Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day of the Dead 2: Contagium

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Day of the Dead 2:  Contagium - 1 out of 5

George Romero made history with his dead films in the 60s, 70s and 80s however he was so worried with the film he was working on and so consumed with the end product (which, inherently, isn't a bad thing) that he was foolish with obtaining the proper rights to the films.  He didn't even get a copyright on Night of the Living Dead and the rights to his third dead film, Day of the Dead, are owned Taurus entertainment (yeah, I never heard of them either) and they decided to forgo any attempt at making an original film in 2005 and cash in on George Romero's hard earned success by creating Day of the Dead 2:  Contagium.

Romero Ward?  Subtle. 

The film is, supposedly, a prequel and a sequel to Romero's work from 1985 but it has no ties to the original except for the fact it contains zombies.  If you've seen Day of the Dead, you know the entire world is overrun by zombies but in this supposed sequel, the world isn't overrun at all.  In fact, everything is hunky dory.  Sure, in 1968 (the year Night of the Living Dead was released, by the way.  I guess that's their connection.) at a mental facility in Philadelphia, an outbreak of zombies broke out after one of the patients was exposed to a secret virus.  The facility was destroyed and the outbreak contained (so much for continuity with Romero's series) and in modern days, another mental facility is built upon the foundation of the old and some of the patients find a vile of the virus and accidentally infect themselves and a new outbreak starts.  So, once again I will state, even though the filmmakers call this a sequel to Day of the Dead, there is absolutely no connection as nothing that occurs in the film is reminiscent of Romero's mythology.

Duck face, meet your new male rival...the Chipmunk face.

To put it simply, this movie is just a plain piece of crap.  In fact, it was just embarrassing to sit through as everything from the writing to the acting to the make-up effects as well as the loads upon loads of continuity errors and piss poor editing make this movie too sad to even make fun of.  However, I highly suggest watching the special features on the DVD because the filmmakers believed they were making something amazing and that there is the possibility they could outdo Romero.  Sorry to say but if you're piggybacking off another man's success to try and outdo him, you'll never accomplish that you wish to achieve.

If you look closely, you can actually see the camera crew in the window in this scene.
Actually, you don't need to look closely, it's pretty obvious.

Even casual zombie fans will find this movie difficult to sit through as the lazy writers failed to put in any rules governing the effects of the zombie virus.  Since they decided to do a sequel to another man's films WITHOUT abiding to the rules he created, one would think they would come up with some of their own but they didn't.  Instead, the film's story feels like it was made by several different people who were all in charge of their own sections and didn't bother to contact the others about their parts and the filmmakers just said, "Screw it," and put the film together as is.  How little does this film make sense?  Wrap your brains around these staggering facts:  Zombies will run the spectrum of either being very intelligent or incredibly dumb without any rhyme or reason--granted, the film explains that the initial ones infected will keep their intelligence despite being clinically dead but the film doesn't explain why random zombies can talk.  Also, some zombies contain superhuman strength as one was able to punch through a man...but here's the real kicker of that scene...there wasn't even a zombie behind him.  He was sitting against a wall when the deady punched through him.  So, at this point, one must assume the zombie punched through the wall as well but we would never know as after the character is killed by this punch, the movie moves on without giving the viewer any real clue as to what the hell just happened.

Black crusties on this zombie's face one minute...
Gone the next...


Only to return a minute later.

As if the zombies weren't bad enough, the human characters are no better.  The film takes place within the walls of a mental institution but only occasionally will you know this as our mentally ill friends are introduced with no sign of disorders.  It wasn't until 15 minutes or so in the film that their characters suddenly do a complete change and some start acting like they have the mental capabilities of a 3 year old.  It was as if the actors, the writers and the director said, "Oops, shit--I forgot, you're suppose to be mental patients so act like you're all retards and don't worry about the scenes we already filmed."  Then, to further complicate the matters, the actors who portray the hospital's staff apparently were unaware they were playing orderlies and doctors as even they portray signs of mental retardation--I'm literally not kidding about this fact.  Then, the movie closes with a news crew outside the facility filming the escaping zombies--and then they die because they don't bother running away until the dead are ten feet from them.  First off...how did the news crew know this was going on in the first place?  Did they just so happen to show up and, lucky day, find a zombie outbreak going on at a mental hospital?

Wow, things must be bad at WGND 37.  They have to rent their news van from Ryder.

Day of the Dead 2:  Contagium is, from beginning to end, the epitome of what a bad zombie movie is.  The story is awful, the acting and characters are weak (for lack of a better word) and the entire experience of sitting through this film was one of the most depressing things that has ever happened to me because the filmmakers all had a collective sense of grandeur and a belief they were making the next big thing when it was utterly clear that their only intention was to try and fool audiences that they were somehow connected to George Romero in an effort to make some fast cash.  If there is any justice in the world, it would ensure that not a single dime was made from this horrid piece of garbage.  It's not often I openly support the illegal downloading of movies but I would suggest that if you want to see this one (because you're a glutton for punishment like I am) please illegally download it and don't spend a single cent for this torture.

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