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Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018)

A small group of military personnel and survivalists dwell in an underground bunker as they seek to find a cure in a world overrun by zombies.


There are how many Day of the Deads now? Having seen the 2008 semi-sequel to the 2004 Dawn of the Dead, which turned out to be nothing more than an in-name-only sequel and not really a remake of Romero's classic, I now find there is this DotD, which has a synopsis reading like a true remake of Romero's, and DotD II (2005) - which predates the 2008 remake of Day, but post dates the remake of Dawn, which starts in 1968 and then moves to "present day" and has the official summary on IMBD of: "Somehow theses wannabees acquired the rights to make a sequel and godhelpus they did." so I guess it's a sequel of Romero's 1985 classic, um, somehow. Make sense? Good.

Anyway, that opening paragraph is better than this film.

DotD: Bloodline is "A bold new reimagining" of 1985's Day of the Dead, according to the cover. Yes, I cannot argue that point. Having been cremated on IMDB by the user reviews (it has a 3.4, and one of the highest rated reviews is entitled: Sh*t Sandwich), Bloodlines has it's fair share of problems. It actually carries the remake mantle pretty solidly in concept, with the film taking place in a military bunker with two very different 'tribes' - the scientists, and the military - both taking very different stances on the zompocalypse that has already occured, and a Bub - or in this case Max. But that is where the similarity ends.

The film begins with the zombie creation (five years previous to the events of the film), where a team of student doctors are involved, a rapist, and a zombie (for reasons), all hell breaks loose and then cut to said bunker five years later. Protagonist Zoe, one of the med students in the opening scene, is now the facilities physician, she has a handsome young beau, Baca, and no one has been in contact with anyone outside of the facility in years. And then it hits you that most of the cast are "young and handsome". Hold on. This is a remake for the Twilight crowd, isn't it? And I think it is.

Zoe is a strong willed female, with the rest of the cast who have agendas within the story being men. Which wouldn't be worth mentioning, if she didn't make all the wrong decisions. To put it simply, and without spoiling too much, everyone who dies in this film after the first ten minutes is caused by the actions of, or in-actions of, Zoe.

Our remake's Captain Rhodes this time is Miguel Salazar, who is written as the antagonist in much the same vein as Rhodes, with one exception. He's pretty much exclusively right in his actions. He is not unlikable, arrogant, or inherently evil. He's just supposed to be. So yeah, it's written badly. Compound that with Max - this films 'intelligent' zombie. Bub was just about able - after months of work - to be controlled enough to not bite a human. Just. Max is, out the gate, able to: not bite humans, hang on the underside of a vehicle to bypass a security point, use keys to unchain himself, create a distraction to steal said keys, navigate air ducts... the list goes on and it's impressive. Let's just lay this at the feet of writers, Mark Tonderai (Hush (not that one)) and Lars Jacobson (Baby Blues).

Director Hèctor Hernández Vicens (The Corpse of Anna Fritz) does okay, although there is way too much of a reliance on CG than there should be, and it rarely heightens itself above competent. In retrospect Tonderai is a good director (House at the End of the Street) and Hernández Vicens a good writer (Phoenix 11·23) so maybe they just applied for the wrong jobs.

Actor Johnathon Schaech (Acts of Vengeance) who plays ninja-zombie Max is the only standout in front of the camera, with no one else worthy of note, good or bad.

Bloodline is a standard, sub-standard zombie flick, nothing more, nothing less. It will get (and clearly has gotten) backs up because of the use of the Romero property, but that's not to say it's good in any way. One to avoid. Like Zoe. Unless you want to die.


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