Huzzah! We found another horror movie that Roger Ebert liked! But in all seriousness, who could not like Return Of The Living Dead? And while some of Roger’s takes on horror movies in the past were eyebrow raising, he really said something truly shocking towards the end of this particular review……….that Return Of The Living Dead had better special effects than the original Day Of The Dead! Someone contain Tom Savini, because he just got riled up…..
To be fair, ROTLD had stellar special effects – and the makeup on the Tarman is top notch and has one of the best character designs of its time. But…..Tom Savini was and is a god in the realm of special effects, and Day Of The Dead has some of the best gore gags in the history of gore gags. Not to mention it has Bub. Bub!!!! I don’t think there would be as many arguments though if someone said that ROTLD is the better movie overall. Me being one that would say that very thing. So anyway – thanks, Roger Ebert! You liked some horror movies and didn’t hate as many as people think you did. Unfortunately, you just didn’t say sensible things about special effects.
It’s time for one of my favorite moments: Going back and watching Siskel & Ebert tear apart horror movies! And in this episode, they go for the jugular of George Romero’s Day Of The Dead.
Well, at least they liked Dawn Of The Dead. I’ll give them that. I was a bit surprised that they hated the follow-up that much though. Day Of The Dead did take a bit to grow on me when I saw it in the 80’s, I do have to admit. I hold Dawn Of The Dead in such high regard, and Night Of The Living Dead was possibly the first movie that scared the shit out of me.
What Day Of The Dead did so well (besides the amazing effects) was create a true villain in Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) in addition to the ghouls (as Mr. Ebert likes to call them). Rhodes in my opinion is one of the greatest villains in horror movie history. A true monster without the make-up on. And while you watch Day Of The Dead, it’s a certainty that Rhodes will get his by the end of the movie. And boy, does he – with also one of the greatest death scenes in horror movie history. So because of those factors alone, I have three words for Siskel & Ebert for their review: Choke On ‘Em!
One of the joys of watching a horror movie is when the asshole you’ve hated the whole time dies a slow, brutal, deserving death. And in George Romero’s 1985 zombie gorefest, Day Of Dead, there were plenty of assholes to root for to exit in crowd cheering fashion. So on this week’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, I want you to reminisce with me about one of those assholes: Private Rickles.
Private Rickles is a bit of a bumbling idiot who likes to laugh a lot, even when things aren’t really that funny. Case in point: He laughs when a bunch of slow-moving zombies pounce on top of him and proceed to tear his face off and chew aggressively on his fingers. Quite a character, isn’t he? So join me in watching Private Rickles in his last giggly and gruesome moment from Day Of The Dead and feel free to give a standing ovation if you’d like.