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The ultimate collection of zombie epics!,
This review is from: George A. Romero's Trilogy of the Dead [DVD] (DVD)
George A. Romero's 'Living Dead' trilogy, will always be remembered by horror buffs, as well as many other film fans, for it's radical originality, biting wit and extreme violence. From the first segment, 1968's 'Night of the Living Dead', Romero utilised a highly authentic documentary-style method, making the horrific scenes of zombie mayhem far more realistic than you'd expect. While daft in many moments, it's the trilogy's razor sharp and very black humour that gives it classic status, and it's political themes still impress.
The first of the bunch (presented here in it's 30th anniversary edition, with added scenes) is the best of the lot, and is clearly the forerunner of all the undead flicks to follow, though no one has matched Romero's vision of complete despair and shock. Beginning suddenly in a cemetery, two family members are attacked by a walking corpse - and one of them manages to retreat to a deserted country house, only to be surrounded by hundreds of the cannabalisitc fiends. Taking a stand with a group hiding within the house, it's a battle against the walking dead, and a frantic fight for survival. The shocks are interspersed with news reports and broadcasts, giving the whole dilemma a third dimension of unbearable reality.
The first sequel, 'Dawn of the Dead' is less impressive in it's sub-text, though manages to be even gorier than the original - which doesn't prove to be as damaging as you might think. Following the basic plot of the original (though it does provide more scenarios) a group of people attempt to stay alive, while seeking refuge within a large shopping mall complex. This sets up some rather interesting scenes of carnage, and it does remain as entertaining and as nerve-wracking as the original.
The final part, 'Day of the Dead' ends the trilogy in the most horrifying way possible, and is the best sequel. Within a large military base, scientists perform tests upon the living dead, attempting to learn more about them, and to see if they can be controlled. The story is now more complex, set within a time where the undead has spread throughout the globe, and humans are on the critical list. You can certainly see where the inspiration for 'Resident Evil' came from. Also, the third part includes special make-up effects by the cult master Tom Savini ('Friday the 13th'), and is incredibly graphic and utterly convincing too. Savini would later go on to direct the excellent remake of the original film.
Rounding out this DVD package is a fourth disc, complete with a documentary on the series and filmographies. There are even extras on the movie disc's too, with a commentary by Savini on the third. The bonus material is mostly excellent and pleasing for fans, though Romero could have done more. The set is also presented in a fold-out box, complete with some great art.
A brilliant trilogy in a brilliant collection - if you like gory horror, or if you're a fan of the films, you need to get this.