Seeing it featured in the latest season of STRANGER THINGS got me wanting to watch George Romero’s masterpiece DAY OF THE DEAD again. (Can an auteur have more than one masterpiece? I think Romero did. All three of his Living Dead movies from the 70s and 80s would qualify. LAND OF THE DEAD might even be up there.) Was it a bit of an anachronism to have the STRANGER THINGS kids sneaking into the movie prior to the big Fourth of July celebration that served as the setting for season three’s climax, considering that DAY OF THE DEAD didn’t open in wide release in the United States until July 19th of 1985? Not necessarily. There were some specific locations—specifically malls—in the US where the movie debuted prior to July 4th, with some showings taking place in June. It would seem that Hawkins, Indiana and the new Starcourt Mall was one such location. Maybe the Russian spies who were secretly running Starcourt were able to pull some strings.
It’s strange. I remember when almost every movie came out during my childhood, even if I didn’t get to go to the theaters to see them (and most of the time I didn’t), but I have no recollections at all concerning DAY OF THE DEAD. If I saw any commercials advertising the film, which would have been how I would’ve learned of it, they did not lodge in my brain, and I’m certain they would have.
I always wondered what became of Bub the zombie after the movie. Too bad they didn’t give him his own spinoff film. But hey, actor Sherman Howard, who portrayed Bub, is alive and well and still working. It’s not too late!