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on 19 November 2011
There's no denying it, George Romero's original Dead trilogy is the greatest and most influential trilogies in all of horror, or at the very least the zombie genre. DAY OF THE DEAD is perhaps the goriest of the lot, with so many great characters, zombies, story and blood and guts. This Arrowdrome DVD is perfect for those in need for some zombie action whose wallets are slightly empty. The quality of this DVD is top notch, with a very interesting commentary, a couple of featurettes, an informative booklet and awesome reversible artwork. It's a great package especially at the price it is!

Highly recommened for those you've yet to see DAY OF THE DEAD and dont want to spend too much of their hard earned cash.
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on 4 November 2012
In my opinion Day of the Dead is the best of George A. Romero's Dead trilogy. Night was pure suspense, Dawn a satire, and Day a science v. nature parable. We learn what drives the zombies while also wondering if we should; the studies shown raise moral questions which are fun to chew. If it's the smartest, however, Day of the Dead also the goriest. There's more blood, entrails and dismemberment here than in the first two films put together.
In a masterful opening scene we meet Sarah (Lori Cardille), a tough scientist trapped underground with army psychos, including Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) and Miguel (Anthony Dileo Jr.), fellow doctors Logan (Richard Liberty) and Fisher (John Amplas), helicopter pilot John (Terry Alexander) and radio operator Bill (Jarlath Conroy). Tensions rise as Logan pushes for more "specimens"; nicknamed Dr. Frankenstein, he's been studying the zombies' cognition. They keep a herd sectioned off and try "domesticating" them with strange tests.
Though the army guys are typical jarheads, a la James Cameron's films, the scientists aren't spotless. As cold as he is, Rhodes has a point; Logan and Fisher happily risk his men for their experiments then repay them by defiling their remains. Real conflict occurs between a quest for knowledge and a need to survive. In this respect you could argue that Day is also the darkest Dead film. It isn't as nihilistic as Night or as epic as Dawn, but it provokes troubling thoughts. Who's the real villain here, Rhodes or Dr. Frankenstein? Standing outside the fray are Bill and John, who waxes philosophical. This of course is a tradition; each film has a wise black man and a sympathetic white woman. Sarah, meanwhile, is the strongest and most likeable Dead heroine.
The soldiers' acting can be ropey. A couple of goons played by Gary Howard Klar and Ralph Marrero don't have too much screen time, thank God, then there's the line "we need his ass", delivered with an emphasis on "ass" which makes it sound like a Freudian slip. I also don't know if Rhodes speaks more than he screams.
Despite these minor flaws, however, Day of the Dead is a perfect genre pic. Its lurid colours and grainy shots make it look like a sleazoid slasher (The Mutilator, Sleepaway Camp), but it's a smarter, scarier story.
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on 8 July 2011
DAY OF THE DEAD was the first zombie film i ever watched. I was about 15 and had never seen anything like it before, it genuinely terrified me, it sank its teeth into me and they're still firmly clenched there now.

Set in an underground missile silo, this particular group of post-zombie apocalypse survivors are not only having to battle the Zombie's but one another, as science and violence fight for supremacy. Should we study them, or should we kill them? Opinions are firmly divided here.

The claustrophobic catacombs in which the group co-habit create the perfect environment for the Zombie's and the survivors to unleash their equally horrific, unflinching violence.

The special effects, created by Tom Savini, are incredibly realistic and vivid, and the Zombies actually look and act as a walking corpse would. They decaying so they shuffle about everywhere, they dont sprint across the screen like they're on steroids! They just use mass attack tactics to ensure they catch their prey, and when they do catch up to the unfortunate ones the result is total body ripping carnage! The scenes in which some of the characters are literally torn into pieces are the most realistic set pieces of prosthetic gore that you will ever see. No CGI on show here folks, just buckets of animal entrails and blood, and oh how good it looks.

Although not as groundbreaking as 'Night' or as revered as 'Dawn', this in my opinion is the best Zombie film of Romero's career. There's just something about the grimness of the situation in which the characters are in and how they react to each other in an ever increasingly tense and taught atmosphere that, for me, makes the film very believable. If the dead ever do decide to get up and shuffle, i reckon Romero won't have been far from the mark with this interpretation.

So, wether you're new to the genre or you've just never got round to watching this film, then hesitate no longer, buy it right now. As dark and as brooding as you're ever gonna get, this really is the darkest day of horror the world will ever see.

Day Of The Dead [DVD] [1986]
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on 8 December 2004
What a film!!!!! The first scene where we get the first taste of the claustrophobic atmosphere that surrounds the film is brilliant. The scene makes you jump out of your seat and you know you're in for a movie that'll be full of surprises.
The film has plenty of clever dialogue and, of course, plenty of gore (thanks to the brilliant special effects and the make-up skills of Tom Savini) . It might not be as long or have as many gore scenes compared to the classic Dawn of the Dead but is still enjoyable and terrifying at the same time.
There is dialogue that will make you laugh or get you thinking philosophically and dialogue that will keep you guessing as to what might happen to the survivors in the film. The characters are cleverly drawn together and the zombies are scary looking, bar a few who look like they having a day out in the studio!
You'll be reaching for the sick bag when you see the gory scenes like the one where one of the characters gets his "chest-flesh" bitten off by a zombie; the flesh, as it is bitten off, looks like the stretchy cheese you see on a pizza that hangs on the side of your mouth! You'll see plenty of body parts torn apart and eaten and plenty of zombies that look like they seriously need to see their dentist, as well as their dermatologist!
Romero keeps you guessing as to who are the real bad guys (only one woman not a zombie in the film and she's a goodie!) and you only find out in the last few scenes.
If you've seen the previous two Dead films and not Day then you'll love this film (If your're a real fan you'll realise that the actor who plays the Army Boss is the guy who was in Dawn of the Dead as one of the "cops" that escapes in a boat before the main characters fly off in the helicoptor)
Top marks for everything then to Romero for this third installment of the Dead Trilogy.
Buy the film! It's a true classic!
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There are multiple versions on BLU RAY of this legendary horrorfest - but a word of warning to fans in the UK.

The American BLU RAY 'Collector's Edition' release on 'Shout Factory' is REGION-A LOCKED - so it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK Blu Ray players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don't confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front - that won't help.

Buy the 'Arrow' version - it's REGION B and will play (even if the transfer has been called into question by some fans)...or the 'Anchor Bay' version which is said to have the best transfer...
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Compared to the other two films in Romero's original trilogy (joined by a new trio in the last five short years) it is Day that gets the least praise from fans and critics alike. It's not as revolutionary as Night Of The Living Dead was and lacks the immediate social resonance of Dawn... Still, it's a film that rewards repeated viewing, and while certainly the least commercially viable of the three, it is also the most thought provoking, and in many ways, entertaining.

Where Day... appears to have let people down is in its uncompromisingly nihilistic approach. There is nothing of the fun of Dawn... held over for this picture. From the locations and cinematography to the methods of ghoul dispatch, there is a touch of depression to this movie, no sign of anything resembling hope. Instead, Romero's focus is on the development of his creations. In the first truly progressive film in the series, he explores an idea only prodded at in the Dawn...finale- the living dead have memory, yes, but how can this be exploited? The plot of the movie sees a group of twelve holed up underground in a vaguely alluded-to research mission. The scientists are working away at increasingly risky endeavours while their assigned military keepers are dropping off, a point of contention with their leader-by-default, Captain Rhodes. While Dr. `Frankenstein' Logan toils away at training the zombies, Rhodes' and his men's behaviour begs the question if society is really worth saving at all.

The film is built around a tight group of involving performances by turns frenzied and subdued. Joe Pilato is a fury of constantly simmering discontent, a military man whose frustrations and inadequacies prove lethal to his co-inhabitants. Pilato hams it up in arguably the most memorable role in any of Romero's canon. Support comes from the late Richard Liberty, chewing scenery as the one scientist determined to tame the living dead, with Sherman Howard (or Howard Sherman) as his primary subject and the first (and only?) zombie icon, Bub. Lori Cardille keeps the feminists at bay with the first strong lead in a Romero zombie film, and Anthony Dileo and Gary Klar offer up turns manic and macho respectively. Terry Alexander and Jarlath Conroy entertain as a Caribbean and an Irishman duo living in a Winnebago dubbed The Ritz in the heart of the mine.

By this, his ninth film, Romero was a master of his craft: gone are the editing problems of earlier movies (though the constant energy remains), and his countering of ideas and action is expertly handled. Scenes in which zombies must be collared for research are as tense as anything he's directed, as is a trek through the mines for our outcast heroes. True to form in this period, his writing is as sharp as a tack- the characters' interactions are scripted sufficiently to bolster the many themes of the film.

One thing which I've learned to appreciate over the years is producer's John Harrison's score for the film, which acts as a strong counterweight to the film's gloomy aesthetic- it's dated, yes, but it's also full of rich themes and performs as actual film music, unlike Goblin's superb work on Dawn..., which was simply a prog masterpiece stuffed into a movie.

Savini steps up the gore from Dawn... (though sadly does not star himself), working with a bigger team of professionals. Thriller seems to have had a sizeable influence on the makeup effects here, though Michael Jackson was never seen enjoying as much grue as Romero's carnivorous hordes. The squeamish need not apply, as after 90 minutes of abstinence we are treated to the visual of comeuppance in a baptism of gore. My only complaint concerns the false teeth used on too many of the unlucky dead- a little too kids-at-Hallowe'en for my liking.

Day Of The Dead is not at first an easy watch, particularly in comparison to its joyous, comic-book-in-motion predecessor, but it is a smarter film and can easily hold its own with Dawn... or Martin as a candidate for the director's best work.

It doesn't quite benefit as much from its HD upgrade as Dawn... did on Arrow's Blu-Ray release for that film, but it certainly looks better than their 2005 DVD. The image is free from dirt (save one or two flecks) and grain is absent without sacrificing clarity. The bookending shots of sunny countryside look marvelous, but the majority of the film that's set in the bunker underground isn't much to look at, so the HD isn't, to use the often-favoured term, glorious. No other artifacts are there to observe. Overall, a near spotless transfer of a film that may not have deserved the overhaul (Arrow recently scrapped their planned BD release of Martin due to insufficient source materials).

The sound mix is perfectly fine too, but again, not much to write home about. We're talking Romero, not Bay, so expect plenty or clear dialogue and the odd blast of gunfire. The surround is effective (one scene where an otherwise unheard zombie replies to Alexander's raised voice in the distance chilled me to the core), and the score doesn't overtake the dialogue or SFX. A perfunctory track, then.

The new extras for this edition turn the spotlight on Pilato, in a 50 minute candid interview (fun if familiar anecdotes) and a 17 minute piece following his Q&A Tour in Ireland and Scotland. The Audio Collections Of Richard Liberty and the Wampum Mine promo video on the second disc are taken from the US edition, and this is their first time on UK DVD. The 'The Many Days Of Day Of The Dead' features a decent selection of interviews but only about four cast members show up. More interesting is an ancient onset feature about creature effects. Also included are trailers, galleries, and the effects team commentary from the previous Arrow release.

Anyone that owns the Dawn... BD can expect the same level of quality from this release- the matching packaging features four options for cover art, an interesting essay, a double sided poster and an well-written but averagely-drawn comic inside a kind of windowbox slipcase. Really beautiful and well worth an upgrade, Arrow's latest release confirms their dedication to cult movies and this fan-friendly package is the best release of the movie yet.
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on 6 February 2005
This in my option is the best of the bunch even though it's been criticized as the weakest one. The gore effects still stands up today and even though the acting lets it down slightly it is not to be taken seriously. I cannot wait for wait Romeo's forth installment "Land of the Dead".
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on 18 April 2012
I love this and Dawn of the Dead of the original trilogy. I like the zombies and the more improved and more realistic gore {compared to DOTD, but some still look fake}.

My favourite zombies in this film is of course Bub and that zombie we see in Florida with the long tongue. I also enjoyed the performances by Gary Howard Klar and Ralph Marrero. I laughed several times at the lines they spoke. Funny characters.

Picture quality: 3/5

This looks good compared to my old and lousy Norwegian DVD. But, there is one problem. There is more DNR and weaker colours than the American BD. I was suprised how little film grain was intact.The sequences that have most grain is the night scenes.

I think too much DNR was used. It looks too smooth and lacks details and sharpness. No reference quality, but it could have gotten closer to that if there was NO use of DNR. Despite the DNR and some weak colours, it looks much better than my DVD. I have compared it to my DVD.

Audio quality: 3.5/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 was at least better than the picture quality. But, there is issues. The music sounds a bit hollow and could be clearer. Not much bass from the guns.

Film: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5
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on 10 March 2010
As is often the case, the film which is seen as the weakest in a series upon first release often becomes much more popular and appreciated over time (Alien 3, anyone?) and this is definitely true with Day of the Dead - the third in Romero's ever growing zombie series.

At the start of Day, humanity is up the creek without so much as a teaspoon let alone a paddle. What may be the last few soldiers, scientists and one handy helicopter pilot are underground working to survive and find a way of dealing with the zombies. Of course, this is a very much a Romero film and so nobody is working together. Tensions are extremely high, supplies are low and the dead are eager to snack. Conflict between the survivors is inevitable and when it comes, it's bloody.

Some will be put off by the film's bleak tone. There's none of the black comedy from Dawn to lessen the mood or give you a break. This is all about humanity's struggle to survive which would be so much less effective if the film had been anything other than the horror it is.

In summary, it's a bleak but oddly hopeful film which gave us the almost unthinkable character of a sympathetic zombie which, in my mind, makes it a classic. So all hail Bub. And all hail Romero - King of the zombies.
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on 29 January 2004
The conclusion to Romero's classic trilogy is a sadly misunderstood film. Following on from the social commentary of Night and consumer satire of Dawn, this is one of the very few science fiction films to consider Darwinism and its potential consequences for the human race. The so-called "wordy" bits only emphasise the quality. It's also jet-black hilarious and features Tom Savini's jaw-dropping splatter effects. An absolute must have.
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