I don’t know how Scream Factory keeps acquiring the fine horror gems they are releasing, but good for them. George A. Romero’s “Day of the Dead” finally gets the Blu-ray Collector’s Edition upgrade it deserves. It might be my imagination, but it seems like it was the intent of both Romero and makeup artist Tom Savini to step up the gore a few notches with each one. This third entry in the franchise moves forward with a few more buckets of blood and body parts.
Military and scientific personnel hole up together in an underground hideaway to keep away from zombies who walk the earth in search of their next meal of flesh. The military are looking for a way to exterminate the walking dead, while the scientists strive to re-civilize them through horrific experiments. The scientists and soldiers find themselves at odds with each other as the zombies close in on their subterranean bunker.
I’ll be honest in saying that the first hour of “Day of the Dead” was slow. Just as I was giving up on it, the pace picked up and the movie was saved in the last 30 minutes. Although it might seem like it moves at the speed of a snail and is talky, I give props to Romero for taking the time and energy to actually establish character development and a storyline that reaches beyond simply finding ways to kill zombies.
Something else I noticed about “Day of the Dead” is that it feels timeless. Even though it was made in the mid-1980s, it isn’t aged by the clothing, hairstyles, or even technology worn and used by the characters in the film. Romero found a way to remain neutral in these areas, giving it a longevity not found in many other movies in this genre.
“Day of the Dead” is given a new high-definition transfer for this Collector’s Edition. It’s presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1). The picture is clean and manages to maintain a “real film” flavor. DTS-HD Master Audio Mono sound guarantees the movie sounds better than ever before.
Loads of special features are found on the “Day of the Dead” Collector’s Edition. Audio commentary is provided by Writer/Director George A. Romero, Special Makeup Effects Artist Tom Savini, Production Designer Cletus Anderson, and actress Lori Cardille. A new documentary entitled “World’s End: The Legacy of ‘Day of the Dead'” is found as well. There’s also behind-the-scenes footage from Tom Savini’s archives. It also contains photo galleries, theatrical trailers, TV spots, and more.
The “Day of the Dead” Collector’s Edition is a must-have for every fan of George A. Romero’s apocalyptic series. It’s not simply a zombie film, but a study in human behavior and ethics. It doesn’t only give viewers plenty of blood and guts to gawk at, it gives them something to think about as well.
The “Day of the Dead” Collector’s Edition is available now on Blu-ray.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
“The Demented” Provides Minor Zombie Thrills and Chills
“State of Emergency” DVD Review
DVD Review: “Infected”