Shaun of the Dead
The zombie-riffic Shaun of the Dead heads to the U.S. DVD shelves with this fine release from Rogue Pictures. Carrying over many (but not all) of the extras from the packed U.K. disc, this release has loads of special features for you to sink your teeth into, plus fantastic transfers to boot. Starting with the technical aspects, the DVD scores points for delivering the 2.35:1 widescreen image of the film, plus a quality Dolby Digital 5.1 track that whooshes you through the fast-paced action and bathes you inside the gore-filled gunfire later on in the film. The extras start with two commentaries -- one from star/co-writer Simon Pegg and director/co-writer Edgar Wright, while the other is a cast commentary featuring Pegg again with Nick Frost, Dylan Moran, Kate Ashfield, and Lucy Davis. The first track features some downright dizzying banter between the two collaborators as they dish out zombie trivia and generally give major love to all involved with the production, while the cast commentary is filled with more zany fun that's sure to please. This edition did miss out on both the Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton commentary found in the U.K. release, along with the classic zombie commentary they included there as well, though hardcore fans will surely seek that edition out if they need it. The rest of the extras are packed with more bloody goodness, starting with the fact-filled "Zomb-O-Meter" subtitle track and "Storyboard Comparions" branching feature. Both extras add a bit more to the viewing experience every time you put the disc in, which is a sure sign of a solid DVD. Other bonus features include 15 extended scenes, ten minutes of outtakes, plus three neat comic-book stories by Oscar Wright (brother of the director) that fill in plot holes in the film -- and this disc has only begun to warm up. Add in a behind-the-scenes video diary, casting tapes, makeup tests, and an SFX comparison that is laid out in an incredibly easy-to-understand fashion that highlights the ingenuity of the film's effects staff. Also included is a highly interesting clip with Pegg and Wright filmed in September of 2001 where they literally go through a flip chart of the film as imagined at that time, complete with dialogue and storyboards. If you think that's all, there's still more to chew on and it's all great stuff, from the extra TV bits that were filmed for the movie all the way though the 2000 AD comic adaptation, included in the zombie gallery section. Those that visited the website will be happy to see the basic design layout repeated here on the menu screens, as will the horror fans out there that will appreciate the George Romero quote on the front of the box. Consistently entertaining with enough extras to shake a zombie at, the Shaun of the Dead DVD is a winner for U.S. audiences and proof that Rogue Pictures is a strong supporter of the film and its fans.