Day Of The Dead – Blu-ray – Arrow Video
Director: George A. Romero
Cast: Lori Cardille, Joe Pilato, Richard Liberty
Review by Brian M. Sammons
Let me begin by saying that I am not an anglophile. Now I have nothing against the Brits, on the contrary, thanks to the glory of the internet, I’ve virtually met many people from the UK in cyberspace, have honestly never met a bad one, and in fact have become close net buddies with quite a few people from across the pond. However I’m not one of those people that think that everything’s better just because it comes from someplace other than here. But when it comes to DVDs and BDs, I am starting to change my mind about that, at least in regard to the British. I mean, you take any movie released both here (being North America where I am) and there and eight times out of ten they will have the better, more special feature packed disc. Sadly, this goes for Day Of The Dead on BD.
Now normally I discuss the story of a film in a review before getting into the extras and technical specifics of a disc, but do I really need to tell you the story of Day Of The Dead? Come on, if you haven’t seen this movie by now then you’re simply not a horror fan. Suffice to say that this was the third movie (and sadly, the last good one) of Romero’s …Of The Dead zombie films. Taking place in an underground bunker in the 1980s, it’s about the military, the breakdown of communication, abuse of power, and how humanity can sometimes be its own worst enemy. It also features some of the best, and goriest, special make up effects in any movie. Again, if you have yet to see this movie, then you must do so at once. Lucky for you, there’s this, the mother of all Day Of The Dead Blu-rays.
The American version of this BD comes from Anchor Bay, a much respected DVD/BD company, and their version is very good and worth owning in its own right. That said, this saucy import smacks it around and makes it cry for momma. While the picture and sound are on par with each other, where the UK version from Arrow Video excels is the extras. Dear God, do they try their best to O.D. you on the extras. From little things like the sleeve art being double-sided which allows you to have four different covers to chose from, to a fifteen page collector’s booklet, to a double-sided poster for you wall, and best of all a full color, surprisingly well written comic book prequel telling the back story of one of the movie’s most memorable characters. And all that is just the goodies that come with the film. Now for the goodies on the disc. Make that two discs. Yes, there so many extras here that one Blu-ray wasn’t enough to contain them all. There’s an audio commentary, a travelogue of Joe Pilato (the wickedly detestable Captain Rhodes in the movie) touring Ireland and Scotland, and a nearly hour long interview with Mr. Pilato. That’s just the first disc. The second disc has a huge behind the scenes doc called “The Many Days of the Dead”, a featurette on the zombie gore makeup, the “zombography” of George Romero, trailers for this movie and both of the previous …Of The Dead films, and audio interview with Richard (Dr. Frankenstein) Liberty, TV spots, still galleries, and more. Simply put, no other disc anywhere has more Day Of The Dead goodies on it.
Now I can hear all my non European brothers and sisters now, “Why tease us with a review of this awesome BD when we can’t play it on our non-British disc players.” Well that’s the good news; the folks at Arrow Video wisely chose to make this Blu-ray region free. That means you can play it anywhere. Sure it may cost a little more, what with the British pound kicking the hell out of the dollars of most countries, and the shipping with add a few bucks to the overall cost, but trust me, this disc is well worth it.
So, do I recommend this Blu-ray? Do you even have to ask? Hell yes I recommend it. It is by far one of the best made and put together deluxe editions to any movie ever made that I have ever seen. I cannot recommend this BD high enough without boarding the space shuttle to do so. I sincerely wish that other movie companies take a look at this total package and try their best to equal it with their future titles. If so, then I’ll be one happy horrorhead for a long, long time.