Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

4.3 18
Director: George A. Romero

Cast: George A. Romero, Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato

     
 

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Despite Anchor Bay's dwindling reputation following the Opera fiasco and some major color timing problems with their much-touted 25th Anniversary Edition of Halloween, fans awaiting a definitive version of George A. Romero's third entry into the living dead trilogy may be slightly irritated to learn that Anchor Bay apparently has still not worked out theSee more details below

Overview

Despite Anchor Bay's dwindling reputation following the Opera fiasco and some major color timing problems with their much-touted 25th Anniversary Edition of Halloween, fans awaiting a definitive version of George A. Romero's third entry into the living dead trilogy may be slightly irritated to learn that Anchor Bay apparently has still not worked out the bugs in their DVD mastering system - and though on the surface this disc appears to be flawless in terms of both video and audio presentation, much of the dialogue has unfortunately been replaced with an alternate dub that plays down much of the film's shocking profanity. Fortunately, Anchor Bay has seen fit to pack this disc with some truly irresistible extras. The film itself, presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and processed using the relatively new Disimax procedure, is in pristine condition with colors well balanced and solid blacks well represented in the film's endless underground corridors. Likewise, the DTS ES and Dolby Digital EX soundtracks make impressive use of the film's audio with faraway moans and the sounds of dripping water underground literally placing the viewer in the claustrophobic underground compound in which the protagonists struggle to survive. The newly remastered image, combined with the amazing use of audio really bring new life to the film and is a major improvement over Anchor Bay's previous release of this title. As impressive as the presentation of the film itself, it's the extras that truly bring this disc to life. A commentary track featuring Romero, producer David Ball, special effects artists Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero, production designer Cletus Anderson, assistant director Chris Romero, and actors Lori Cardille, Joe Pilato and Howard Sherman may not be as technically insightful as one may hope, though it is nice to hear many key contributors reunited and reminiscing about the trying production. Likewise, a commentary track by writer/director and all around Day of the Dead fanatic Roger Avery is entertaining for a few juicy bits of background, but ultimately takes the back seat to the commentary of those who were there firsthand. A 39 minute featurette revisiting the original, far more epic first draft of the script, discussing the knee jerk hostility with which the film was originally greeted at the box office and revealing some remarkable secrets from make-up effects master Savini "The Many Days of Day of the Dead" is an indispensable companion piece to the film that any fan should see. An addition featurette entitled "Day of the Dead: Behind the Scenes" offers a more detailed look at the creative make-up effects courtesy of video footage shot on set, and a promotional video for the Wampum Mine facility in which the film was shot provides an insightful look into the stunning location used for shooting the film. An audio interview in which actor Richard Liberty (Dr. Logan) warmly recalls his days shooting with Romero will also please fans despite the sad footnote that Liberty would succumb to a heart attack mere months after the interview was recorded. Theatrical trailers and TV Spots offer an exciting glimpse into the advertising campaign, and seven still galleries provide insight into everything from some amazing promotional materials to standard continuity stills. A biography for director Romero as well as DVD-ROM access to the original script and production notes are sure to make for interesting reading, and a companion booklet offers a revisionist look at the film far removed from the initial hostility with which it was greeted upon original release.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tony Nigro
It doesn't quite live up to the legacy of its predecessors, but Day of the Dead is still a wild ride with equal shots of drive-in cheese and horror flick gore. This third and final entry in George Romero's low-budget zombie series (after Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead) finds the world overrun by Romero's rigid-limbed posse of the posthumous, who now outnumber the living by 400,000 to 1. A surviving military science unit in Florida continues its studies on zombies to figure out how to either control or stop them. The team members are constantly at odds over the issue of military might vs. scientific right: While the army marches in lockstep behind the hotheaded tyrant Capt. Rhodes (Joesph Pilato), the scientists are disorganized, with feisty Sarah (Lori Cardille) battling both Rhodes and Dr. Logan (Richard Liberty), a.k.a. "Frankenstein," who tinkers with captive flesh eaters, domesticating one creature (Howard Sherman), and dubbing him Bub (a sentimental touch that, in a Romero movie, can only foreshadow ironies yet to come). Once the opposing sides have finished yelling and tension is raised to a fever pitch -- which is pretty far into the movie -- everything thankfully devolves into a zombie attack of gooey proportions. This is when the movie finally does the series justice. The bloody "no way out" scenario is a blast of a climax; the carnage is gleeful, and Tom Savini's makeup effects have only grown uglier since '78's Dawn of the Dead. In due course, Day of the Dead rounds out the trilogy, though it is best appreciated when watched after the previous two films -- and maybe with some lights on.
All Movie Guide
The last, to date at least, of George Romero's living dead films is in many respects the least interesting, although it's not for a lack of ambition. Set in a claustrophobic underground missile silo long after the zombies have taken over the surface, it populates its creepy milieu with two competing factions: soldiers and scientists. One party seeks a logical solution to the zombie problem, even going so far as to attempt to domesticate a soulful-looking walking corpse. The other seeks only survival. The most blatantly allegorical of the Dead films, it's also the muddiest and least resonant, with its attempt to connect its story to Reagan-era America coming off as too self-conscious when compared to its predecessors. Too talky by far, it comes alive in a gory finale, and while still memorable than most horror films, Romero fans have come to expect more from the director and his signature series.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2003
UPC:
0013131209099
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
NR
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround EX]
Time:
1:41:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TV's; Audio commentary with writer/director George A. Romero,; special make-up effects artist Tom Savini, production designer Cletus Anderson, and actress Lori Cardille; Audio commentary with filmmaker Roger Avery; The many days of Day of the Dead - An all-new 39 minute documentary featuring interviews with writer/director George A. Romero, producer David Ball, special make-up effects artists Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero, production designer Cletus Anderson, assistant director Chris Romero and actors Lori Cadille, Joe Pilato, and Howard Sherman; Day of the Dead: Behind the Scenes - 31 minutes of production footage from special make-up effects artist Tom Savini; Audio interview with actor Richard Liberty; Wampum Mine promotional video; Theatrical trailers; Production stills; Behind-the-scenes photos; Posters & advertising art; Gallery of memorabilia; Zombie make-up photo gallery; Continuity stills gallery; George Romero bio; DVD-ROM: Original screenplay & production memos

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Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lori Cardille Sarah
Terry Alexander John
Joseph Pilato Capt. Rhodes
Jarleth Conroy McDermott
Antone DiLeo Miguel
Richard Liberty Dr. Logan
Howard Sherman Bub
Gary Klar Steel
Ralph Marrero Rickles
John Amplas Fisher
Phillip G. Kellams Miller
Taso N. Stavrakis Torrez
Gregory Nicotero Johnson
R.H. Martin Actor
Don Brockett Featured Zombie
William Cameron Featured Zombie
Deborah Carter Featured Zombie
Winnie Flynn Featured Zombie
Debra Gordon Featured Zombie
Jeff Hogan Featured Zombie
Barbara Holmes Featured Zombie
David Kindlon Featured Zombie
Bruce Kirkpatrick Featured Zombie
William Andrew Laczko Featured Zombie
Susan Martinelli Featured Zombie
Kim Maxwell Featured Zombie
Barbara Russell Featured Zombie
Gene A. Saraceni Featured Zombie
John Schwartz Featured Zombie
Mark Tierno Featured Zombie
Michael Trcic Featured Zombie
John Vulich Featured Zombie
George A. Romero Zombie with Scarf (uncredited)

Technical Credits
George A. Romero Director,Screenwriter
Cletus Anderson Production Designer
Barbara Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
David Ball Co-producer
Pasquale A. Buba Editor
Christine Forrest Casting
Michael Gornick Cinematographer
John Harrison Score Composer
Salah M. Hassanein Executive Producer
Jeannee Josefczyk Makeup
Steve Kirshoff Special Effects
Mark Mann Special Effects
Bruce A. Miller Art Director
Jan Pascale Set Decoration/Design
Bonnie Priore Makeup
Richard P. Rubinstein Producer
Tom Savini Makeup Special Effects
Taso N. Stavrakis Stunts
Natalka Voslakov Makeup

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Feature Presentation
1. Main Titles [4:49]
2. Consider the Alternatives [4:52]
3. Neanderthals [7:13]
4. Lab Rats [4:56]
5. Domestic Animals [5:02]
6. Soldiers [5:19]
7. A Little More Time [4:58]
8. Breakup [3:56]
9. "You Ain't Never Gonna Figure It Out" [6:36]
10. Good Little Girls and Boys [5:25]
11. Breakthrough [4:19]
12. Accident [7:12]
13. Reward [7:06]
14. Things Fall Apart [4:52]
15. The Center Cannot Hold [4:23]
16. This Is My Body [3:23]
17. To the Last Man [6:00]
18. Day of the Dead [7:10]
19. End Credits [3:00]

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