Welcome to another shot of “Best Of / Worst Of Character Moments” in Romero’s Undead-verse. This time out we’ll be focusing on the third movie released in the original trilogy, Day of the Dead.
This one will have more characters for us to process. By this point in the story though, the stress and pressures of survival in a zombie apocalypse has turned nearly everyone into a-holes, none more so than our protectors. But the review gets into that, what we’re here for is to check out the actions of our central figures and see if we are going to reward them, or pan them… and usually it ends up being a bit of both.
Our characters this time out will include: Sarah, Pilot John, Technician McDermott, Dr. Logan, Soldier Rhodes, Scientist Fischer, Soldier Asshole and Soldier Little Shit.
There is also a soldier named Miguel who is currently involved with Sarah, but I’m not listing him because he’s very clearly psychologically and emotionally broken from his very first scene. He cannot be held liable with demerits for anything he does. I am including the rest because even though they are clearly all under extreme pressure, as far as I can tell, they’re not mentally unhinged. There is a special exception to this: Doctor Logan.
His case is difficult. He clearly loses his mind at some point in the story, but exactly where is hard to discern. I’m generally judging him to be responsible for his actions at least through the halfway point of the film, so he still gets a listing.
And with names like those last two, I’m sure you’ll be happy to spend your days locked in a secured facility with them.
Our Characters: Um… I Still Don’t Want To Hang With You, Actually
Sarah- I’m going to give Sarah a Half-KUDO for being, apparently, the only one in the base who is attempting to keep some sort of civility going so everyone can function as a team.
Pilot John- Pilot gets a huge KUDO for saving Sarah and McDermott from the zombie hoard in the nick of time after things go to hell in a hand basket.
McDermott- He receives a KUDO as well for returning the favor of John’s save by saving him in turn with a very good shot.
Dr. Logan- As stated above, Doctor Logan is really difficult to get a handle on. I want to offer him a Half-KUDO for his work in studying the zombie specimens and the breakthroughs that he did make in understanding their functioning. I am very disturbed by where it is leading him in his research, but his basic science is sound.
Rhodes- I’m unable to give Rhodes any kudo, alas [the script is very harsh on him].
Fischer- I’m afraid Fischer doesn’t get a kudo.
Asshole- Yeah. I found nothing to give him a kudo for.
Little Shit- Yeah. I’ve got nothing to reward him for.
Our Characters- Miserable!
Sarah- While I can appreciate Sarah’s attempts to keep everyone focused, she does come across as particularly bossy and rigid out of the gate. It adds to the horrible strain on relationships with the military and earns her a Half-DEMERIT.
John- I’ve got to issue a DEMERIT to John for leaving the zombie pen opened while leaving a helpless and unconscious Rhodes and Background Soldier in harm’s way. I don’t care how despicable Rhodes has become, heroes should take the high ground – not just leave unconscious bad guys to get eaten [even though this failed because they woke up before the zombies wandered that far].
McDermott- I’ve nothing to issue McDermott a demerit for, although he doesn’t do much to improve relations in the base and that might’ve helped.
Dr. Logan- The doctor… well…. I’m just as disturbed by his experiments as Rhodes, but I’m finding it hard to dispute that under the circumstances his objective is any less sane than any other plan of action against the zombies. But, the doctor’s problem is how he seems completely unable to recognize how badly discipline has broken down. I’ve got to issue a Half-DEMERIT to him, pre-insanity, for not fostering closer relationships with the military contingent to keep the guys with guns on the civilian’s side.
Rhodes- Rhodes becomes irredeemable the moment that he murders Fischer… yes, I can even forgive him executing Dr. Logan, but Fischer’s murder is entirely unjustified in any way. He gets his DEMERIT for that action.
Fischer- Fischer doesn’t do anything to earn a demerit.
Asshole- For blindly following Rhodes’ lead when he’s clearly becoming violently unhinged, and for being a disgrace to his uniform, he receives a DEMERIT.
Little Shit- Our junior to Asshole’s senior basically does the same thing as him, but because Asshole could’ve been a better man and that would’ve had Little Shit act better, I’ll only issue Little Shit a Half-DEMERIT… he struck me as too weak to not be a tagalong.
I’m issuing a posthumous DEMERIT to The Major, who clearly was not instilling/reinforcing military discipline in the ranks and only exacerbated the military/civilian conflicts keeping a sense of violence always in the air.