For Romero, 'Day of the Dead' also works as radio show

05:00 AM, Sep 16, 2013

Humans take to the underground when zombies overtake the landscape in George Romero's 1985 horror movie "Day of the Dead." Shout Factory/


Written By by Brian Truitt, USA TODAY

You don’t have to see the zombies and the carnage in director George A. Romero’s 1985 horror classic Day of the Dead to be properly entertained.

Romero himself enlightens movie fans about this fact in a bonus-features documentary on the new Blu-ray release of Day of the Dead, out Tuesday.

The filmmaker, who had previously done the undead flicks Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, recalls playing the movie for his kids when he had a back-seat TV in his van.

In the front seat, I’m driving and listening to it. You know what, it works as a radio show. I was cracking up,” says Romero.

The third of his Dead films, Day of the Dead centered on the U.S. government and military going underground after the zombie apocalypse. In a survival base created out of an old missile depot, a scientist (Richard Liberty) attempts to figure out how to domesticate the zombies. But an Army man, Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato), isn’t having any of that stuff and instead wants to take the fight straight to the undead army.

Pilato, who also starred in Pulp Fiction and Wishmaster, is best known for his Day of the Dead role, and his famous lines such as “They’re (expletive) dead, and you want to teach them tricks?!” work for Romero even when in the driver’s seat.

Maybe it softens it a little when you’re not looking at him,” he says with a laugh.

Other extras on the new Day of the Dead Blu-ray include a look at the underground setting of the movie, a behind-the-scenes feature on the makeup by special-effects master Tom Savini, and an audio commentary with Romero and Savini.