Day of the Dead is a 1985 American horror film written and directed by George A. Romero. It is the third film in Romero's Dead series, being preceded by Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead and followed by Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead.
Some time after the events of Dawn of the Dead, zombies have overrun the world. The remaining fragments of the U.S. government and military hide out in fortified enclaves, attempting to find both survivors and a solution to the zombie phenomenon. Survivors Sarah, John, McDermott, and Miguel arrive in Fort Myers, Florida, encounter a zombie horde, and escape to an underground Army base in the Everglades, where a small group of scientists search for a way to stop or reverse the zombie process, assisted by a skeleton crew of Army soldiers. Dr. Logan, the lead scientist, believes that zombies can be trained to become docile, and accordingly has amassed a collection of zombie test subjects, over the objection of base-commander Capt. Rhodes. The tension between the soldiers and the scientists is worsened by dwindling supplies, loss of communication with other survivors, and a lack of progress in research. During a zombie wrangling mission, two soldiers are killed after a zombie escapes its harnesses; whereupon Miguel attempts to kill the creature, but is bitten on the arm, which Sarah amputates to stop the spreading infection. Rhodes then calls off the experiment and demands all specimens to be destroyed.
Dr. Logan, meanwhile, continues his research, being especially proud of Bub, a docile zombie who remembers parts of his past life. Sarah is mortified when she learns Logan has been using the bodies of the dead soldiers in his research, and devises a plan to escape the complex with John and Miguel. Their plans are thwarted by Capt. Rhodes, who kills Logan; locks Sarah and McDermott inside the zombie corral; murders Dr. Fisher, a fellow scientist; and attempts to force John, their helicopter pilot, to fly them away from the complex, which John refuses.
Bub finds the corpse of Dr. Logan, and in a display of human emotion, breaks into tears, while Miguel, in attempting suicide, allows the zombies to enter the complex and is devoured in the process. While two soldiers investigate, John overcomes Rhodes and another soldier, steals their weapons, and goes to find Sarah and McDermott, while the zombies kill the remaining soldiers. Rhodes attempts to escape, but is shot by Bub and killed by a nearby zombie horde. John reunites with Sarah and McDermott and they escape to the surface. Sarah boards the helicopter, only to be attacked by a zombie inside; but wakes to find that the final zombie attack was a dream and that they are now living on a tropical island.
- Lori Cardille as Dr. Sarah Bowman
- Joseph Pilato as Captain Steven Rhodes
- Terry Alexander as John
- Jarlath Conroy as William "Bill" McDermott
- Anthony Dileo Jr. as Pvt. Miguel Salazar
- Richard Liberty as Dr. Matthew "Frankenstein" Logan
- Sherman Howard as Bub the Zombie
- Gary Howard Klar as Pvt. Steele
- Ralph Marrero as Pvt. Rickles