Day of the Dead 2: Contagium Review
Written by: Steve Lewis
Ok folks, here comes a doozy. From all the rumors of hearing that this movie sucks, well, the rumors are true. A cheap unrelated cash in on the title of the one and only Day of the Dead.
The U.S. military cover up a rapid and dangerous rapid virus contained in a vile at a hospital. The infection caused the dead to rise and eat the flesh of humans. Fast forward to present day, the hospital is now a psych ward where four friends and a doctor discover the vile and accidently release it's substance. They begin to change and infect others rapid and they try and figure out a way to stop it.
Well, what can I say? Lets start with the bad stuff and end with the good aspects of the film so that maybe I can convince you, which I doubt, that the film had some good qualities.
The beginning leads us to be that this film might have chance. Then, we get a glance at a talking zombie, atleast I think it's a zombie. Now, from what I read from interviews with the directors, Ana Clavell and James Dudelson, there are three types of zombies. Ok, I seriously think that anyone who participated in the film had never seen a Romero film before. The basis of the film is all wrong and it completely chances the reason for the dead to come back to life. This sequel or prequel whatever it is timelime and continuity is off and I mean extremely off. There is no connection between Romero's Day of the Dead and this film.
I could rant all day about the connection between the two but I want to point out flaws with other qualities. The editing is really bad. Random cuts and cuts where it didn't needed to be cut become abundant. There is continuity in most of the shots. We jump back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth. When we are at the psych ward, we are led to believe that all this happens in five days. Ok, but why does everyone have the same clothes on still? You might say, "they are quarentine?" Ok sure, but you still would change clothes, take a bath, and maybe do other cleanliness activities, right? Near the end 1 day ago when the zombies attack the neighborhood surround the psych ward, the zombies kept attacking the same neighborhood into yesterday's time period, that's a really long attack time.
I didn't like the three stages of zombies. The first stage were the people directly infected by the virus from the vile. They shed skin, feel each other senses, see thoughts, cough up blood, blister, have no blood, and their eyes dilate to black. The second stage is when one of the first stage zombies bites someone. The bite rapid infest itself with some type of growth which eventually turns the person into a monster that can still talk but just has the brute strength to just feed and feed. Now, the third stage is when the second stage zombie bites someone. They turn into your normal everyday slow movie dead head. Tell me why we go through three stages? What happened to the radiation from Night of the Living Dead? bah!
Ok, the special effects needed tons of work. I give props to the company Wells/Mark Media Inc that tried their best. I emailed them awhile back about the f/x of the film and they told me that they never seen the film before and when they watched it they really had a challenge on their hands. What would you expect with a script like this that you have to build something that looks like it comes out of a Resident Evil 2 video game? They did do an amazing job on Dr. Teller but they are no Savini. On a different tangent, I want to know why the first infected see a floating object? What was the point of that floating fairy-like star that floated above their heads. I can't seem to figure out the relationship with that and the rest of the film. Also, why were their no muzzle flashes with the guns!?! Isn't that kind of important because it conveys to us that they are actually firing? instead we get a lame pop sound that sounds more like a cap gun than a beretta.
Ok lets see if I can point out some good material. The script wasn't all the terrible. The fact that it's called Day of the Dead 2 is what makes it a terrible movie. If it was just called Contagium, it would have got less flack from fans of the popular Dead series, it might sell more copies, and probably make enough money to do a sequel. Instead, the through on the Day of the Dead because Taurus Entertainment had bought the rights and so Ana and James see this, probably without ever seeing the film, and stick it on the title.
The acting wasn't that bad either. A little on the corny side with some of the talking zombies but other than that the dialogue was smart. It wasn't as wacky as I thought it would be with corny lines and stupid jokes.
The DVD from Anchor Bay is nothing interesting. The transfer is 1.85:1 but it really didn't seem that. It seemed more contracted. The audio is very clear and probaby the best part of the DVD. The extras were a making of segment, a commnetary by the directors who explain why they decided to make this film without explaining why the connected it, and a few trailers of upcoming releases.
This DVD is not worth buying unless you're just a die hard horror film, sadly like myself. I want you all to rent it, watch it, and mail it back to Ana and John with a note attached to it saying "You suck, please stop making films." Like I said before, if the movie went by another name it would have been a better review for the film. The film ruins the great reputation that carries along the name.