BluRay/DVD Reviews

DAY OF THE DEAD [Shout Factory! Collector’s Edition]

By • Oct 8th, 2014 •

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All zombie movies bow down to the true innovator and king of the genre, GEORGE A. ROMERO. His “Of the Dead” franchise single-handedly exploded the zombie film movement, and each are classics in their own right. The third of the saga, DAY OF THE DEAD, seems to be the black sheep of the series. With the first two being undeniable hits, this one was the first to have mixed opinions. Today, people look back on it and seem to give it the appreciation it deserves, and personally I think it’s one of the best.

While not a traditional sequel, DAY stalks the same universe as the last film, DAWN OF THE DEAD. While in that film the zombies and humans seemed to be at equal ground, this time the zombies are clearly winning and the dregs of humanity are forced to live in underground bunkers. The military has taken control, led by the merciless Captain Rhodes (Joe Pilato). Rhodes is one of the best parts of the film; his despicable behavior makes for a great human villain.

Throughout the film all the humans are becoming less civilized and more ruthless, as the desperate times take a toll on their sanity. In contrast, the scientists have been trying to make the zombies more civil, and steer ‘them’ away from attacking ‘us.’ It’s a classic “Who’s the real monster?” story and it gets the message across well.

Of course being an “Of the Dead” film we still have some fantastic gore. Practical effects at their disgusting prime. Even though it doesn’t exceed DAWN, DAY still has memorable kills and great effects that leave you satisfied. Tom Savini does a brilliant job making these effects come to life, as he’s done for all the classic DEAD films, and DAY is a true showcase of his talent. Much of the special features in this Blu-Ray go over the intricate details on how these special effects were accomplished, and if you’re a gore hound like me your thirst will be more than quenched.

This Collector’s Edition by Shout! is one of the best editions of the movie ever released. Shout! has always prepared great horror film releases. First of all the box art is drop dead gorgeous. They really went to town with this one. The extras don’t disappoint either, including an enormous hour and a half documentary called World’s End, a few smaller ones showing off the special effects and locations, trailers and commentaries. This is the first time DAY has gotten this kind of royal DVD/Blu-Ray treatment, while it’s big brothers DAWN and NIGHT have.

If you’re a fan of any of Romero’s DEAD films and haven’t given this one a watch, you should really consider it. In this world we live in where zombie films are more plentiful than Starbucks in Manhattan, classics such as DAY are refreshing to see. I keep using that word “classic” but I honestly can’t describe it as well with any other word. These people knew what they were doing, and managed to create a solid 3rd installment that deserves its A+.

BLU-RAY EXTRAS-

World’s End: The Legacy of Day of the Dead
Behind the Scenes Footage
Wampum Mine Promotional Video
Underground: A Look Into the Day of the Dead Mines
Theatrical Trailers
TV Spots
Still Galleries
Commentary with George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Cletus Anderson and Lori Cardille.
Commentary with Filmmaker Roger Avary.

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