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Empire's 50 Greatest Movie Sequels | The follow-ups that achieve greatness in their own right

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Day Of The Dead
DIRECTED BY GEORGE A. ROMERO
RELEASED: 1985

Why's it so good? That rare beast: an Eighties film that's bleaker than its '70s predecessor. But, by the 1980s, George Romero was pissed off. And it shows in a movie that, a couple of notable exceptions aside, stands back, wipes its hand off the whole sorry affair and says, 'Sorry, the world is fucked'. By Day, the zombies outnumber people 400,000 to 1, and most of the humans left are paranoid, raging, ASBO-courting assholes. This was the first film where Romero started to side with the zombie, the first movie where you can sense palpable anger coming through.

Day Of The Dead Day Of The Dead
How does it stack up to the original? It may be the best of the three. This is beautifully-controlled, suspenseful, coruscating stuff, with top-notch gore, some of the most memorable images of Romero's career (even if the wall of arms was ripped off from Polanski's Repulsion) and, in the evolving zombie Bub (an astonishing performance by Howard Sherman), arguably his most sympathetic lead.

Glaring error: With the greatest respect of George, going on to make Land of the Dead was probably the biggest error here.


GAP BETWEEN SEQUEL AND ORIGINAL: 178 MONTHS


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