OF THE DEAD F.A.Q.
there be a remake?
Yes but it will not be
Universal. The rights holders put together a completely different story, a movie
so low budget it will not hit theaters, only DVD. You will probably never hear
much about it because it will be so obscure.
How much time has elapsed since Dawn
of the Dead?
In the original script it was "five years after the dead first walked
When George had to revise the script to fit a smaller scale, he backed up in time though
never explicitly giving the amount of time. It can be assumed its been months in the
laboratory scene where Sarah tells Logan "youre just proving theories that were
advanced months ago!"
Are the survivors the only people
left in the world?
From Georges mouth on The Incredibly Strange Film Show: "They are one
not necessarily the last messes of humanity" . They were possibly the last
humans in their neck of the woods and some surrounding areas but due to bad radio signals
and hiding underground for months, no rescue party could have known they were there. They
represent one of the last groups of survivors in the nation at least.
How is an underground base in Florida possible?
Well, it isn't possible, considering the states water
table is too high. But the thing is, since the trilogy is timeless (as in its not
really set in a particular past, present or future), it can be assumed it is in some time
when Man figured out how to make an underground base there. The base was actually filmed
What were the last names of Sarah, John, etc. or the first names of Rhodes,
This is not explained, but she was left behind.
She probably wandered back into the caves into a tunnel Sarah and Billy
didn't go into.
No full names besides [Bill] McDermott or [Matthew] Logan were written in any draft of
the script. George never thought about it that deep.
What became of the third zombie, the female with her lower face eaten away,
that was with the Beeftreats zombie and captive female? Is there any missing
How did the Unruly Zombie get killed - there's no head damage?
Mistake possibly. He could have taken a drill to the left eye.
How did Major Cooper die?
This was left open purposely. Was he murdered? How? Did he die of natural causes? Bite?
The cast and crew all wondered the same thing upon reading the script. The only clue to
why Logan ended up at least switching the body with that of a specimen (if he indeed was
not murdered) comes in an unused bit of dialogue from the second script draft: "I
needed to measure the time between death and revival. I needed to monitor the functions of
the..." (interrupted by corpse rising up off table)
Is Cooper a relative of the Coopers from Night of the Living Dead?
Could be. Theres an awful lot of Coopers who are unrelated in the world though.
Fishers line "I thought Cooper was an asshole but hes a sweetheart next
to Rhodes" was a trilogy in-reference as was Billys line "All the shopping
malls are closed".
Is Rhodes supposed to be the guy he played in Dawn of the Dead?
Joe Pilato is in Dawn, with similar dialogue, but it wasnt planned to have him be
the same character. George has never mentioned a connection between the two. Just some fun
Romero had writing it, two similar smartasses on similar power trips in two different
areas of the US.
Is there really a Seminole County Storage Facility?
There is a Seminole County in Central Florida, around Orlando, but it is not
even near Fort Myers or Sanibel Island. That sign in the cave was a prop as the mine
scenes were Pennsylvania.
Why is there a moving car on the left side of the aerial city shot?
A movie mistake. I always say, hey Fisher saw one of those things driving down
Independence Avenue so big deal.
Is the alligator on the street a zombie?
The alligator is not a zombie. It is there (along with the live snake and crabs) to
show that predaceous or scavenging animals have crept in the abandoned city which by now
wreaks of dead flesh.
Was Dr. Tongues lower face blown away or eaten away? If it was blown away
how did he revive or continue being a zombie?
This is a very good question. It IS a gun blast that made Tongue such a character. The
makeup crew designed him that way, and close-ups of the prop reveal the detailed pellet
marks. But destroying the brain would not produce a zombie, and judging by the damage, at
least part of the brain stem would have been affected. So
it can only be determined
in the mind of the fan what happened (the script only refers to him as a jawless zombie-
no back story). He may have tried to take his own life and still revived, or he could have
become a zombie and been shot at by someone who thought they killed him when they
Were Sarah and Miguel really supposed to be lovers or just harassed by
Rhodes men as such?
They were really supposed to be lovers, it was in the script that they had a
relationship and publicity shots were taken of the two embracing lovingly outside the
Why experiment on the zombies? Just shoot them all.
"Theres not enough ammunition to shoot them all in the head." As Logan
said, theres too many and they had simply used up plenty of ammunition already in
events presumably before the films.
What is the goal of Bubs training?
When Rhodes asked to see some results or else, Logan knew he had to keep working with
docile Bub. He figured the further he could trick Bub into "behaving", the
Is Logan and Bub a reference to X-Men?
No. While its true that George used to read comic books when he was a teenager
and when the X Men came out in the early 60s, he was not a teenager anymore. Besides he
read mostly EC Comics. For people not getting the connection, the Wolverine
characters "human" name is Logan, and one of his favorite words is
Is Bub named that way because of either Tony or Pasquale Buba (sound and film
No. Many have read too much into that.
Is that a real bat flying?
No. It was a windup plastic bird painted black by art director Bruce Miller and pulled
around on a string. There are bats in that cave but that particular one was a prop.
You try directing bats!
Did amputating Miguels arm work? He
Well never know really. That was the idea though. According to Rhodes, a hasty
amputation doesnt work anyway but can we trust his word? Miguel didnt
get the morphine in time and that most likely led to his irrational, begrudged suicide.
Had he continued he may have died from the trauma or infection, or both, and revived. This
is the only film in the trilogy where a character does not become one of the living dead
which is good because at this point that would be predictable.
Bill sees theres a naked male corpse in a green tank? What is that?
Thats what the effects guys called Baby Nemo (seen on the Living
Dead page in Cast). Its not only frontal male nudity, its also rotted and
What was Logans ramblings about stockings on the cassette recorder all
It was merely to show Logans shadowy childhood. In the script, Romero merely
explains the dialogue means he has gone "utterly insane."
Why is there a clown zombie? Or that ballerina? Is this a joke?
Well, why was there a softball player zombie in Dawn? Or a Krishna? Or a nun? It was
only natural that some more character zombies would turn up. Of course the
people in Dawn came as they were. The costume department were using clothes picked up from
the Goodwill stores. Veteran morticians can attest there are people prepared for funerals
in their clown, graduation gowns and occupational uniforms.
Why is the football zombie coming out from the cave when she was just above
The most famous of all day continuity errors. The above ground scenes were shot in
Florida, the cave scenes in Pennsylvania. In fact they were two different actors. The
extras portraying zombies on the elevator (shot in Monroeville) are sometimes not the same
as the invasion zombies (in Florida) either. The soldier zombies change, and theres
a cook that changes too-one has a moustache, one doesnt, but they were intended to
be the same guy.
Was it all a dream at the end?
The whole movie was! Kidding. There are ways to look at the film as a dream or a
nightmare inside Sarahs head. All through the film, the point of view is really
hers. It began and ends that way. You can look at the film as being remembrance of the
events she persevered through before the island retreat (with the exaggerated deaths of
the men almost dreamt in her mind). Or one can look at the instances where the
dream seems to end as the parts that were really dreams. It wasnt all a dream, but
the days of underground seemed to have provided fodder for recurring nightmares for Sarah.
Stylistically it recalled the 1980 DePalma thriller Dressed To Kill where
nightmares are used to move the story along in a similar fashion.
Will John, Bill and Sarah be safe on that island?
Presumably it would have turned out to be an uninhabited stretch of beach. It could have
been a small island in the Florida Keys or safely far from a city. They could wait it out
there until the dead become immobile and less of a threat, or wait for a rescue party to
pass by. The helicopter would have to be used sparingly unless John knew where to find
fuel close by. No that island wasnt from Fulcis Zombie!
Why didn't Logan or Rhodes revive?
Again, up to your imagination. Logan certainly should have come back eventually as we
never really did see his head being shot, but the idea Rhodes had was to leave him that
possibility - that curse of living death. Rhodes knew it would be doing him a
favor to shoot him in the head, as with Miguel after his attack. And Rhodes could
have revived if hed been left a torso, but I really doubt that there would be any
scraps left of the men with that many hungry zombies loose in the complex.
Look Ma, no bullet
Were any scenes cut?
There were deleted scenes, but that footage did not stick around. The original work
print was 126 minutes and had to be trimmed down to 105 minutes at the most contractually.
Aside from some bits of dialogue throughout (as if there is not enough talk), there were
some gore/zombie shots cut out. A few zombie scenes were removed including a hung zombie
that editor Pat Buba realized looked as if it had committed suicide after he became one
(which wouldn't make sense), and a bridal shop scene where a zombie woman stares out a
window with a live boa constrictor around her neck. The latter scene wasn't used due to
the strobing effect resulted from a camera loading glitch. There was a few seconds of the
zombie carrying Torrezs head into the crowd closeup. These scenes are preserved in
stills however. One zombie shot by Steel (the fifth one in the lab) before he kills
himself is edited out (likely for better pacing with the score
or for poor acting on
the extra's part? You decide!)
Where are NRBQ in the film?
The members of NRBQ are in the scenes where Steel machine guns the locked door to the
complex and runs in.
Why are NRBQ in the movie at all?
They are/were George Romero fans or at least fans of the previous two zombie films. Why
else would they have driven from a gig in Massachusetts to be extras?
Where is George Romero in the film?
He is the zombie seen only from his legs as he wheels a cart past the screen in the
feast scenes. Youll notice blue jeans and a plaid scarf hanging.
Was Stephen King supposed to be in the film?
Yes. He was going to come out as a zombie in one scene but couldnt make it. He
would have been a featured zombie if he had, like the shovel zombie for example. However,
in the movie, theres a zombie the crew called the Jordy Verrill Zombie (as in
Kings Creepshow character). This guy looks like he apparently drowned in some swamp
with mold growing on his clothes and seaweed still attached to his person. He attacks
Steel near the end in the lab first. Theres also a copy of Salems Lot in
Bubs lab scenes.
the glasses...a DEAD giveaway.
What is that bit of classical music Bub listens to on the tape player?
Ode to Joy from Beethoven 9th Symphony. It was decided upon by John Harrison and
Howard Sherman, and not Romero's idea.
My own question: why do the calendars change day orders?
One of the biggest continuity errors.... I don't think anyone else has found this one.
days on the calendars in beginning and end are not the same. The one in the cubicle
shows October with the last day X'd out. Friday and Sat. are left. According to the shot
of Sarah's handmade one at the end, Nov. 4th fell on a Thursday. So the Friday would be
the 29th of Oct....but in the film there were only three days of events. We either missed
some action, Sarah is changing the calendar to her new standard of keeping time, or we
have a genuine continuity error.
Did Return of the Living Dead coming out ruin Days box office results?
No they stayed out of each other's way but both caused minor confusion in the media and
public. Although Day had just started shooting when Return was already basically in the
can (Oct. 1984), Day wound up getting released BEFORE Return (July 1985). It was not
released on one day, but rather a chain of dates whereas Return, being backed by major
studio Orion, had one nationwide date in August. The critics generally favored Return,
however the two films stayed clear of each other. The only incidence of both films
"clashing" were in the Midwest areas when they were simultaneously released in
late August. Return kept playing at midnight shows as Day saw release in the South and
West in October. At the end of the year, Day had made close to $3 million and Return $5
million. Another difference was Return was R rated, Day had no rating, which could have
scared some people off.
How much did $ to date has Day made?
An estimated $34 million worldwide to date.
Is there any behind the scenes/documentary other than the featurette?
There is, but not commercially available.
Is there a novelization?
Not in America. Just Japan. See the Literature
Is there a Day CD?
Yes. Numenorean Music just released it in 2002.
Is it true that they are filming the original Day script?
No. I am 99.9% sure that wont ever happen.
Was Day originally 3-D?
It was not shot in 3-D but in pre-production, the idea came up. With all the use
of hands and arms groping at the camera, it would have been perfect.
What Day-related cast reunions have there been?
The first appearance at a convention by a cast
member was at the Zombie Jamboree in Pittsburgh when Lori stopped by on the
second day (Aug. 28) unannounced. Her father had been scheduled however. The
first official cast reunion was in January 1999, at the Fangoria Weekend of
Horrors in New York. Lori, Joe and Gary all were invited and signed autographs.
Terry was scheduled but failed to appear. After being left out of that reunion,
Richard Liberty made one appearance at the September 2000 Weekend of Horrors in
Orlando, Florida before passing away a month later (Oct. 2) at 68 years old in
Ft. Lauderdale due to heart failure. Fangoria devoted issue #201 (April
2001) to him.
Is it true someone in the Day cast died?
R.I.P. Ralph Marrero (1991), Don Brockett (1995) and Richard Liberty (2000).
Why don't you put up wavs, avis, etc. of trailers,
behind the scenes, ads, etc?
Did you know that there's a Twilight of the Dead?
Don't want to violate licenses. The pictures aren't enough??
Did you see the guy wearing a Day of the Dead shirt in…?Yes. While not as culturally notorious as its predecessors, Day of the
Dead has a few appearances in rock music. In the music video for Anthrax’s
"Madhouse" look for a wheelchair-bound actor in a blue Day t-shirt.
And their album, Among the Living, the drummer wears the grey Bub shirt.
The goth punk group Misfits (seen and heard many years later in Romero’s film Bruiser)
named songs after both "Night of the Living Dead" and "Day of the
Dead". In 2001, Gorillaz recorded a song called "M1A1" which
samples part of the street scene and includes Harrison’s music looped.
Yes, Lucio Fulci's Gates of Hell (1981) was called that and
the hack blatantly ripped off Dawn of the Dead for its advertising. Check my Zombie Films
List for other weird titlings. Did you know Dawn was subtitled Twilight of the Dead in
What is the status of Twilight of the Dead (Romero's
fourth Dead film)?
TOTD is not even written...by
George, that is. When he does it will be based on his online serials 'The Death of Death.'
Many fans have written their own conclusion to the series calling it "Twilight of the
Dead" (based on articles and The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh's mentioning).
They have even sent these to him hoping he would select it for his own use. Now he's
gathered all the ideas and is writing the thing...no just kidding. He is not using a shred
of the material that has been sent in. The only other alternative to making a
new deadscape would be the obvious: a prequel sandwiched between Dawn and Day. If
Hollywood thought the concept to be lucrative one, it would be in production now. But
they're not interested in "adult horror" as we know. The prequel concept has
been done in countless variations and George would probably not want to look like a
clone...of himself. "Twilight of the Dead" would DEFINITELY NOT be the name of
the fourth film. George has stated this several times. Partly because of legal problems
with the title ('...of the Dead' is owned by other producers who George does not deal with
anymore). But also because there's so many other wannabe fourth films with the
title. The very title has become a predictable cliche. Ditto for "Dusk of the
Had he filmed a fourth film
in the 90s George has stated it would be 'the silliest of the whole series...far so than Dawn.' The
90's to me, were a cultural throwback to the 60s so in that sense, a NOLD remake was a
logical contribution to the decade. And a final film would imply finality to the crisis. I
don't think any fan could honestly say "hooray! the zombie crisis is cured in Twilight!"
If the crisis is not cured, what is the point of a "conclusion"? If you
think critics shat upon Day, this fourth jobber would be ten times worse.
The jump in time in Day caused some confusion about how the dead took over the world.
People would be just as lost if they have not seen the other films, and due to the legal
hangups the trilogy suffers from, a re-release of the trilogy to help "Twilight"
out would be improbable. That's producers for you.
First he calls his movie Zombie 2 to confuse people into thinking there's a
sequel to Dawn. Then Lucio Fulci's advertising company rips off Romero's Dawn while
beating him to the title for a fourth film. (Romero got even of sorts with Day being
called Zombie 2 overseas)
Now the dead are pretty much ignored since
they're in a stage of declining power (hence the term twilight). The empire of
the dead would be almost over (images of unthreatening, immobile, skeletal forms with no
sight or other senses left). Gone are the hordes of wailing dead. Forget about zombie
luncheons - if they are there, they're going to be forced. It may play similar to events
in the other films: zombies are over here, held off for a while till lack of cooperation
forces them in, then they eat everyone up. Sure, there's a whole generation who hasn't
seen this on the big screen, but it would be great if only George had enough new twists,
made it realistic and not over the top like the original Day script, brought some real
finality to it... and had a REAL budget! Otherwise, this fourth film would be quite dull
compared to the others (Day bashers would have to redefine 'boring'). Parts
would no doubt resemble Dawn's apocalyptic utopian drama, the rest would probably
look like Night of the Comet.
Now we all know the title George chose
was Dead Reckoning, after a
vehicle of the same name. It was changed to Land of the Dead in 2004 after producer
pressure. The makeup in the finished film has nothing on Day's makeup despite
being supervised by Greg Nicotero. But what should the dead have really looked
like in a film that is set years after the plague? like this Lee masterpiece:
Instead we got generic latex
Hollywood style makeups that allow the actor to make goofy expressions.
Wouldn't it be better if George
shot the first drafts of Day?
Had that been done, you
wouldn't have a fan here. Many who believe that the original draft was better than the
final one have not actually read it! I was disappointed reading the overhyped first
draft for a number of reasons (too many disposable characters, too much gunplay and
sneaking around, many explosions, too many swamp zombies, too much raunch, too much corny
dialogue, lack of science, so on).
In 2000, he chose to write an online series called THE DEATH OF DEATH. Each chapter
was downloadable (somewhat like his buddy Stephen King's online novel). Each was
about humans living in "the last days of the dead."
What does George
think of Day now?
Glad you asked! He has called
Day his favorite of the series for over ten years now, always maintaining that its
'scarier and more mature' than his previous zombie films. It's definitely a purer horror
film. This is from his 8/1/02 airing of The Directors on Encore Channel:
"Alot of people think of Day as the least successful of the three
zombie films, but it happens to be my favorite for some reason....when you try
to rank them as how successful you think they are, so much of that is
personality, is the time you had making it, the people, how much fun did you
have and did you enjoy it...the nostalgia. Beyond that there's something about
it that I think is the most apocryphal...the idea that maybe these things are
developing intelligence, a scientist that is actually feeding them...I like that
about it. There are things that I can't even see. Everything about it was such a
good time. I particularly loved the score. Some of the actors are really good
friends of mine so I'm satisfied with it."
Was Day ever on
Yes. Twice on USA Network and most recently on Encore Channel/Mystery.
Overseas, in England, on Bravo. USA did so
primetime July 30, 1988 as part of their zombie movie-friendly ‘Saturday
Nightmares’ series. Then re-aired it again July 29, 1989 for Up All Night with
then-host Gilbert Gottfried who had a ball poking fun at the overacting –
"Joe Pilato should have been nominated for an Oscar!" USA ran it on a Saturday afternoon of June 16, 1990 also. Scifi Channel
ran it Dec. 13, 2003 at 3 PM for the first time. In 2006, the widescreen Day
will premiere on the Hi Def Monster Channel.
USA's had the defunct UFDC leader replaced by Hal Roach Studios. Most cursing
dialogue is muted. Fisher’s death in intact as is the shovel gag (minus the
head rolling upside down). Any gratuitous bloodletting, pus-letting,
flesh-eating, intestine-eating or splatter is edited out. Of the soldiers’
deaths, only Rhodes is slightly cut - his legs being dragged down the hall is
Mystery and Encore used the Media print unedited.
What did the television listings describe Day like?
TV Guide printed the following:
Day of the Dead (1985) NR: SL,
Day of the Dead (1985) George Romero's zombies are on the loose again.
GV. Soldiers and scientists try to
prevent living corpses from taking
over the world in the final entry in
George Romero's zombie trilogy.
Sarah: Lori Cardille. John: Terry
Alexander. (1 hr. 45 min. H H)
TV Book, included in most national newspapers, printed:
Day of the Dead H
H (85, Horror)
Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander.
The living dead regroup above as
lone humans sweat it out below
in a Florida missile silo. Directed
by George Romero. NR. Language,
MOVIE * * 1/2 "Day of the Dead" (1985, Horror)
Lori Cardille, Joseph Pilato. George
Romero's flesh-eating zombies close
in on a handful of military and scientific
personnel holed up in an underground bunker.
Is he going to use
elements from the unfilmed Day script in another Dead film?
No. Don't expect trained
zombie soldiers, explosions, or anything else like that in it, especially considering if
he does another, he will have a budget the same or lower than Day's ($3m).
What awards has Day won?
1986 it saw a few honors. Saturn Award for effects, and at the Cinema du
Fantastique/Sitges Festivals awards were given to Lori (actress), Tom (makeup)
and George (directing).
Have you got or seen
any Scandinavian posters for Day?
I am pretty sure these Living
Dead films were all banned in those countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark).
There are some Scandinavian DAWN posters.
Why is your
screenname Trioxin if you like Day of the Dead?
I also like Return of the
Living Dead part one, and have a website on that film as well.
Did Bub really do
Norelco ads after Day?
This was a joke printed in a Fangoria Poster Magazine under a picture of Bub shaving. Nor
did Howard Sherman really listen to Iron Maiden on his headset. But Bub did do some ads...
Where can I buy Beef Treats?
Beef Treats or potted meat product is available at Army Surplus
stores. But, don't expect to find Welch's Prehistoric Jelly anywhere! (it's