have never seen Day of the Dead 1985, then please watch before reading.
Interesting tid-bit if you have seen this film before, and did not care for it, or thought it was only alright, my brother watched this film, and on first viewing didn’t care for the film, however after forcing him to sit through repeat viewings, and seeing the deep philosophical, and subtle meanings to the film he changed his mind, if you feel that any of the following makes you think, perhaps you should rewatch the film after reading.
Aside from the facts that Day of the Dead has my favorite direction. Camera shots, Lighting, lenses, film look, esc. And favorite score. It also houses my favorite characters, and story lines that go unnoticed by a lot of people. I will attempt to go into as much detail as to why I think the movies is so deep and meaningful for me.
First the story, being set in an underground bunker and cave, one can’t help appreciate the irony of the dead and the living reversing their roles. Meaning when the living were in charge of the earth, the dead were buried underground, now that the dead have taken over the living are only safe underground. I feel that this really validates John the helicopter pilot’s argument, but we will get into that later.
Where as each previous Dead movie leading up to this one was more about the zombies, and the survival of a bad situation. This film unlike any other focused more on the human characters and their motivations. Sure, sure the zombies play their part, but are really more like the creatures at the gate, whom you don’t really have a fear of getting in, so much as you fear things coming apart from within. More than just monsters, they seem like the embodiment of negativity, which is once you’ve let them in you’ve defeated yourself. This is why zombies should be slow, as opposed to fast, but I digress.
The military officers, only the main four as others are smaller parts, are comprised of Captain Rhodes, Steele, Miguel and Rickles.
Steel and Rickles are some of the most colorful, albeit immature, and seemingly over the top characters in all the films. But when these characters are broken down into close examination, you see that it is not the actor who is over-acting, but the character himself. As each human being reacts differently to stress, the soldiers I feel are putting on an act of machoism, vulgarity, and sexist behavior to distract their minds from the evils outside, and their deaths of their fallen comrades. Most of the time their fears manifest themselves in certain forms, one of the most recognizable is Rickles nervous laugh, which through the coarse of the film seems as if he is just Steele’s lackey, reveals it’s self as he laughs hysterically whilst being killed and eaten.
The Wild Card Character, Logan a.k.a Dr. Frankenstein a villain by default. At first glance one would simply view him as a mad scientist who closely resembles the real Dr. Frankenstein, and merely holds everyone up from leaving because he is psychotic. However closer examination reveals that Logan is the result of bad parenting, and force fed morals and etiquette. “His surgeon father told him he would never be rich” “His mother caught him trying on her stockings”. He more than likely grew up trying to do what his parents wanted of him, believing that was how society worked. And when society ended, all those rules he was forced to learn were now useless. Hence his obsession with teaching Bub. Every line he says proves this point, “We can teach them to be good little boys and girls” “We can trick them, just as we were tricked”. Through discovering this you realize that Logan is really just a sad victim who has lost his mind.
Capt. Rhodes is played by Joe Pilato, and is one of the most charismatic villains in film history in my opinion. Mostly from Pilato’s interpretation, but also there are many types of villain, those who are motivated by greed, power, and lust. Then there are those who are forged from fear, stress, or desperation. Rhodes is a man recently made Captain, over stressed he takes the situation more personally than his men who prefer to joke for purpose of levity. Rhodes is slowly becoming more unglued as he is made to wait around longer than he wants. And in the end when realizing the satiation with Dr. Frankenstein for what it is, he makes a complete transition over to full blown bad guy, and attempts to murder everyone but John the pilot and his men.
Miguel and Sarah have a relationship, but if you really ask me it seems as though Miguel is the biggest example of what everyone is feeling, he is the embodiment of stressed out, fatigued and lost composure. He seems to almost embody negativity itself, much like the zombies do. However the zombies are the negativity outside, Miguel is the representation of negativity attacking you from within. Just as Sarah breaks away from Miguel she begins to become stronger, and more aware of the real situation around her. Now The break down of the good guys, whom are composed of Sarah, John, and McDermontt.
Sarah is desperately clinging to the hope that science will prevail, and she must bury herself into her work, to find a cure or anything that will help their situation. What she does not realize is that she is only fooling, and deluding herself. This is made clearer to her, after she gets away from Miguel who is really the catalyst for her turning around and realizing the situation.
McDermontt and John are the real embodiment of good and positiveity in the film. They are connected at the hip in what they want, and how they think; in one awesome monologue from John to Sarah he explains his whole attitude of the situation and the futility of science. This is the beginning of Sarah’s turn around, where her eyes become opened. John’s mentality is that being stuck underground is really just the same as being dead. Even saying that the whole base is one giant tombstone. With his speech comes some great tips about life as well. To hear, one has only to listen. The biggest thing for me was the digging up of charts and graphs was like the equivalency of dissecting one’s failures, and that sometimes things happen, that sense can’t be made out of. Or even if you could, is it really worth doing in the first place. When you can be carefree on a beach someplace, living life to the fullest.
It is because of all of this that I really like, and appreciate this film. I feel that most people miss all of these details, and see only what is on the surface. Which is why it is appropiatly set underground.
[ 26. February 2011, 10:57: Message edited by: Jack Gannon ]
Posts: 121 | Registered: Sep 2010 | Site Updates: 0
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That's a good breakdown. It's still not the best for me. The first movie works because it's so simple, and the second has the best ideas / location. I had issues with all the posturing / threatening / yelling in the third one, it grated on me. Also, I never felt they did quite enough with the setup. There were some good sequences though.
Posts: 3121 | From: England | Registered: May 2003 | Site Updates: 20
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ya know i was thinking that maybe some of the characters in this movie were representing ceartin political idealogies such as:
Capt. Rhodes and his men are Despotism or absolutism: dominance through threat of punishment and violence
Dr. Frankenstien is Capitalism which i am not sure about the definition, but based on a system of rewards for certain work
sarah being communisim or marxist pending on everyone doing their share working together
john the pilot being anarchy as defined in the dictionary of misinformation by Tom Burnam, anarchism is the most peacful of all political theories, as a philosophy it assumes a system in which the individual is free and living in peace
i dont understand politics well but the way they have been described to me, it seems as though this is the theme in the movie.
let me know what you think
Posts: 1605 | From: Lake Chicamocomico | Registered: Feb 2011 | Site Updates: 0
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