What refuses to die and go away? Zombies? No, low-effort crappy remakes and reboots refuse to die and go away. We already had one of these, but Lionsgate is still swinging and missing with Day of the Dead: Bloodline.
Everybody is familiar with Night of the Living Dead. Criterion even had a new release of it last month. Dawn of the Dead is respected as a zombie classic (It is actually my favorite in Romero’s trilogy). We’re probably still going to wait a few years for a Blu-ray of this one… if we ever get to see it, that is. Less often talked about, but still a worthy watch and available from Scream Factory is Day of the Dead. In Day of the Dead, the world has pretty much succumbed to the plague of zombies and a group of scientists are living underground to research and solve the illness. Fast forward a few decades and Lionsgate brings us a remake with Day of the Dead: Bloodline. Yes, it needs a subtitle so that you can easily differentiate it from the last Day of the Dead remake from 2008.
Much like the remake of Dawn of the Dead and the last Day of the Dead remake, this one copies loads from the original, but with an updated setting and faster zombies. Also, this remake features a cast full of forgettable characters and muddled plot. Oh yes, the plot. We start with a young medical student, Zoe. In the beginning, she is doing some required med school clinic activities when one of her patients loses control and assaults her. Not to worry, the zombie apocalypse is here to save the day and stop the assault. Yes, a zombie saves the woman from an assault. Fast forward a bit and our Zoe is an important medical researcher in an underground bunker with the military trying to decipher the secrets of the zombie plague.
And that is about all we really get for a plot. But that is okay because any more plot and you’d probably lose track of it out of boredom. Of course, somebody from early on eventually pops back up as a zombie, but that is pretty much expected for zombie flicks at this point. But there isn’t really a reason to care about any of these survivors. None of them are interesting or take the viewer through any compelling development. There is a weird fascination with a zombie under examination, but it is terribly underdeveloped. Things just happen without any fanfare and without the skill to affect the viewer properly.
It’s all a shame really. I love the concept of survivors living underground while they try to figure out how to continue to survive and make progress. The concept of living in the world after the outbreak happens and coping and moving forward is so interesting to me. That is why I love the setup to Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, and the non-Romero The Girl with All The Gifts. But the execution in this one was just terribly lacking and ultimately uninteresting.
There are moments where I feel like I might be treating Day of the Dead: Bloodlines a little too harshly because it carries the name and legacy of the original with it. But really, I’d rate this poorly even if it were a spin-off from Sharknado. Of course, that might have a little more legs under its rotting corpse because it would stand a chance of being enjoyable bad. Unfortunately, this retread doesn’t even get that distinction. The energy of this one is as non-existent as the pulse of the zombies. Not really any point in watching this Day of the Dead: Bloodline.
Technical Details: 3.5/5
Lionsgate puts a modicum of effort in the A/V delivery of Day of the Dead: Bloodline. The film comes with a completely capable transfer. Like most modern flicks, the image is still rather clear and sharp through most of the movie. The weaknesses do show up in the dark shots of the movie, which are unfortunately plentiful. We certainly experience some loss of clarity and definition when the picture gets dark enough. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is however relatively trouble free. The dialog stays clear through out as does the score of the film. The special effects have the requisite oomph behind them and the surround is rather effectively used here.
Special Features and Packaging: 1.5/5
Day of the Dead: Bloodline: Reviving the Horror: This is pretty much all we get. A fifteen minute behind the scenes piece on the film. Maybe I should thank Lionsgate for only putting us through one of these on this disc…
They took the same limited approach in packaging. The slipcover has the same art as the case artwork. But hey, at least they threw in some art on the disc.
Day of the Dead: Bloodline Overall: 1.5/5
Day of the Dead: Bloodline is pretty forgettable. It is an unenthusiastic retread that doesn’t bring anything new to the table. This is basically what I would expect SyFy channel to put out if they were going to make a Day of the Dead remake. Of course, it would make sense to do so considering they already mined the Return of the Living Dead franchise with garbage like Rave to the Grave (which I, of course, watched back in my misspent youth). Ironically Lionsgate also put that one out on DVD. As for this release, the video is mostly pretty decent and the audio track doesn’t fail it. This might as well be barebones with how few extras we were given. But it doesn’t matter because this one isn’t worth watching let alone buying. Go watch the original if you’ve never seen it. If you want something different in the same vein, go watch Night of the Comet. Just not Day of the Dead: Bloodline. Skip it altogether.
If you want to give it a go anyway, it’s available from Amazon or other Blu-ray retailers.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgment or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.