7. Day Of The Dead (1985)
Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Lori Cardille, Joe Pilato, Terry Alexander, Sherman Howard, Richard Liberty, Jarlath Conroy, Anthony Dileo Jr., John Amplas
In our eyes, George A. Romero’s extensive zombie movie catalog needn’t have gone any further than 1985’s Day Of The Dead, the second quasi-sequel to 1968’s genre-changing Night Of The Living Dead. The writer-director’s undead flicks that have come after Day (most painfully Survival Of The Dead) pale in comparison, losing all of his previous thematic subtlety and reaching for frustrating camp. With Day Of The Dead, though, Romero kicked ass in cynically dark fashion, crafting an anti-humanity knockout that’s been unfairly slighted over the years by wrongful dumbasses.
Granted, it’s the talkiest of Romero’s early zombie trilogy, yet the dialogue does a fine job of establishing the characters (Army types holed up in an underground bunker) as more than possible dinner for the crowds of lifeless ghouls. One area in which nobody can deny Day, however, is its gore factor. Makeup effects guru Tom Savini churns out some of his sickest work ever here, including guts spilling out of a lab-rat zombie’s opened stomach and the final act’s massive soldier buffet, complete with hands tearing bellies open, fingers getting chewed off, and a guy’s torso being pulled clean apart from his lower body.