By: The Dweeb
Whoa, what the heck was this that I just watched? Normally, I tend to shy away from the horror genre as I can’t stand most of them. Dawn Of The Dead is George Romero’s follow up to the hugely successful low budget Night of the Living Dead, and what a follow up it was! Audiences loved it, and it became an instant classic. Anchor Bay has recently decided to create an ultimate edition of this film, and include every incarnation created, its like a Dawn of The Dead overkill. Just like the movie, this DVD is over the top.
This was my first time ever seeing this movie, I watched the original US theatrical version, and frankly at the beginning I didn’t know what to think. Are they being serious? Or are they creating another tongue in cheek film like Army of Darkness or Evil Dead which is labeled as horror but really should be in the comedy section? Sure there’s plenty of bad acting and really low budget effects, but that’s what makes it fun to watch. At times, it does get really gory, and even by today’s standards would push the envelope. I don’t think the studios would be able to make a film that depicts cannibalism, or disembowelment the way it was depicted in this film in today’s world. The violence and gore at some points made me turn away in disgust a few times.
Romero as a film maker is all business when it comes to getting the story going. We jump right in to the middle of this zombie nightmare, he spares the viewer from any explanation or setup as to how we come to this place in the film. It was jarring at first to me and left me a little confused as to what was going on, but that was probably the desired effect. The pieces of the story slowly come together and it makes for quite an entertaining romp for the rest of the film. There were a few other spots during the course of the movie where he doesn’t provide any buildup or explanation, and things just start happening. Hey what do you want, this movie was done on the cheap.
George Romero made this film guerilla style, and thusly outside of the Hollywood system. There are no well known actors in here as this was almost like a school project or something. A bunch of people got together for little or no money and made themselves a zombie flick. The main characters are all first timers and virtual unknowns, but they do a decent job of it. There was some great chemistry between the two policemen Stephen (David Emge) and Peter (Ken Foree) which provided some really funny conversations between them.
Being the ultimate edition and all, naturally this set is chock full of zombie goodies. The four disc set includes the three versions of the film, plus an extra bonus disc that contains some lengthy documentaries. Along with the films on each disc, there’s a ton of material to walk through providing hours of extra information. Almost too much dare I say it. This DVD is very well put together even though the film transfer itself is not that great. It works for me, and any horror buff should put this one in the collection.