Blu-Ray Review: Day of the Dead (1985) Steel-book

Day of the Dead is widely regarded as the third installment in George A. Romero‘s seminal zombie series; following Night of the Living Dead (1968) & Dawn of the Dead (1978).

IMG_1944 IMG_1945This Limited Edition Steel-book release from Arrow Films Video is a re-hash of their 25th Anniversary edition Blu-Ray release; the special features included here are the same.

They have used original 1985 poster artwork which I have to stay looks stunning in full-colour steel-book. Also included is a special collector’s booklet featuring the Japanese artwork, other images and writings.

This was a much more claustrophobic film than the sprawling Dawn Of The Dead; confined mostly to an abandoned underground mine. However, as we discover from behind the scenes footage Romero originally intended the film to be much larger in scale (think ‘I Am Legend’). Favoured by some and dismissed by others the film none the less has memorable performance from Joseph Pilato (as tough military leader Captain Rhodes),  Lori Cardille (as Dr. Sarah Bowman – the lone female in a group of men) and Richard Liberty (as scientist Logan). We also see some of the best zombie effects work from legends Tom Savini & Greg Nicotero.

There are two ‘making of ‘ documentaries included; one focuses on the film being cut down from the original script while the other focuses more on the effects team. There is also two features with actor Joseph Pilato and his experiences of the fan circuit since the film.

A notable exception is the lack of a Director’s commentary track; only the special effects team commentary is included which is a shame. A great collection of miscellany is also included such as a photo gallery and TV spots.

Full list of Special Features

  • Commentary with the special effects team including Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger, Everett – Burrell and Mike Deak
  • Joe of the Dead: Acting in a George Romero classic – An in-depth interview with actor Joseph Pilato
  • Travelogue of the Dead: On the Rhodes again (which shows Joseph Pilato meeting fans)
  • The Many Days of Day of the Dead
  • Behind the Zombie footage (a day in the life of zombies on the set of the film)
  • Romero Zombography (listing George A. Romero’s credits)
  • Photo Album of the Dead
  • Souvenirs of the Dead (which shows various merchandise spawned by the film)
  • Night and Dawn Trailers
  • The audio recollections of Richard Liberty
  • TV Ads of the Dead
  • Wampum Mine Promo (the actual underground storage facility where the film was shot).

4/5 – Beautifully packaged but same special features as previous Blu-Ray release.

Copies of this limited release are still available on Zavvi & Amazon.

See Also: Blu-Ray Review – Birth of the Living Dead (2013)

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