But wait, it's Tuesday! You cry, angrily shaking your fist. I know, but what could be a more appropriate movie for the Day of the Dead than George Romero's classic zombie flick Night of the Living Dead? One of the other movies in that series that's actually called Day of the Dead? Ok, fair enough. But alas, I haven't seen it, so this is what you get.
(Just as a head's up, there are some spoilers in this one).
As with all thriller/horror/suspense/action/etc. movies, I have a lot of criticism about some of the decisions made by characters in the movie. A recurring beef with zombie movies: why do people always hole themselves up somewhere? Seems like you would have a better fighting chance out in the open, especially in this movie. These are no 28 Days Later zombies; you could easily outrun them at a light jog, perhaps even a brisk walk. Should the zombiepocalypse descend upon us though, I think I'd get a horse (especially if the zombies in question were really picky eaters and just stuck to people).
But when there do get to be too many to outrun, don't hole yourself up in a house that's easy to get into. A place accessible only by ladders would be pretty ideal, as most zombies don't have enough dexterity to climb them (thank you rigor mortis!) and it funnels them into single file for easier decapitation. Or better yet, get retractable ladders. Of course, the zombies tend to differ from outbreak to outbreak, so I guess whatever you do just be prepared and adapt to the situation.
I've got some thoughts on the particulars of zombie biochemistry too. Do zombies have a particularly acute sense of smell when reanimated? I'd guess that they know that there are people in a house by distinguishing the odors of flesh that's decomposing and isn't, which is also why they don't start nom-noming each other up. So is the solution for future zombie crises then to find a way for our bodies to imitate the smell of decomposition? Gross, yeah, but I'd rather smell like death than be dead. This wouldn't have to be a forever solution either, just a thing to do until all the zombies starve and order is restored.
But back to the movie itself and some commentary on the characters: Ben just got the no. 1 spot for who'd I'd want around if I were stranded on a desert island. This man is capable! Good thing too, because Barbra takes the meaning of 'dead weight' to a whole new level. I feel like I spent most of the movie waiting for her to die. But her end is oh-so-appropriate as she reunites with the Johnny whose death sent her into said useless state, but he's now a zombie and drags her into the horde. Liked how Harry met his end too, with zombified daughter doing him in. He is not the kind of person I'd want to be stuck with in a survival situation.
But the most important thing to take away from the movie: don't trust whitey. Seriously. You go to them for help and they shoot you down. This is definitely one of the most bummer endings I've seen in a while. I appreciate the realism, but come on. I was so happy to see that Ben was the last man standing, as he totally should have been, but then he gets shot by the posse combing the hills shooting down zombies. Such a bummer.