Released just last month, Day of the Dead: Bloodline has already accomplished something incredible: it received a 3.4/10 rating on IMDb. For a movie that emphasizes so heavily that it is “a bold new reimagining of the George A. Romero classic“, it certainly feels like a very generic movie.
‘Day of the Dead: Bloodline’ Cast
Zoe (Sophie Skelton) is a medical student working at a hospital at the beginning of the movie. After the zombie outbreak, she is working at a military underground bunker taking care of refugees. Zoe insists that a crew be assembled to search for medication for Lily (Lillian Blankenship) who has fallen ill.
In direct opposition to her plan is Lieutenant Miguel Salazar (Jeff Gum), who is the leader of the military presence. Zoe is in a relationship with his brother Baca Salazar (Marcus Vanco). Max (Jonathon Schaech) portrays a psychopath obsessed with Zoe. He is turned into an intelligent monster with only one purpose: to acquire Zoe once again.
There are other characters, but the film makes only mediocre attempts to introduce us to them. There is a single scene where the soldiers are reminiscing of the days prior to the apocalypse that shows their personalities, but the movie never elaborates on any of their backstories.
Acting and Character Development
The acting in this movie is terrible. For example, in one scene Zoe’s friend is yelling at human Max to leave the hospital after he reveals something disturbing. This would have been an easy scene for her to show intense disgust on her face, but instead, it looks like she is just reciting a line from the script.
There are various opportunities for the characters to show real emotion, like when Zoe is looking at a picture from the past, or when she re-encounters Max as a zombie. However, none of the actors take advantage of those moments.
Most noteworthy is when the movie attempted to create conflicts, such as the fact that Baca is Miguel’s brother and has to choose between supporting his girlfriend or his brother on their plans. However, he and also other members of the crew don’t appear to have much of an opinion and seem content to follow Zoe, resulting in many deaths.
Jonathan Schaech, the actor playing Max, was easily the best actor in the film. His portrayal of Max as a human was very unsettling, leering and speaking to Zoe in an adoring tone. Because the writing restricts his zombie character from being as creepy, there is a lot less tension in the second part of the movie. In his mind, Jonathan has created a complex character, and it would have been an advantage for the directors to give him more freedom to play around with this character.
My Thoughts on the Story
This plot is very generic and Day of the Dead: Bloodline adds very little variation, resulting in a tedious 90-minute movie. The story halfheartedly attempts to add personality to the characters, but the lines fall flat and make every character forgettable and generic as well.
The decisions the characters in Day of the Dead: Bloodline make are especially poor. For example, characters run toward zombies or sneak off on their own, and there is an extreme lack of security for a military compound.
Zoe starts the movie as a medical student and later appears to be the only medical professional in the entire bunker. There is no explanation as to why an established military base would not have a doctor or medic present. Later on, she is shown to be creating a vaccine. How would she have had the knowledge to create this miracle cure? Especially since in the beginning of the movie, she was still answering the attending doctor’s questions incorrectly.
The result of this poor writing is a very unpleasant experience for the viewer because no one can ignore this blatant “Mary Sue” writing.
Special Effects and Visuals
Visually, Bloodline looks pretty good. There are panning shots of beautiful green forests that are enjoyable to watch. The outdoor shots of the compound and the surrounding area are the best parts of the movie.
The special effects for the gore in the movie are questionable. The blood of characters explodes from their bodies after a delay, almost like on a timer. The result is a very cheesy-looking effect that takes away from the dramatic moment. On the other hand, the makeup of the zombies in this film is excellent. The full-face makeup was great and I would love to see zombie makeup like this in other movies.
The quality of the Blu-ray disc was disappointing. The title screen was very plain, similar to something a person would make for a home movie. There was a terrible sound when scrolling through selections, like a 90’s video game sound effect. The only bonus feature was a short behind the scenes feature where the actors and producers discussed the movie.
Conclusion for ‘Day of the Dead: Bloodline’
People make stupid decisions, the plot is very poorly-thought-out, and the blood of victims explode like paint-filled squibs. I’m a huge fan of zombie movies. Although I’d rather not admit it, I watch B-grade movies on a regular basis on Netflix and still, the acting and the plot was so bad that I felt uncomfortable through most of it. The movie is not campy enough to be fun and not well-thought-out enough to be taken seriously. I started Day of the Dead: Bloodline with realistic expectations and I ended it thinking, “Why was this movie made???”
Do you like watching B movies? Would you consider watching Day of the Dead: Bloodline? Let us know in the comments!