Jun 25, 2021


Isn’t it bad enough that George A. Romero, the mastermind behind the holiest of zombie cinema and the godfather of a subgenre that has since been running rampant, is no longer with us? And even before he passed, wasn’t it also bad enough that we had to witness the backsliding of the filmmaker firsthand and suffer through the pedestrian schlock that was Diary of and Survival of the Dead? But every master eventually reaches that point where his better days are behind him — not a single one of them, not even Hitchcock, were as good at the end as they were at the beginning.

And during this two-decade period of Romero regression, his works were exploited in both remake and sequel form. 2004’s Dawn of the Dead managed a successful rebirth, but 2008’s Day of the Dead did not. The less said about the Romero-less Day of the Dead 2: Contagium (not a word) and Creepshow 3, the better. And the numerous remakes of Night of the Living Dead continue to flood the marketplace, which, outside of Tom Savini’s authorized remake (and written by Romero), have been as lifeless as you might imagine.

The presence of a “major” studio might give a Romero fan hope when they see a familiar title and concept coming down the pike, similar to how the critically and financially successful Dawn of the Dead remake was released by Universal Studios. But none of the other titles mentioned above were released by anything approaching a studio. All of them were quiet direct-to-video releases — and for a reason: awfulness. So when Lionsgate announced the existence of Day of the Dead: Bloodline, neither a sequel nor a remake but a “retelling,” there was momentary cause for optimism. Would it touch on the social commentary and political subtext as Romero’s films had previously? Probably not. After all, the Dawn redux didn’t — it was openly more interested in human drama and zombie carnage than anything else — so that didn’t necessarily negate this new Day of the Dead right off the bat.

Know what did, though? Every single thing else about it. This more than includes Johnathon Schaech’s ultra-evil zombie that looks waaaaay too much like Heath Ledger’s Joker.

If you’re in the mood to be in awe of how something baring a familiar title can be so unrelentingly stupid, then please, by all means, see Day of the Dead: Bloodline. It contains the cheapest looking sets, the worst acting, and the laziest storytelling you’ll ever see in a film that could still be considered a somewhat anticipated title, given the legacy to which it’s attempting to attach itself. It does absolutely nothing new, and with zero fucks given. It’s the worst episode of Fear the Walking Dead taken down five hundred million rungs. It’s one of the most pitiful movies I’ve ever seen, and this is coming from someone who has previously suffered through that other Day of the Dead remake, that other Day of the Dead sequel, and Romero’s own lackluster swan songs. As I write this, a television series based on Day of the Dead is in production, with none other than Astron-6 member Steven Kostanski (PG: Psycho Goreman) helming. Dear god, please restore some class and brains to this title that's otherwise been beaten to death.

Run away as fast as the zombies run in Day of the Dead: Bloodline, or else the end result will be the same: there will be no survival of this dead.

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