Dawn of the dead blu ray review
Distributor : Arrow video, UK
With this set I was hoping it would be the last time that I would have to buy this film, having previously owned umpteen videos, laser discs, dvds and even the US blu ray release. I thought finally, this will be the ultimate release and the last word on the film.
With this set containing all 3 versions of the film and a great deal of extras, I have only qucikly skipped through the blu ray but will include my thoughts on the set incase anyone is considering a purchase.
First off, the print on the theatrical release was excellent considering the age of the film which looked in some parts like seeing the film for the first time. The extended cut and Dario Argento cut are included but only on standard dvds, due apparently to the print quality costing too much to remaster to HD blu ray quality. This is a slight disappointment, however the print on both of these (dvd) versons is very good and with the theatrical print being in HD it does help to make up for this.
The extras are excellent, with only one problem which unfortunately for me was a major issue. The set contains 2 of the commentary tracks from the Anchor Bay release. The George A Romero commentary which is excellent and a commentary with Richard Rubinstein, which I found myself continously fighting to stay awake for.
The major issue for me was the missing audio commentary by the 4 main stars of the film which had previously been found on the Dario Argento cut on the Anchor Bay Ultimate Edition dvd release. Assuming the descision to leave this one out was due to rights issues or something similar, this omission almost kills the set for me. Granted if commentaries aren`t your thing, that`s fine, however it was actually one of the best commentary tracks I`ve ever heard and the way the actors bounce off each other and remember the good times, it was truely a fun experience listening with them.
What helps to bring this set back up for me, is the inclusion of the Fan of the Dead documentary, where a “mad fan” goes in search of all of the locations from Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead and even finds his way into the original cellar from the first movie (which hasn`t changed a bit). This documentary has been on Youtube but for filming locations fans such as myself this is a real treat to have it included in the set.
With other feature length making of documentaries and even the Document of the Dead and Tom Savini Scream Greats extras, this release overall, probably is the best ever release of this film.
The set also comes with a reproduction poster from the original UK theatrical release (and pre-cert cover art) and a choice of up to 4 diferrent covers for your blu ray.
I would have hoped this release would be the last version I would ever need to buy of this movie, however the lack of the cast commenatry track I previously mentioned is reason enough to warrant another purchase if/when Anchor Bay release their ultimate edition on Blu Ray and I wouldn`t be too surpirsed to see Anchor Bay include the extended and Dario Argento cuts also on blu ray discs rather than on dvd.
Ultimately for Dawn of the dead fans this is an essential purchase, If you can live without commentary tracks and are not bothered about the other cuts being in SD it probably will be the last time you buy this film.
For anyone else (myself included) it is still an excellent purchase, which will suffice, until the inevitable Anchor Bay ultimate edition blu ray set is released.