[There's] plenty of concept, but Day of the Dead is more fun to discuss than to actually watch. The first act mostly works as a gory 1980s action comedy of bickering consumption, but the rest is a cold, schematic consideration of Romero's pet themes. There's no urgency because the characters never transcend their initial stereotypical associations, as they did in Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead.
What remains fascinating is the timing. “It was 1968, everyone had a message” is what Romero said about Night of the Living Dead. But now it’s 1985, and the two things that are most startling about Day of the Dead are a) its unreconstructed 60s liberalism during Reagan’s morning in America, and b) its ultimate conclusion that no amount of utopian idealism will ever save us. It’s a sour, detached film, covered in red corn syrup and fake intestines.