Day of the Dead: Bloodline
day of the dead: bloodline | day of the dead | remake | hector hernandez vicens | Hèctor Hernández Vicens | mark tonderai | lars jacobson | sophie skelton | johnathon schaech | jeff gum | zombie | zombies | bulgaria | marcus vanco | mark rhino smith
Film: Day of the Dead: Bloodline
Director: Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Writer: Mark Tonderai and Lars Jacobson
Starring: Sophie Skelton, Johnathon Schaech and Jeff Gum
This film starts on a city street. There is mayhem going on all around. We follow a young woman as she is walking, she is Sophie Skelton. People are attacked by zombies and one turns its attention to her. She tries to run away and it follows her.
We then shift 4 hours into the past. We are at a college where some medical students are in a morgue. The doctor in charge is Rachel O’Meara. Skelton is the prized student of the bunch. O’Meara asks what they think was the cause of death for the patient and Skelton takes a guess. She is close on her answer, but not the correct strain of influenza. She is hard on herself and the teacher tells her not to be.
A party is going on and Skelton’s best friend wants her to come. She tells her she has to finish up some tests first. During this, O’Meara comes in to tell her that her regular patient has shown up to get his blood drawn. Skelton asks if she can have her friend come along and she is rebuffed. This patient has some odd qualities with his blood and they need to be studied.
The man in question is Johnathon Schach. He is in love with Skelton and makes advances on her. He also reveals that he has craved her name on his right forearm. This freaks her out and her friend comes in at that time. They leave. The two of them go to the party where we learn that Skelton is shy. She does go with her friend’s boyfriend to the morgue to collect the last two kegs.
The boyfriend leaves her there and Schaech sneaks in. He tries to force himself on her, but he is stopped by the cadaver they were looking at earlier. He is awake and is a zombie. He attacks Schaech. Skelton flees the room back to the party. She tries to tell everyone to run, but no one listens. O’Meara then comes in, who is also a zombie now. She attacks them along with other zombies. Skelton flees out of a window and tries to help her friend, but she is taken by a group of zombies.
We then shift to present time. The world has ended and Skelton lives in a base. It is protected by a military unit. Skelton works with the medical staff and she is trying to find a cure or vaccine. There are also civilians who have sought refuge. Jeff Gum is in charge of the base. Skelton is dating his brother, Marcus Vanco. Some of the other soldiers are Mark Rhino Smith, Luke Cousins and Shari Watson.
A little girl in the base, Lillian Blaneknship, comes down with an illness and Skelton recommends they send out a unit to her college for medicine. This is denied at first, but she reveals that if they don’t, it will spread throughout the base and that will be disastrous. Gum does relent on sending out the unit for the medicine. Before they leave, we see Vanco try to show his affection to Skelton and she shuts it down. We hear faint sounds of what happened to her the fateful night the world ended and she has intimacy issues due to this.
On the way to the college, one of their humvees breaks down. It takes some time to fix it, but they do get back on the move. It is suggested to head back, but Skelton is adamant they need the medication. They make it to the college with little resistance and find what they are looking for. Skelton does break away from the group to her lab to grab a few things. She happens upon Schaech, who is now a zombie as well. He chases after her, but he doesn’t act like the rest. They try to escape, losing a soldier in the process. The rest do make it back.
Gum is irate they are late. He tells them the mission should have ended when they had car trouble. While this is happening, we see that Schaech is hiding under one of the vehicles. He slips out and into some nearby bushes. He stalks after Skelton. He kills someone in one of the vents as he does this. Schaech finally reveals himself and he comes after Skelton. He doesn’t bite her though. She convinces those that come to her aid to help her catch him. She thinks his blood has the key to her research.
Is she right? Can his blood be what they need? What does he want with Skelton? Can this base survive all of this? Can she make the vaccine in time?
When I first heard about another remake to the George Romero classic film, I was leery about it. I unfortunately was correct in that feeling as well. This film has a lot of issues. It does do some things that I really liked though as well. The first thing is that I enjoyed the idea of Scheach’s character. He is a zombie, but he maintains a lot of his humanity. Now this is taking the concept of Bub from the original and expanding on it. It also continues the idea from the original that there could be a cure to all of this. The story is lacking a lot though. We don’t get a lot of character development and it never really builds the tension that it needed to. The ending just kind of happens and I don’t have a lot of care unfortunately. It does kind of try to do what the original film does, which I admire the attempt.
The acting was also lacking. I thought Skelton looked good and played the timid role well. The film tries to be relevant with the sexual assault angle in it, but it doesn’t play well in my eyes. Schaech was good as the creepy guy and then zombie. The latter he did really well actually. Gum comes off as a jerk, but we don’t get to see how far he would go really which lacks in the film. Vanco didn’t impress me much either. The acting was just overdone or bland in my opinion.
Something surprising with this film though was the effects. These are running zombies, which I’m not a big fan of but I won’t harp on that. There was some CGI that wasn’t great looking, but for the most part the effects actually looked pretty good. There was some that looked practical and I enjoyed that. The editing of the film had issues as the film doesn’t build tension. I’m not entirely sure it is the editing though, but more the bad writing and lack of character development. The score at times reminded me a bit of Dawn of the Dead, so that sparked me to keep listening. I will say the score is alright, but nothing spectacular.
Now with that said, this film does have some good aspects; they are just outweighed by the negative ones. The story had a solid concept of someone having somewhat of immunity. This makes his blood the key. It does lack any real character development though. They want us to feel sorry for Skelton, but we don’t establish enough for that fully. The ending tries to do what Romero would do, but it just sort of happens and it didn’t really work. The acting was bland and quite lackluster. There were some good effects though. The film lacks the tension needed for us to really care. The score has some good moments. This is not a good remake and I’d say it is a below average zombie film. Stick to the original or there are some much better zombie films out there to check out.
My Rating: 4 out of 10