With the recent release of the remake, Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018), it seemed like as good as time as any to re-visit an old favourite, George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (1985). The third film in Romero’s celebrated original ‘Dead’ trilogy, Day of the Dead is largely remembered for Tom Savini’s brilliant special effects and Sherman Howard’s domesticated zombie, ‘Bub’. Savini’s work particularly stands out with in
Romero’s Day of the Dead, while thematically different from Dawn of the Dead, is tonally similar to its predecessor, with its bleak ambiance established in the opening minutes. This dream sequence quickly establishes a feeling of isolation and loneliness in the post-apocalyptic zombie world. Like the best jump scares, Romero builds the anticipation slowly while also re-directing your attention – the audience waits for the camera to shift for a reveal behind actress Lori Cardille so when the ‘scare’ finally jumps out it catches the audience off guard.
Source: HarryHGoassamer313 (YouTube, 2014, Feb 8)
It’s an excellent opening to a film that often fails to draw the praise Romero’s two previous zombie entries have received. Romero sets the tone for the rest of the film in this opening scene as well as a less discussed sub-theme to the film – the struggle between hope and despair.