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Dawn of the Dead (Ultimate Edition)
Collector's Edition, Ultimate Edition
DVD | Box Set
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In 1968, director George A. Romero brought us "Night of the Living Dead." It became the definitive horror film of its time. Eleven years later, he would unleash the most shocking motion picture experience for all times. As modern society is consumed by zombie carnage, four desperate survivors barricade themselves inside a shopping mall to battle the flesh-eating hordes of the undead. This is the ferocious horror classic, featuring landmark gore effects by Tom Savini, that remains one of the most important – and most controversial – horror films in history. When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth: The original "Dawn of the Dead" is back!
Zombie fans, all rise from the bowls of the earth and rejoice! Anchor Bay's Ultimate Edition of Romero's horror classic Dawn of the Dead not only delivers the DVD goods in spades but goes above and beyond all expectations. The ongoing fan dissatisfaction of which version is available can now end, and the neverending debate of which version is the best can continue ad nauseum. For Anchor Bay has included all versions of the film in their pure, grotesque glory for fans to fully analyze, dissect, and digest. Included in this four-disc set are the "U.S. Theatrical Release" (127 minute, unrated director's cut, with the famous "Goblin" soundtrack in DTS; this is Romero's preferred version), the Dario Argento-edited "European Version" (118 minutes, a faster pace, a few extended scenes, and more "Goblin" music), the "Extended Version" released for the 1978 Cannes Film festival (139 minutes, with additional scenes, more gore, and a music score of library tracks), and a bonus disc of documentaries. All films are remastered and presented in 1:85 anamorphic widescreen. The U.S. and European versions have 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Surround, and all three versions are presented in their original mono.
You may have your favorite version of the film, but there is no arguing about quality. They all look and sound fantastic. Each version has its own commentary track. The European version has the actors' commentary track, while the extended version has producer Richard Rubinstein. But it is the commentary track on the U.S theatrical version that is the real gem. It includes Romero himself, his wife Chris, and makeup artist Tom Savini. If you enjoyed the stellar commentary on Anchor Bay's Day of the Dead, you can expect more of the same. The three of them will take you on a strange trip down memory lane discussing every possible nuance and anecdote of Romero's crowning achievement. The extras on this set are too numerous to lay out in detail. However, two documentaries are particularly noteworthy. The Dead Will Walk (75 minutes) is an all-new documentary tracking the entire life cycle of the Dawn of the Dead phenomenon. It includes tons of interviews with cast and crew members. It is interesting to compare the new documentary with Roy Frumkes' Document of the Dead (92 minutes), an excellent, original documentary that was shot during the making of the film. All in all, Anchor Bay has done an exceptional job with this Ultimate Edition. If you make it through the set, feel free to award yourself an honorary Ph.D in the undead. --Rob Bracco
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Top Customer Reviews
Aside from great effects, fantastic over the top (for its time) gore, and an underlying statement about our zombified society, what really makes DOTD shine is its characterization. All 4 main characters are built up throughout the film and you begin to really care about them; the life they start to make in the shopping mall makes one wonder if they would do the same. George Romero has always had a touch for building good characters and this film is no exception. Critically acclaimed and arguably the GREATEST horror movie ever made (in my personal opinion, it absolutely is), this is one that no fan should be without and no avid horror fan should pass up.
Disc 1 includes the U.S. Theatrical version, which actually is George Romero's preferred version, running at 127 minutes you'll get the most well-balanced version of the film available. Includes all the gore and blood that was meant to be in theaters, as well as the genius soundtrack.
Disc 2 is the full extended version of the film which adds 12 minutes to the original length, running at 139 minutes. While the soundtrack to this version is the same, the movie features extra scenes but at times can just feel a tad too long; still though, because the movie itself is so great one wouldn't mind sitting in an extra 12 minutes. For me personally this is MY preferred version, but contrary to popular opinion, this is NOT the version George Romero himself prefers.
Disc 3 is the European cut of the film, and seems to be mostly everyone's LEAST cared for version of the film. And for good cause. The movie runs 118 minutes long and the soundtrack is greatly reworked for the European audience, featuring somewhat stranger ideas in terms of musical tension that comes in the form of funny synth sounds that while still workable, still takes away greatly from the original soundtrack which featured zombies walking and moaning to goofy "carnival-like" music that really made George Romero's "zombie nation" statement applicable and note-worthy. Furthermore, in this version, the ending is simply a black screen with credits, whereas in the other versions, credits were atop more zombie "pranks" with the same carnival type of music, that while on the surface sounds goofy, it still gave the film a pretty creepy touch that gets you smirking on the outside, while feeling a bit uncomfy on the inside.
The European version of this film is basically cut to make this more of a straight out action film rather than a psychological spine tingler that the other versions were so good at being. Classic director Dario Argento remade this version to appeal to European audiences, and while it does the job, more art-film enthusiasts may be turned off by it's almost complete lack of psychological creepiness.
Disc 4 features 4 different documentaries that fans of this film will absolutely pine over. 2 features are over an hour long each in length, and contain FULL cast and production team interviews all these years later, therefore it's VERY fun to see where all these actors are and how they've aged (may I say that the female protagonist of this film, Gaylen Ross, still looks just as gorgeous as she did 30 years ago! Wow!), including George Romero himself. Plus 2 shorter features that are home video shot, one featuring some cast members and zombies (the actors from way back when) going to the actual mall where the film was shot, as well as home videos made during the production of this film. All in all, the documentary feature gives fans a greatly detailed influx of info on this grand horror masterpiece.
At this price, it's an easy decision, if you're already a fan of the film, you owe it to yourself to add this to your cart IMMEDIATELY. And for those who have never seen the film, for the price listed this is one buy that will absolutely not let you down.
The box is handsome and durable, and houses the DVDs nicely.
Don't forget the supplemental comic and production notes that accompany this value-packed tribute to the world of "Zeds."
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