Second Sight in the UK have released a very special limited edition box set of George Romero’s classic zombie movie Dawn of the Dead on Blu ray in the UK and it is packed with everything a fan could ask for.
The follow up to the iconic Night of The Living Dead the film takes place when the world is overcome with the zombie plague and people are leaving the big cities to escape the living dead.
Four desperate survivors flee and find refuge in a shopping mall. But the flesh-eating hordes, still possessed by an instinctive desire to consume, are drawn to the same destination.
Released in 1978 Dawn of the Dead took the horror genre to new heights, not just of gore and violence but clever storytelling from a very accomplished director on a modest budget. Often imitated but never equalled, the theatrical cut of the film is now presented in a brand new 4K scan from a restoration of the Original Camera Negative by Second Sight at Final Frame New York and London supervised and approved by DoP Michael Gornick. Two other versions are also in the set the longer Cannes cut and the Dario Argento cut, both again from 4K Scans.
The picture quality on the theatrical cut is excellent, far superior to previous blu ray releases, with solid blacks, bold colours and impressive clarity. Audio gives you DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono or a DTS 5.1 remix. Both are great, mono is clear and the 5.1 gives a good ambient mix which adds a bit to the overall atmosphere. The differences between the three versions are complex and could spawn a whole article in itself.
The George Romero cut is 126 minutes and the Argento cut 119 minutes. The Argento version also uses the Goblin soundtrack more where the Romero cut uses the De Wolfe music library much more extensively. The Argento cut also has a little more gore but is missing the famous helicopter decapitation scene. The Cannes cut is 12 minutes longer than the Romero theatrical version. There are so many variations and these are listed in more detail on the excellent website moviecensorship.com.
A fourth Blu ray disc is included and packed with bonus features both new and old which are –
- Zombies and Bikers with John Amplas, Roy Frumkes, Tom Savini, Christine Forrest, Tom Dubensky, Tony Buba, Taso Stavrakis and a whole host of zombies and bikers! (59 mins)
- Memories of Monroeville: A tour of the mall with Michael Gornick, Tom Savini, Tom Dubensky and Taso Stavrakis (34 mins)
- Raising the Dead: The Production Logistics with Michael Gornick, Christine Forrest, John Amplas, Tom Dubensky (23 mins)
- The FX of Dawn with Tom Savini (13 mins)
- Dummies! Dummies! An interview with Richard France (12 mins)
- The Lost Romero Dawn Interview: previously unreleased archive interview (20 mins)
- Super 8 Mall Footage by zombie extra Ralph Langer with an option of archive commentary by Robert Langer and new commentary by Ralph Langer (13 mins)
- Document of the Dead: The Original Cut with optional commentary by Roy Frumkes (66 mins)
- Document of the Dead: The Definitive Cut (100 mins)
- The Dead Will Walk 2014 Documentary (80 mins)
- Trailers, TV, and Radio Spots (TBC)
But that is not all you also get –
AUDIO CD DISC 1 –
- The Goblin Soundtrack 17 tracks including Alternate and Bonus Tracks
AUDIO CD DISC 2 –
- A De Wolfe library compilation part 1
AUDIO CD DISC 3 –
- A De Wolfe library compilation part 2
- Rigid box with lid featuring the original iconic artwork
- 2 inner digipaks
- A 160-page hardback book featuring new essays, archive article, archive George A. Romero interview and rare behind-the-scenes stills
- Dawn of the Dead: The novelisation book by George A. Romero and Susanna Sparrow with exclusive artwork
In my opinion the ultimate zombie movie, with great performances, excellent special effects all done without CGI and has sly digs at the way mankind is a slave to consumerism.
This release by Second Sight is the ultimate version with everything a fan could want, with a superb remastered image, 3 versions of the movie and great extras this is totally recommended. (Also available as a 4K UHD set)
FILM – 10 PICTURE – 9.5 AUDIO – 9 EXTRAS – 10