This might stun you but “Day of the Dead” 2008 is not a terrible movie. In fact on some plane in some mysterious way I didn’t hate it. It may even become a camp classic somewhere down the line. Now before you bag on me, heed the advice I bided by before watching this. Forget it’s called “Day of the Dead,” forget it’s allegedly a remake, and just bow your head and power on through and what you’ll find is a zombie flick that’s so bad it’s… well, it’s quite good. If it had been called “Day of the Living Zombies,” or something else generic, I think the supposed purists would find it much more entertaining.
This “Day” (no relation to “Dawn” 2004) now sets down on “Any town” USA where a mysterious epidemic of the flu has hit much of its citizens. The military have taken hold of it and closed it off from entry or escape and before we know it, the shit hits the fan as those infected with this flu begin hungering for flesh. The zombies here all oddly turn at the same time thanks to a mysterious internal clock that assures insta-zombie and insta-rot. It’s quite comical but also interesting. The sight of everyone just stopping in their tracks and then lunging at the person next to them is rather spooky. Most of the time, Miner and co. can’t even decide what kind of zombie they’re writing, but the fact that these zombies develop new abilities every second makes them an interesting menace that’s quite effective at times.
Hell, it’s bad, but is it the worst zombie movie ever made? Hardly. As a film it’s quite an admirable disasterpiece. Ving Rhames is given the task of playing Rhodes who is, this time, is only a small plot device that turns Bud into a zombie after a zombie attack renders him undead and proves Rhames is there for name credit only. And then there’s Bud, the oafish zombie sidekick who is reduced to a mere plot device yet again. And yes, the rumors are true: he refuses to eat his friends because he’s a vegetarian. He even makes a note of saying so in the opening. Mena Suvari seems to try her best in the forgettable role she’s given as the workaholic soldier Bowman who is given the task of discovering where this flu came from, but Nick Cannon as Salazar is the tops.
If you enjoyed Joseph Pilato chewing scenery, Cannon swallows the movie whole with his rapid fire painful improv, horrible performance, and foggy character motivations. The ultimate climactic twist that turns this into “Resident Evil” makes for one of the most raucous endings you’ll see in a remake. I simply found it hysterical. With a different title, “Day” would have automatically been considered just another mediocre zombie film, but as a remake it’s a case of being a blast because it’s so embarrassing. Reddick’s atrocious screenplay mixed with Miner’s hyperactive and sometimes dizzying direction makes “Day” 2008 a surprising car wreck that will assuredly attract its fair share of admirers.