Day Of The Dead 2: Contagium – Review

Day Of The Dead 2: Contagium – Review

Day of the Dead 2: Contagium (2005) is an ‘official’ prequel to the 1985 George A. Romero Day of the Dead. I put the official in quotes back there because although it comes from Taurus Entertainment Company, who hold the rights to the original film, nobody from the 1985 classic was involved.

The films opens in 1968 when a virus is unleashed in a military hospital that turns people into zombies. The outbreak is contained but a sample of the virus survives inside a thermos and we’re transported to modern day Pennsylvania where the military hospital has since been turned into a mental institution, just as the hapless patients stumble upon the mystery vial.

Needless to say the vial infects the group and we follow the patients through the next 90 minutes of some of the worst cinema still available to buy.

Despite being both ‘official’ and allegedly taking place in the same universe this has nothing at all to do with Romero’s film. The zombies talk, the metamorphosis of human to zombie is different (they grow horns!) and it’s just outright weird. If they hadn’t chosen to call this Day of the Dead 2 I might have been slightly more forgiving, but changing the title couldn’t have saved this from being a bad movie.

Day of the Dead 2: Contagium had a rather large budget for a zombie film of $9M. By comparison Diary of the Dead had $2M to play with and the original Day only $3.5M (about $6.5M inflation adjusted). The fact that they have a comparitively large budget becomes readily apparent as you watch the film; with each scene representing another $100k the writers and directors have blown on that day’s drug intake.

The virus ‘floats’ in front of the characters eyes and represents itself as star charts and symbols in glowing colours as they sleep; that day was clearly a good day for their LSD dealer. The zombies are huge hulking monsters with horns and dissect you, eating the tasty bits; mushrooms. The plot; can only be explained by being made up while high on weed.

Everything about this film is terrible.

Choosing to use a mental institution and it’s patients as a backdrop to this film was at best a poor choice and at worst exploitative. The sub-plots and characterizations of these patients seems to have been though out, but seems as if it was trying to be sympathetic to these patients needs without actually understanding what it’s like to be in one of these institutions or with any regards to the real difficulties and emotions that patients suffer.

It is also completely incongruous to the setting and unnecessary for the plot. Almost as if it started out as a melodrama for another film before the director was offered to do a zombie film.

The make up and special effects were mostly terrible, made worse by terrible lighting and angles. Often they didn’t even bother with special effects, such as the guns neither firing blanks nor having any kind of muzzle flare. I’m surprised the sound wasn’t just done by a guy in the background shouting ‘BANG!’.

What CGI there is looks like it was from the early 80’s rather than mid-00’s; why pay for a professional when you can get the same effect by using ‘My first post-production kit’ plus copious amounts of intravenous drugs.

Sadly, I did not have the requisite $9M to spend on Class A drugs that would required to also think that this film was a good idea or in any way enjoyable, so Day of the Dead 2: Contagium has launched itself into the top 3 worst…

This is a played out memeYo, ZC Barry, I’m really happy for you and I’mma gonna let you finish but Zombie Nation was one of the worst zombie films of all time. OF ALL TIME!

…zombie films of all time.

Eh, thanks Kanye.

Perhaps the most depressing part of the film is that another sequel is due out soon, Day of the Dead: Epidemic.

If my glowing review has somehow managed to pique the curiosity of your masochistic side, you can buy the DVD below from Amazon.

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Day of the Dead 2: Contagium

Day of the Dead 2: Contagium

£10.99

Terrible prequel to the 1985 Romero film. Buy it!

Day of the Dead 2: Contagium

Day of the Dead 2: Contagium

$9.98

Terrible prequel to the 1985 Romero film. Buy it!

Day of the Dead 2: Contagium

Day of the Dead 2: Contagium

$10.99

Terrible prequel to the 1985 Romero film. Buy it!

ZC Barry runs Zombie Command from their HQ in a safely bugged in location somewhere in the UK. Follow Zombie Command on Twitter to be kept up to date with all the latest zombie news.

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