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The Definitive Document Of The Dead

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The Definitive Document Of The Dead + Birth of the Living Dead + Autopsy of the Dead
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Product Details

  • Actors: George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Roy Frumkes
  • Directors: Roy Frumkes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Synapse Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0096ED4UE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,354 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

George A. Romero, director of the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, is one of the horror genre's most celebrated filmmakers. Roy Frumkes amazing 1978 documentary DOCUMENT OF THE DEAD was an intimate look at Romero's creative process, with an outstanding collection of interviews, effects demonstrations (courtesy of make-up artist, Tom Savini) and behind-the-scenes footage from the classic horror film, DAWN OF THE DEAD. This newly re-edited and re-mastered 2012 version of the award-winning documentary contains all-new exclusive material including additional interviews with Romero's family and friends, candid on-set footage from TWO EVIL EYES, LAND OF THE DEAD, DIARY OF THE DEAD, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD and many more surprises! THE DEFINITIVE DOCUMENT OF THE DEAD is a loving portrait of a horror legend, and a must-see for any hardcore horror fan! Includes An All-New 2012 Audio Commentary with Director, Roy Frumkes.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. P. Stathoulopoulos on June 27, 2001
Format: DVD
As a documentary, this film could have been a bit better. But as a companion to Dawn of the Dead, this is excellent stuff. The film offers plenty of behind-the-scenes material in the Monroeville Mall. One is able to see this incredible space transformed into one of the great film sets of all time. There are also interviews with cast members and with Tom Savini as well, not to mention Savini diving from the balcony in his death-stunt. Document of the Dead also goes into other Romero films with behind-the-scenes and other business bits like distribution, etc. However, there is quite a bit of Dawn material here, making this essential for the die-hard fan.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Peterson on June 12, 2001
Format: DVD
This has to be one of the most thorough documentaries ever made about flimaking, independent or otherwise. It covers every facet involved; pre-production, scriptwriting, casting, storyboarding, production, post production, editing, distribution. It has interesting interviews with Romero, (producer) Richard Rubinstein, special effects artist/actor/stuntman Tom Savivi, several cast and crew members, and clips from Romero's two hour forty five minute version of Dawn Of The Dead which include some alternate footage not seen on the U.S. theatrical release. All interspersed with scenes from Night Of The Living Dead, Martin, and the Calgon commercial spoof on Fantastic Voyage.
There is also a segment on Two Evil Eyes which reunites Romero and Frumkes. It focuses on a special effects segment detailing on what can go wrong in movie making usually does. Quite effective.
The DVD supplements feature a fascinating audio commentary with director Frumkes, cinematographer Reeves Lehmann, and narrator Nicole Potter, with lots of anecdotes, including a very sad one detailing the lost alternate ending of the original cut of Dawn Of The Dead. There are also seven minutes of deleted footage from the original documentary, plus a twenty minute interview segment from Two Evil Eyes with Adrienne Barbeau, George Romero, and Tom Savini.
Required viewing for future filmakers and, of course, fans of Dawn Of The Dead, George Romero, and Roy Frumkes.
A job well done.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chadwick H. Saxelid on February 29, 2004
Format: DVD
A group of students from the School of Visual Arts got access to several days on the set of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead and a documentary took shape. Largely intended to be shown to film students as an educational tool in preparing them for the business side of film production, the movie also is a wonderful showcase of writer/director George A. Romero's fierce independent streak and unique handling of the genre. Those just wanting to see Romero showing zombies where to stand or Savini doing his stuff had better stick to the DVD extras on Day of the Dead (or the upcoming multi-disc edition of Dawn that Anchor Bay is putting together), for this documentary is more studious of the man's artistic intent and the nature of independent movie making itself. For serious fans of Romero, however, this is an essential annotation to the Dead trilogy. Highest recommendation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 1999
Format: DVD
I was never aware of this documentary until I saw it here on Amazon, and I've been a fan of the Dead films for about 20 years. I had to pinch myself as I ordered it! This is an on set(in the mall!!!) hands on "making of", complete with interviews with Mr. Romero and the main actors. It even continues into the distribution aspects, after filming has been completed. For me, one of the greatest allures of Dawn of the Dead has been its seventies setting. Its like a time capsule of an almost innocent era long since vanished, and it manages to capture the time period better then most films made in the seventies. Maybe its the old style mall, or music, but this documentary gives you much of the same nostalgic feeling. It feels like you should be watching this as a late night TV special on a local station in 1978. Also there is a definite reverence for Romero and his work apparent here that I appreciated. The newer footage, shot in 1989 and included here, doesn't quite compare to the Dawn stuff, but its a minor problem. The commentary track on the DVD by the projects director is more informative than any random 10 DVD commentary tracks combined, as it is explained why the documentary took so long to surface, plus many outsider insights to the Dawn shoot are given. Why don't they make films like this anymore? The seventies were indeed different times. Oh, the highlight of the whole thing for me was when we get to see the large billboard ad for Dawn(presumably on the side of a New York building in 78-79) featuring artwork and graphics I had been unaware of. Get set to hit your pause button!!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Williams on July 28, 2003
Format: DVD
In 1978, film professor/filmmaker Roy Frumkes wrote, produced & directed Document of the Dead chronicaling indepedent filmmaker George A. Romero. Filmed over one long weekend on the set of Dawn of the Dead, Frumkes conducts interviews with various members of the cast and crew, including Romero himself. Mixed with footage from Night of the Living Dead, Martin, Romero's modern-day vampire film, and Dawn of the Dead, the documentary tells it's own story concerning a little guy fighting the system. The little guy being Romero and the system being the modern film industry.
Simply put, this is one of the best documentaries concerning filmmaking. Going from pre-production to distribution, Document of the Dead covers all the grounds that Romero went through in order to get Dawn of the Dead on the silver screen. It's a treat particularly for Dawn fans being that it contains scenes not seen in any version of Dawn of the Dead and the now-legendary alternate ending is addressed. Also worth mentioning is Make-up Effects Artist/Stunt Cordinator/Actor Tom Savini at work creating zombies out of filmmaker Frumkes and his then-girlfriend.
My main complaint is the 4th Act/"10 Years Later..." segment shot on the set of Two Evil Eyes. The documentary was just fine chronicaling the first 10 years of Romero's career. Though, the footage/interviews aren't bad in any manner, the documentary worked better concerning Romero's attempts to make his films his way in Pittsburgh during the 1970s. Once the main story arc (Romero fighting for his cut of Dawn of the Dead for U.S. theatres and succedding with the film becoming a critical/commercial success!) ends, there's nowhere else to go.
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