Halloween is a few days away, so leave it to me to celebrate it the whole week by reviewing 3 zombie movies. That’s right. All 3 DVDs I’ll be talking about this week have “of the Dead” in their title. If you ask me, all movies should have “of the Dead” in their title. “Tropic Thunder of the Dead”. “Body of Lies of the Dead”. “High School Musical of the Dead”. I can do this all day. But I digress. Let’s begin Zombie DVD Week with Dawn of the Dead, shall we?
The Story: OK, not enough story in this Zack Snyder remake of a George A. Romero classic, I admit. But come on. All you need to know is one day, a strange sickness spreads and causes the recently diseased to come back to life. They attack the living by eating their warm, soft, yummy flesh. A group of survivors find refuge inside a mall and eventually, they die one by one while trying to escape the inevitable. The real meat (LOL) of the story is the interaction between the survivors. The visceral need of humans to survive drives the drama and the action of this gorefest, and I can’t help but think about what I’d do if faced with a zombie apocalypse. Also, I love the first 10 minutes of this movie. My favorite part of zombie movies is the whole “Dude, something’s wrong. There seems to beOH MY GOD ARE THOSE FLESH-EATING UNDEAD MOTHERFUCKERS?!” realization. And let’s face it, waking up one morning to a world overrun by running zombies is probably one of the best opening sequences in movie history.
The Eye Candy: If exploding zombie heads, fat zombie chicks getting stabbed in the eye, zombie babies, and blood squirting everywhere is your thing, this is a feast for the eyes. It’s an honest-to-God symphony of GORE. This being the Unrated Director’s Cut version of the movie, you can see how sick Zack Snyder can be. Also, I prefer slow-moving zombies over this movie’s sprinting ones, but I totally dig the extra suspense they bring into the whole zombie apocalypse scenario.
The Actors: Ving Rhames is the only dude I’ve heard of in this bunch, but I gotta say, they’re all pretty decent actors. Sarah Polley does the whole “strong and vulnerable at the same time female lead” thing quite well. Nobody really gave an appalling performance, except of course some of the zombies in the zombie mob outside the mall.
The DVD Extras: For a 1-disc DVD, this one has a load of cool stuff like The Lost Tape: Andy’s Terrifying Last Days Revealed and Special Report: We Interrupt This Program! These featurettes add new layers and more drama to the film. Of course, you have to excuse the horrible acting in these extras. Deleted scenes and fun making-of featurettes make this single disc DVD a winner.
I haven’t seen the George A. Romero original, so I can’t say if this is an improvement or not. All I know is, on its own, Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead is an awesome zombie flick. Probably my favorite so far, and for someone who loves zombie movies, I guess that’s saying a lot.