Main cast: Johnathon Schaech (Max), Sophie Skelton (Zoe Parker), Jeff Gum (Miguel Salazar), Marcus Vanco (Baca Salazar), Mark Rhino Smith (Alphonse), Cristina Serafini (Elle), Lillian Blankenship (Lily), Shari Watson (Elyse), Atanas Sreberev (Frank), Ulyana Chan (Lucy), Nathan Cooper (Savin), and Vladimir Mihailov (Thomas)
Director: Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Day of the Dead: Bloodline is another loose remake of Day of the Dead, which was released in 1985. There was another loose remake, released in 2008, that was so bad, it was so good. This one, however, is just flat out bad.
Yes, we have another zombie outbreak, and unlike the previous remake, this one is a little bit more faithful to the original in that it focuses on a military base, with another mad scientist working on a cure for the zombie virus. Yes, here, a virus outbreak is responsible for turning corpses into hungry zombies. You know, I always wonder: we see zombies tearing apart their victims, so how come there are still so many intact zombies that are made from these victims’ corpses? Shouldn’t later generations of zombies have more of them missing limbs and chunks? It’s remarkable how these zombies eat so many people, and the new zombies all emerge miraculously intact from this feeding frenzy.
Oh yes, the movie. The mad scientist this time is the leading lady, which would be interesting if Zoe Parker weren’t such an insufferable, self-righteous twat that is impossible to like or empathize with. She and her boyfriend and their buddies are holed up in High Rock Emergency Bunker, which is run by the predictably “this guy is made out to be a bad guy” sort, Lieutenant Miguel Salazar. Zoe likes to tell people that she is the smartest people in the bunker because she is a medical student, so she insists on running things even if her decisions result in various people dying.
Her plans are responsible for a lot of the drama in this movie, and the rest of the drama is caused by Max, a lecher obsessed with Zoe. He has a rare condition which makes him highly resistant to the zombie virus – bitten by a zombie while trying to rape Zoe early in the movie, he only ends up being somewhat half a zombie with his faculties intact. When he sneaks into the bunker and kills more people, Zoe insists that he must be kept alive for her to study his blood and see whether she can concoct a cure out of it. Oh, and she also needs zombie test specimens, so will the stupid people in the bunker please bring some to her? You can guess what happens when they do, surely.
Characters like Zoe aren’t the most easy to like, as they can commit heinous, even unforgivable things in the pursuit of a greater good. However, Zoe can still be a compelling protagonist if she had displayed some human emotions or even the intelligence she claims to have. Neither is obvious here. Zoe is haughty, condescending, patronizing, and incapable of compromising. It’s her way or else, because don’t you dare forget that she is a medical student! Sure, researching a cure is admirable, but Zoe behaves as if Miguel Salazar wanting to keep the people in the bunker safe made him a villain. How dare he refuses to endanger other people to satisfy her whims! Because she is responsible for a great number of deaths here, and she still acts like a high and mighty bitch with no self awareness or even empathy for other people, Zoe is easily one of the easiest-to-hate main characters I’ve come across in a movie in awhile. The fact that she never has to be accountable for her actions or develop any self awareness is the most infuriating thing about this dumb flick.
Not that the rest of the main crew are winners by any stretch of the imagination. Most characters are underdeveloped – they exist solely as Zoe’s cheerleaders or zombie chow – except for their perpetual incompetence, which defines their entire existence in this movie. My god, this is a military base full of trained personnel, but no one can spot a zombie running openly among them. Worse, the gates, fences, doors, and everything else here seems to be made of wet paper as when the zombies attack, everything just falls apart so easily. These people also can’t seem to fight or aim properly, so I can only wonder how the base managed to remain standing for this long. The whole thing is just so stupid, the whole zombies wiping out humanity premise comes off like a mercy culling.
Like zombies of yore, Day of the Dead: Bloodline can decimate brains. It is devoid of any redeeming value – no good gore, no good story, no characters to root for or even recall a few days later, nothing whatsoever. Just watch some other zombie flick, or wait another ten years for yet another remake that nobody asks for, I guess.