Dawn of the Dead: Ultimate Edition

Story: There is little I can say about the zombie movies that you won’t know. This is the second in the trilogy of George Romero “Dead” films. It follows four people who basically lock themselves up in a mall and try to have a somewhat normal life while thousands of flesh eating zombies are trying to get at them and get in the mall in general. It is one of the most essential horror movies of all time in any genre and this is the best released version ever.
The Film Itself/Special Features: Finally, when someone says ‘Ultimate Edition’ they mean it. This is a four disc box set of probably the greatest zombie film ever produced. This is the film that spawned the remake that came out last year (which I have to admit, I enjoyed). The way this set was put together, was by assembling it by version. This film probably has more versions than any other ever made, including anything by George Lucas (yes, that was a dig, and I worship Star Wars). Disc one is the U.S. theatrical version. It is the film that most people are familiar with and is the true cult classic of the batch. This disc features and audio commentary by George and Chris Romero, and Tom Savini and moderated by Perry Martin. This is the most factual commentary on in the box as it directly coincides with what is going on in the film with effects, short selection, stars, and story. The disc also features a trailers section fro both TV and radio. A George Romero bio and a poster gallery. The film has been done up in the Divimax format and features a 5.1 Dolby soundtrack as well as a DTS soundtrack, a 2.0 version and the original mono for purists. This is the same disk as was released individually prior to the release of the remake. Disc two is the extended version of the film that was screened at the Cannes Film festival. It is 12 minutes longer than the theatrical release and features a bunch more gore and a bit more dialog than the original. This is my favorite version because the scenes that were cut were more for time and ratings board than needing to be removed. This disc has a commentary by Producer Richard Rubinstein and the one I feel is the worst on the box. He comes off conceded and mater of fact about everything. He says a lot of things about the fans taking the film too seriously and it just sounds like everything (including this commentary) is done for money. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t come out of it feeling to into Mr. Rubinstein. This disc has a Monroeville Mall commercial, a behind the scene’s photo gallery and a memorabilia gallery as the bonuses and came with the original mono soundtrack. The third disc is the ‘Zombie’ European cut by Dario Argento. Dario and some investors were very involved in the serious of events leading to the production of this film, including laying out a lot of the money for it. After they saw it, Dario decided to re-edit it for the European market, and this is the version that came out. It has a good chunk of scene’s not in the original and a lot has been removed even though it only clocks in 9 minutes less. I’m a huge Dario fan and I enjoyed this because you really get a glimpse of how two different people come to an end with the exact same material to work with. The music is better in this one as Dario added a soundtrack by Italian band Goblin. This version has the full range of sound options plus a Dario bio. It also has international trailers and every available International print item available, like posters, lobby cards, magazine ads, and even video covers. This is very informative for fans not familiar with the differences in foreign cinema. The audio commentary is with the stars on this disc. It features Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, David Emgee and Gaylen Ross. This is by far the most entertaining commentary as they tend to speak about all the fuck ups and weird things that go one that no one else does. Things like how cold it was, or the fact that the drinking scene was really done with Jack Daniels. It’s just fun. The last disk in the box consists of four documentary style pieces. There is a Monroeville mall tour with Ken Foree from a convention where he speaks about scenes and locations. There are some set home movies with commentary by Robert Langer. There is the famous ‘Documetary of the Dead’ which has been out of print entirely and seeing it’s first release as a DVD. Lastly, there is a brand new documentary called ‘The Dead Will Walk’ and features just about everyone who has ever spent 1 second working on this film. It is very informative and a great bonus for the diehard fan. A most own in my book, and if you somehow don’t like this film, then stop watching horror movies and go get yourself the newest film from Disney Studios. (Anchor Bay, 1699 Stutz Dr, Troy, MI 48084) – Myk.

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