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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.


DAWN OF THE DEAD is another example of Elite Entertainment’s commitment to deliver superior editions of popular horror films to the fans who love them. Vini Bancalari and Don May Jr. have produced two great looking editions of the one title for which gore hounds have been clamoring- George A. Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD. Both editions of DAWN OF THE DEAD were mastered from the same transfer, so collector’s have their choice of a movie only edition for $40.00, or a CAV collector’s edition with extras for $100.00.

DAWN OF THE DEAD is the follow-up to Romero’s ground breaking horror classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. DAWN OF THE DEAD expands upon its precursor’s premise of the dead rising up to feast upon the flesh of the living. In this second installment, the dead have multiplied prolifically forcing a small group of survivors to seek refuge from the hordes of zombies in a shopping mall. While DAWN OF THE DEAD delivers the type of horror fans of the genre have come to expect, Romero has turned this film into a satire on consumerism, with consumers becoming the ultimate consumable. Romero has also infused this film with a great deal of humor, having many of the flesh eating zombies take keystone cop type pratfalls when they aren’t devouring the living. For this special edition of DAWN OF THE DEAD, Elite Entertainment Inc. has delivered the 142 minute director’s cut version of the film. This version of DAWN OF THE DEAD also features a stock music score in place of the more familiar music of Goblin. The cast of DAWN OF THE DEAD includes David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger and Gaylen Ross.

Elite Entertainment Inc. has delivered a great looking Letterboxed transfer which restores DAWN OF THE DEAD to its proper 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The transfer is so good, that even Romero commented that DAWN OF THE DEAD never looked this good- even in its theatrical incarnation. The transfer is highly detailed and the colors appear quite fresh. Film grain is also held in check by the high quality transfer. The film element used for the transfer is in very good shape, with few markings evident. The digitally encoded monaural soundtrack has only minor anomalies, and is usually clear and intelligible. Both Pioneer pressings exhibited few speckles.

Supplemental features on the CAV collector’s edition include an audio commentary with George Romero, special effects makeup artist Tom Savini and assistant director Christine Romero. Unfortunately, the audio commentary isn’t as well focused as it might have been. There are insightful and informative passages, but the commentary would have benefited from an outside party prompting the participants with specific questions. Other supplements include both foreign and domestic theatrical trailers, television advertisements, a radio advertisement, alternate versions of scenes from the Dario Argento cut of the film (AKA ZOMBIE). CAV is utilized to present the following supplements: the entire shooting script featuring the original ending, numerous behind the scenes photos and production stills, as well as posters and collectibles. The strangest supplement are the fan testimonials, which includes a genuine Buddhist monk who happens to be a huge fan of DAWN OF THE DEAD.

DAWN OF THE DEAD is another Elite Entertainment release that horror fans are certain to love.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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