Dawn of the Dead [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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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.
All 3 versions of the film and a great deal of extras are provided here so I have only quickly 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 and in some ways it was 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 so good in HD, it really helps 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 continuously 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 decision to leave this one out was due to rights issues or something similar, this omission almost killed the set for me.Read more ›
The first of the four discs is culled from the same tranfer as last year's Blu-Ray edition and is the best available DVD version of the film, but the real selling point of this set is the package of extra features. It's been some odd years since the 4-disc Ultimate Edition was released in the States, so to finally have these extras released on Region 2 is great for those few who have yet to make the jump to multiregion players. While not all of the Region 1 extras have been ported over (specifically the actors' commentary on the European cut, and Ken Foree's tour of the film's famous Monroeville Mall), there are more than enough on offer already and a few new ones to boot.
The fourth disc features Roy Frumke's essential Document Of The Dead, last available in this country on the shocking Trilogy Of The Dead set, whose only saving grace was Savini's shock on the commentary at how the exploding head had been removed from Dawn. Produced at the time Romero was making the film, Document gives a real insight into his process. At an hour and 20-odd minutes, it's a thorough affair and one of the best documentaries about moviemaking ever produced, particularly for one that predates the DVD boom by some 20 years. Exclusive to this release of Dawn are outtakes from the documentary- 7 minutes labeled as deleted scenes, and a further 20 of extended interviews with Adrienne Barbeau, Romero and Savini.Read more ›
Noticeable restorations include shots of zombie children being machine-gunned, and two instances from the tenement siege: sight of a man biting chunks of flesh from a woman's arm and neck, and a man's head exploding from a shotgun blast. Also included is the machete in the head. Yes, it's UNCUT! If you've only seen the heavily cut late eighties video version released by EIV, you're in for a treat here.
First point of contention is the 4:3 picture (seems unmatted) and the print used, which is from an NTSC source and features frequent speckles and marks. On the good side, colours and black level are both reasonably good, and for a low-budget seventies movie it generally looks okay, with a reasonable amount of detail. It's arguable that a fully remastered version wouldn't look that much better unless an original negative was used.
Soundwise, it's the original mono soundtrack, and this sounds clear enough through TV speakers. I generally prefer a movie's original soundtrack to any sort of upgraded 5.1 remix, which usually sounds flat and echoey.
Extras-wise we get Tom Savini's commentary, which is well worth a listen but may already be very familiar to fans of the movie, and a gallery of a dozen or so production stills. Apart from scene selection, that's it.
As for the movie, any horror fan worth their salt will know this is a genuine classic, and I'm sure I don't need to elaborate here. Although the DVD presentation may be somewhat lacking, the main draw here is the full uncensored director's cut, and for that alone it's well worth your time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a lot of blu-ray releases of dawn are now out of print, but there is a new spanish blu-ray release which has the best picture quality out of all of them. Read morePublished 18 days ago by zackman
Beware. This version is HIGHLY edited and is red/blue 3D which is NOT stated anywhere in the description.Published 3 months ago by Claw54
its cut to oblivion i am rather annoyed i had too give it one star instead of none the cut bits are when the guy kicks the door down near the start and blows the guys head of as... Read morePublished 6 months ago by D. Whitehead
A classic that every zombie fan should watch. Better than the remakePublished 7 months ago by Kindle Customer