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Day Of The Dead: Bloodline (Blu-ray Review)

Redo’ing a Romero Zombie classic is not unexplored territory. Hell, it doesn’t even seem to be dangerous territory with there being major success in Zack Snyder and Jame Gunn’s retelling of Dawn of the Dead as well as Tom Savini’s remake of the original Night of the Living Dead having a fandom that has aged well and grown over the years since its release. However, that’s about where the line is drawn. Day of the Dead: Bloodline is a new take on the third chapter in the Romero zombie series and its also not the first time this has been done. However, if we are going to compare or hold it up to another remake, the bar set is extremely low. This proclaimed “bold” new take on the film will be coming straight Blu-ray on February 6th 2018 from Lionsgate. If you are curious or “bold” in your watching, you can pre-order it from the Amazon link following the review.

Film 

Fear goes viral in this terrifying retelling of George A. Romero’s zombie horror classic. Five years after an epidemic nearly wiped out the world’s population, Dr. Zoe Parker lives in an underground bunker among a small group of military personnel and survivalists, working on a cure while fighting armies of the undead. When a dangerous patient from Zoe’s past infiltrates the bunker, he just might hold the key to saving humanity . . . or ending it.

This new take on the third Romero Dead film starts out like it has the right idea; just take the backdrop and make your own film out of it. And it sort of does that, but ultimately the film is more or less one of those remakes that attempts to modernize and add unnecessary depth and over-explanation to the film that came before it. The film features a more populated underground outpost and more science things. Its not afraid to explore outside the base, but it takes a little too long to get there and instantly meanders out right when it happens.

As far as the zombie goods, we live in a time now where its hard to make a crappy zombie it seems like. So, you get some cool make-up effects going on. Many of the kills, while they look good, get repetitive as they rely on some of the exact same effects multiple times. Our “Bub” substitute here is played by Johnathon Schaech who apparently saw 28 Weeks Later and wanted to channel Robert Carlyle for this role. Bub is the part that just doesn’t work as well, too as it comes in much too late and just isn’t has enjoyable or sympathetic as it was in the previous film.

Day of the Dead: Bloodline is nothing special, but it could have been far worse, if that’s any sort of backhanded kind of praise. The film just winds up exactly what it is, a generic straight to video zombie movie that just happens to borrow its scenario from the Romero classic. I expected complete garbage and got a free vanilla soft serve ice cream cone from the salad bar buffet. I’m not sure who is seeking this out, but I imagine if its part of a streaming service, plenty will check it out.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-25

Clarity/Detail: Day of the Dead: Bloodline debuts on Blu-ray with a nice clean and crisp image. There are good details and textures in this modern digital image. Like seeing scuffs on a microscope, dried blood on a vial, wrinkles on clothes or their deterioration. Its pretty much the solid image you’d expect from a straight to video Lionsgate horror movie and that’s a good thing.

Depth: This has some good background and foreground spacing with characters looking and moving freely in their environments. There are some blurring moments with fast running characters in some scenes that do occur.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and pretty well displayed here without detracting from any of the given details on a person, object or surface. I witnessed no crushing when watching it for this review.

Color Reproduction: This one isn’t really rife with colors. The beginning does appear with some good brights and red lighting in the base as well as some city neon lights burst pretty well. The camouflage and much of the clothing in the film have some really nice looking nature saturation to them.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and stay consistent from scene to scene til the credits roll. You can make out facial details like scars, wrinkles, lip texture, dried sweat, glossy foreheads and more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: The film comes with a pretty solid 5.1 track that has a nice mix that really has good attention to its effects and environments, showcasing a healthy balance throughout. Sounds are pretty detailed and accounted for in layering and depth. No, its not going to set the world on fire, but it more than gets the job done for a film of this magnitude.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Music stings, doors slamming, engines roaring and gunshots all get a nice added thump from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a more front heavy track with the rear speakers primarily focusing on ambiance or big moments. There are some unique zombie groans here and there. Movement from side to side is pretty accurate.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are loud and very clear throughout.

Extras 

Day of the Dead: Bloodline comes with a digital copy of the film.

Day Of The Dead Bloodline: Reviving Horror (HD, 14:48) – This is a pretty generic behind the scenes with no real depth here on this film in interviews with cast and crew, but does have some on-set and effects footage. And when talking about thoughts on Romero’s original, you just get generic talking points heard a tiresome amount of times over the years.

Summary 

Day of the Dead: Bloodline delivers some average and par for the course zombie action goods while trying to modernize and put more depth to Romero’s original. Its harmless, it just doesn’t stand out much. This Blu-ray has a rather solid presentation and blah extra on it. If you collect everything zombie or related to the Romero Dead films, then I’d say wait for this to be the inevitable $5 grab.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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