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|“||I just told you I was willing to kill you if you didn't get back in ya chair. You didn't get back in ya chair.||„|
|~ Captain Rhodes' death threat to Sarah.|
|“||This ain't a God damn field trip people, THIS IS A F**KING WAR!||„|
|~ Captain Rhodes yelling at the other survivors.|
|“||I'M RUNNIN' THIS MONKEY FARM NOW FRANKENSTEIN, AND I WANNA KNOW, WHAT THE F**K YOU'RE DOIN' WITH MY TIME?||„|
|~ One of Captain Rhodes' most well-known lines.|
|“||CHOKE ON 'EM! CHOKE ON 'EM!||„|
|~ Captain Rhodes' last words and another one of his most well-known lines.|
Captain Henry Rhodes, also known as "H-Rhodes, is the main antagonist of George A. Romero's 1986 zombie horror film Day of the Dead.
Captain Rhodes was a U.S. Captain who took charge of a military operation in search of a cure to a global zombie epidemic. However he became aggressive and psychotic due to constant failure, pushing everyone to their limits and wanting to kill the scientists and civilians and escape the zombies with his troops.
He was portrayed by the late Joseph Pilato.
There is very little information known about Henry Rhodes' life before the events of the film.
Henry Rhodes was a United States Military Captain who was part of a military operation that was ordered to protect a group of civilian scientists who were searching for an end to the zombie epidemic. Initially, Rhodes was one of 12 soldiers in the assigned unit, along with his superior Major Cooper, Private Steel, Private Rickles, Private Miguel Salazar, Private Torrez, Private Miller, Private Johnson and 4 other unnamed and unseen soldiers. At first, Major Cooper was in charge, while Rhodes presumably served as his second in command. However, after the deaths of Cooper and the 4 unknown soldiers, at the hands of the zombies, Rhodes took over as base commander, using Pvt. Steel and Pvt. Rickles as his main enforcers and henchmen.
In the film,
More coming soon...
Captain Rhodes is a cold, ruthless and psychotic authoritarian who uses intimidation and death threats to subjugate and threaten those who he sees as of lesser importance, namely the scientists he was assigned to protect. While his personality before the zombie apocalypse is unknown, Dr. Fisher stated that Rhodes was an asshole even when Cooper was still alive and in charge. He's shown to be willing to kill those who disobey his orders or question his authority with little to no hesitation, showing how homicidal he's become.
He also displays no compassion or worry towards the scientists trying to find a solution to the zombie crisis, finding them to increasingly be a nuisance and their research pointless given the irreversible state of the world as they know it. He especially despises Dr. Logan aka "Frankenstein" as the latter keeps rebuffing his orders and keeps wasting his time, exhausting resources and endangering the people, all just for lab experiments. This tension grows when he discovers Bub, and reaches it's breaking point when he finds out what Logan did to his deceased soldier's corpses, finally killing "Frankenstein."
He's also shown to be very delusional, thinking that just shooting the zombies and getting out of the facility is the best option, despite Dr. Logan clearly pointing out the flaws in that plan. Even after this, he still believes it as the best action to take.
He treats his soldier like any captain would, keeping them in line and have them perform their duties, although due to the situation and the dwindling supplies, his mental problems have made him more aggressive towards them and puts them in their places through fear. He's even willing to threaten their lives if they don't follow his orders, like when he forced Pvt. Steel attempt to kill Susan by threatening to shoot him.
He doesn't seem especially bothered or concerned by their degrading psyches as well, showing no sympathy for Miguel's suicidal tendencies and allowing his men to cackle like maniacs and spout out obscenities towards the civilian scientists, only ever getting annoyed with them whenever they get distracted. This may be due to Rhodes' sanity decreasing as well, though he still has enough to prevent them from
Despite this, he's shown to be genuinely enraged whenever he loses one of his soldiers, like when Miguel got two of them, Pvt. Miller and Pvt. Johnson, killed during a mission to round up zombies for testing, Rhodes was prepared to have him killed, or when he learns that their bodies were being used by "Frankenstein" to feed Bub, which led to the doctors' death. However when the zombies start to slowly flood the facility towards the end, Rhodes reveals himself to be a traitorous coward, leaving his own men behind and locking them out, which eventually leads to them getting brutally dismembered and eaten by the zombies.
He's also shown to be extremely tenacious, as shown in the climax. Even though the zombies have overrun the facility and he's the only one left alive, he arms himself with guns and ammo and intends to shoot his way out. This is also seen when he's confronted by Bub, who wants revenge on Rhodes for killing Dr. Logan aka "Frankenstein." Despite being defenseless and suffering from severe gunshot wounds, he continues to try and escape from him, only to die in vain.
- Captain Rhodes' death is one of the most graphic and goriest ever put on film.
- Rhodes' actor, Joe Pilato, had previously appeared in George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead in 1978, where he played an police officer at the docks. A popular theory is that the police officer is in fact a younger version of Captain Rhodes before he was in the military, however this hasn't been confirmed by either Romero or Pilato.
- Captain Rhodes was placed at #4 on Cinemassacre's Top Ten Baddest Bad Guys. The creator of Cinemassacre, James Rolfe aka the Angry Video Game Nerd, would later review Day of the Dead as part of Cinemassacre's Monster Madness. He stated that Joe Pilato's performance was "a large part of why this film is so awesome" and labeled him as "one of the best villains of the 80s".
- Captain Rhodes is often regarded as the best human villain in any zombie film, due to his intimidating nature and cold attitude.
- Before Joseph Pilato passed away on March 24, 2019 at the age of 70, Pilato's final film role was Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn (also known as Night of the Living: Origins 3D), a remake of the original George A. Romero 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. In the film, he portrayed and did the motion-capture for Harry Cooper, the main antagonist of the film. His personality and demeanor is similar to Rhodes;
- Both are extremely hostile towards the main characters and are willing to leave them to die at the hands of the zombies.