• Day Of The Dead: Bloodline

    Released by: Lionsgate Films
    Released on: February 6th, 2018.
    Director: Hèctor Hernández Vicens
    Cast: Sophie Skelton, Johnathon Schaech, Jeff Gum, Marcus Vanco, Mark Rhino Smith
    Year: 2017
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    The Movies:

    Day Of The Dead: Bloodline, a kinda-sorta remake of George A. Romero’s Day Of The Dead directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens, is set a half decade after most of the world’s population was destroyed by a worldwide epidemic that has caused the dead to turn into flesh-eating zombies. We see this first hand in the opening minutes of the film, only to then flash back a few hours where we learn what caused all of this to happen in the first place. See, in a hospital a doctor in training named Zoe Parker (Sophie Skelton) has to treat ultra-creep Max (Johnathon Schaech), a man with a rare antibody in his bloodstream. Later that night, Max tries to rape Zoe only to be stopped by the surprise appearance of… a zombie! Chaos erupts and most of Zoe’s co-workers are attacked and subsequently infected. She’s lucky enough to make it out alive.

    Five years later and Zoe is part of a team living in a massive underground bunker. Alongside her are a group of military types and almost as many scientists, factions that will start to come into conflict with each other in terms of how they want to deal with all of this. When the crew starts running low on supplies, Zoe leads a group back to the hospital she once worked at on a sort of scavenger hunt where she runs into none other than Max! Those antibodies have kept him from turning into a complete zombie, he’s sort of half way in between a human and a zombie. When the group is attacked and has to flee, Max manages to sneak a ride back to the compound and make his way in. Still bound and determined to have his way with Zoe he skulks about the place waiting for the right time to subject her to his foul zombie love! But is Max maybe… just maybe… the key to ending all of this?

    For those who didn’t already figure this out, Max is basically this movie’s Bub, albeit one with a decidedly rapey tone about him. To his credit, Johnathon Schaech plays the part well enough. The guy is just a creep and he oozes sleazy unease, even once he’s started to turn. Sadly, he’s the best part of the movie. Sophie Skelton as the film’s de facto lead is… okay. She’s believable enough in the part, we like her, but she’s not all that memorable and we can’t help but compare her to Lori Cardille as Dr. Sarah Bowman in Romero’s original film. Skelton isn’t as good as Cardille, so once that inevitable comparison happens, the film loses stock. That same problem applies to the rest of the supporting characters too – Jeff Gum as Miguel (the Rhodes surrogate), Marcus Canco as Zoe’s boyfriend… all the rest. They just aren’t that interesting or memorable.

    As to the effects, they’re a mix of moderately practical work and rather dodgy CGI. The makeup that turns Schaech into the sentient zombie is done reasonably well and, to the credit of those responsible for it, the eeriest part of the movie. Much of the blood shed and carnage in the film is clearly digital in origin. Production values are okay. The movie is reasonably well shot, features some good locations and has a perfectly acceptable if not particularly noteworthy score – it’s just not that interesting.


    Lionsgate presents Day Of The Dead: Bloodline on a 25GB Blu-ray disc in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer properly framed at 2.35.1 widescreen and it looks excellent. The digitally shot feature is pristine, just as you’d expect, while fine detail is excellent throughout. There are times where the colors have been intentionally muted to give the film that grim and gritty look that its story asks for, but that’s part of the picture’s aesthetic – otherwise, color reproduction is great, though it should be noted that the movie frequently makes use of a lot of greys and blacks and darker hues. As such, it doesn’t pop the way a more colorful movie might, thanks primarily to the fact that a lot of the film takes place inside a dimly lit underground bunker. Skin tones look nice and lifelike and there are strong black levels as well. No complaints, the movie looks just fine on Blu-ray.

    An English language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track is the only option here, but it’s quite strong. The action scenes make the most of the surround channels while there’s decent LFE action present throughout. The score sounds strong without burying the performers while dialogue remains nicely balanced. Optional subtitles are provided in English SDH and in Spanish.

    Aside from some trailers for other Lionsgate properties that play before the main menu loads, the only extra feature on this disc is Day of the Dead Bloodline: Reviving the Horror, a fifteen-minute EPK style featurette made up of cast and crew interviews. It’s light, but marginally interesting. Menus and chapter selection are also included, and as far as the packaging goes we get a slipcover and an insert card with a download code for a digital HD version of the movie.

    The Final Word:

    Day Of The Dead: Bloodline is so remarkably middle of the road as to be almost instantly forgettable. The movie has moments where it actually approaches good, but never properly exploits those themes. As to the Blu-ray itself? It’s light on extras but to Lionsgate’s credit, it looks and sounds very good. For zombie completists only.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!