Day of the Dead (1985)

96m (Canada), 102m (USA)
35mm film, colour, 1.85:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by George A. Romero. It was first released in the USA in in Pittsburgh on 10 January 1986 1Screen International no.529 (4-11 January 1986) p.9

Plot Summary

The last surviving humans in Florida are holed up in a missile silo where tensions run high between the and a scientific community dedicated to finding the truth behind the zombie plague. As relationships deteriorate, the hundreds of massing outside threaten to wipe away even this pathetic stronghold of humanity.


* = uncredited

Directed by: George A. Romero
© 1985 United Film Distribution Company
United Film Distribution Company presents a Laurel production
Executive Producer: Salah M. Hassanein
Produced by: Richard P. Rubinstein
Co-producer: David Ball
Associate Producer: Ed Lammi
Written by: George A. Romero
Director of Photography: Michael Gornick
Editor: Pasquale Buba
Music Composed & Performed by: John Harrison
Sound Mixer: Rolf Pardula
Costumes Designed by: Barbara Anderson
Make-Up: Bonnie Priore, Jeannee Josefszyk, Natalka Voslakov
Hair: Terry Basilone
Special Make-up EFX: Tom Savini
Production Designer: Cletus Anderson

Lori Cardille (Sarah)
Terry Alexander (John)
Joe Pilato (Rhodes)
Jarlath Conroy (McDermott)
Antone DiLeo (Miguel)
G. Howard Klar (Steel)
Ralph Marrero (Rickles)
John Amplas (Fisher)
Phillip G. Kellams (Miller)
Taso N. Stavrakis (Torrez)
Gregory Nicotero (Johnson)
Richard Liberty as Logan
Howard Sherman as Bub
Don Brockett, William Andrew Laczko, William Cameron, Susan Martinelli, Deborah Carter, Kim Maxwell, Winnie Flynn, Barbara Russell, Debra Gordon, Gene A. Saraceni, Jeff Hogan, John Schwartz, Barbara Holmes, Mark Tierno, David Kindlon, Michael Trcic, Bruce Kirkpatrick, John Vulich (featured zombies)
Daniel Krell *, Robert Martin *; J.R. Bookwalter (zombies)
Peter Iasillo Jr [elevator zombie – uncredited]
George A. Romero [zombie wearing scarf – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

El día de los muertos – Spanish title
Dzien umarlych – Polish title
Il giorno degli zombi – Italian title
Le Jour des morts-vivants – French title
Zombie 2 – German title
Zombie 2 – Das letzte Kapitel – German title

Sequel to
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Land of the Dead (2005)
Diary of the Dead (2007)
Survival of the Dead (2009)

Day of the Dead (2008)
Day of the Dead (2017)

See also
Children of the Living Dead (2001)
The Crazies (1973)
The Dead Hate the Living (1999)
Document of the Dead (1989)
The Earth Dies Screaming (1964)
The Frozen Inferno (2000)
Invisible Invaders (1959)
Redneck Zombies (1987)

Extracts included in
The Many Days of Day of the Dead (2003)
Scream Greats Vol. 1: Tom Savini Master of Horror Make-up (1986)

Production Notes

In Canada, the 1986 video release on Media Home Entertainment has most of the gore removed. and the same fate befell an early VHS release in Germany though the later Astro Video version was uncut.

In Japan, the sequence where Sarah has to hack off Miguel's arm was trimmed for the laserdisc issue. The brief shot of the machete entering the arm has been removed and the accompanying sound effect moved back to the following close up of Sarah's shocked face. The female vocalist heard during the end credits is absent in the laserdisc version.

For many years, the only version legally available in the UK was cut by 6 minutes and 17 seconds. In 1998, 4-Front video released a completely uncut version on video for the first time. The cuts consisted of (times in brackets indicate the approximate point at which the film was cut on a PAL video):

  • A shot of a female zombie biting a soldier's neck – just a few frames have been trimmed (56 minutes)
  • A shot of Sarah cutting through Miguel's arm was removed (57 minutes)
  • A shot of a shovel being used to cut through a zombie's head was removed completely (76 minutes)
  • 6 shots of one of the soldiers, including a close-up of a zombie biting off his fingers, were removed (84 minutes)
  • The sequence showing the zombies eating Rhodes intestines lost 6 shots and 7th was trimmed (91 minutes)



  • Cineaction no.6 (August 1986) pp.45-49 – illustrated article
  • Cinefantastique vol.15 no.3 (July 1985) pp.18, 61 – review
  • Cinefantastique vol.15 no.4 (October 1985) pp.48, 52; 49 – review; interview
  • City Limits no.258 (11 September 1986) p.23 – review
  • The Dark Side no.47 (July 1995) pp.23-25 – illustrated article (by Brad Stevens)
  • L'Écran Fantastique no.56 (May 1985) pp.20-25 – article
  • L'Écran Fantastique no.64 (January 1986) pp.62-65 – article
  • L'Écran Fantastique no.75 (December 1986) pp.46-51 – article
  • Film and Philosophy vol.3 (1996) pp.138-144 – article
  • Film Comment vol.21 no.3 (May/June 1985) p.8 – production notes
  • Film Score Monthly vol.7 no.4 (May/June 2002) pp.32-33 – illustrated soundtrack review
  • Films and Filming no.385 (October 1986) pp.36-37 – review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.284 no.26 (13 November 1984) p.171 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.287 no.36 (3 July 1985) pp.3, 14 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.53 no.632 (September 1986) pp.266-267 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Music from the Movies no.34 (July/August 2002 p.53 – soundtrack review
  • Prevue no.59 (April/May 1985) pp.62-65 – production notes
  • Prevue no.60 (July/August 1985) pp.59-60 – review
  • Samhain no.61 p.32 – review
  • Screen International no.471 (10 November 1984) p.17 – credits
  • Screen International no.491 (6 April 1985) p.172 – review
  • Screen International no.529 (4-11 January 1986) p.9 – note (US News: Briefly: Day of the Dead for Pittsburgh)
  • Sight & Sound vol.3 no.4 (April 1993) pp.30-31 – illustrated article (No particular place to go by Steve Beard)
  • Sight & Sound vol.7 no.2 (February 1997 p.64 – illustrated review
  • Starburst vol.9 no.2 (October 1986) pp.20-21 – review
  • Time Out no.838 (10 September 1986) pp.26-27 – review
  • Variety 24 October 1984 p.213 – note
  • Variety 19 December 1984 – note
  • Variety 3 July 1985 pp.16, 18 – credits, review
  • Video Watchdog 23 p.7 – note
  • Video Watchdog no.54 (1999) pp.22-34 – illustrated DVD/video review


  • The Daily Mail 12 September 1986 p.30 – review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.397
  • Back from the Dead: Remakes of the Romero Zombie Films a Markers of Their Times by Kevin J. Wetmore Jr pp.171-186 – article
  • The Cinema of George A. Romero: Knight of the Living Dead by Tony Williams pp.134-146; 274-275 – article; credits
  • A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.241-242; 243
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.302
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A.Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.128-129 – credits, synopsis
  • Hoffman's Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.91 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.113
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.432-437 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Introduction to Japanese Horror Film by Colette Balmain pp.121-122
  • Nightmare USA by Stephen Thrower p.516 – note
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.100
  • The Pocket Essential: George A. Romero by Tom Fallows and Curtis Owen pp.71-78 – article
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester pp.349-350
  • Zombie by Allan Bryce (ed) pp.28-39; 41-47 – illustrated article (‘Shoot 'em in the head!: George A. Romero – the Dead movies by Allan Bryce); illustrated article (Tom Savini – Sultan of splatter by Allan Bryce)
  • The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia by Peter Dendle p.45-47

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide December 2022 p.25 – illustrated listing