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Land of the Dead: Collector's Edition (2005) - Blu-ray Review

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Land of the Dead: Collector's Edition (2005) - Blu-ray

4 beersThe Living Dead saga was alive and well back in 2005.  Keep in mind that this was long before the rise of Donald Trump and his own peculiar brand of brain dead followers.  Yet, thanks to a scathing political commentary, the horror film was already keenly aware of where we were headed as a nation when we started dividing ourselves up into “Us and Them” categories. 

According to Writer/Director George A. Romero, the dead were still going through their daily lives and their jobs; this is all laid out in the opening moments of his Land of the Dead.  We see them operating cash registers. We see them trying to be normal; maybe an echo of their former selves.  Complete with the trio of dead musicians trying to play their instruments, the film’s opening remains a haunting testament to his vision of our future.

If we were truly paying attention, then we would have seen that his audience is the living dead.  From shopping at the mall to posing with zombies for photo opportunities, there’s little room left for interpretation.  And here are, twelve years later, perfectly secluded into nice little pockets of existence – just like the survivors inside the “safety” of Fiddler’s Green.  

Romero, already revered by fans and fiends for his dynamic filmography of some seriously memorable offerings, was readying the release of the long-awaited fourth film in the Living Dead series.  And – surprise, surprise – Universal Pictures was going to make sure it received a wide release.  In this way, Land of the Dead, was already guaranteed to be a hit. 

Staring Simon Baker, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento, Robert Joy, Eugene Clark, and John Leguizamo, there’s no denying that Land of the Dead – with its graphic violence and its new take on the whole zombie uprising – was well ahead of its time.  Critics, for the most part, praised the flick for going all road warrior-like as the American civilization has apparently embraced a feudal-like government where the rich, protected on all sides by rivers and walls, feel all sorts of privileged, especially when an outfitted vehicle, called Dead Reckoning, is doing all their work.

Predicting the whole Occupy Wall Street movement and detailing the widening gap between the rich and the poor, there’s plenty of meat on the bones of Land of the Dead.  There are also – especially if you choose to watch the unrated version – lots of brutal kills brought to life thanks to some gnarly practical effects.  Of course, there’s the CGI blood but it’s effectively used to create an impact where once there was none. 

Land of the Dead’s production values – from the security of the rich to the bare-boned living styles of those out on the fringe – are top notch and so too are the creative gusto that Romero armed the movie with.  This puppy still crackles with an undeniable level of authenticity that shames much of Romero’s imitators.

Land of the Dead celebrates new life on 1080p with this sharp Collector’s Edition as it sports a brand new 2K scan of the internegative.  Released by Scream Factory and loaded with tons of NEW supplemental items, you really have no reason to NOT pick this undead flick up.

The Dead do what no man in power can and actually drain the swamp in George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead.  It is out now.

Land of the Dead: Collector's Edition (2005) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong violence and gore, language, brief sexuality and some drug use.
Runtime:
99 mins
Director
: George A. Romero
Writer:
George A. Romero
Cast:
John Leguizamo, Asia Argento, Simon Baker
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Rise of the Jombies.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Zombies, man. They creep me out."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site: https://www.uphe.com/movies/george-a-romeros-land-of-the-dead
Release Date:
June 24, 2005
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 31, 2017
Synopsis: Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero returns to unleash his new zombie masterpiece! Starring Simon Baker, Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo, Romero's latest undead epic finds humanity's last remnants battling to survive the unspeakable truth: The ravenous zombie hordes besieging their fortified city...are evolving!

Land of the Dead: Collector's Edition (2005) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- October 31, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Land of the Dead is presented in this crackling Collector’s Edition courtesy of Scream Factory.  The zombies look fresh and appropriately bloodied.  The many towns are loaded with details unseen before.  Overall, the film looks gloriously fresh in 1080p and buzzes with a new sense of urgency as the crisp visuals are punctuated in a way I previously had not noticed.  The buildings within Fiddler’s Green are rich with details and bold black levels.  Interiors, especially in the skyscrapers themselves, are solid and expressive.  Black levels are strong throughout, revealing layers in the shadows as the building from top to bottom is presented with warmth and clarity..  With an English DTS-HD Master Audio Surround 5.1 as its source for sonics, the film simply doesn’t disappoint.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  See special features.

Special Features:

Spread across two Blu-ray discs, the new supplemental material mixed with the ported over information from previous released copies is strong.  We get a new interviews with the cast and the crew, plus deleted scenes, an unrated version of the movie, and more!!

DISC ONE: Theatrical Cut

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
  • NEW Cholo’s Reckoning - An Interview With Actor John Leguizamo
  • NEW Charlie’s Story – An Interview With Actor Robert Joy
  • NEW The Pillsbury Factor – An Interview With Actor Pedro Miguel Arce
  • NEW Four Of The Apocalypse – An Interview With Actors Eugene Clark, Jennifer Baxter, Boyd Banks, And Jasmin Geljo
  • Dream Of The Dead: The Director’s Cut With Optional Commentary By Director Roy Frumkes
  • Deleted Footage From Dream Of The Dead
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

DISC TWO: Uncut Version 

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive With HD Inserts
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Zombie Performers Matt Blazi, Glena Chao, Michael Felsher, And Rob Mayr
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Director George A. Romero, Producer Peter Grunwald, And Editor Michael Doherty
  • Undead Again: The Making Of Land Of The Dead
  • Bringing The Dead To Life
  • Scenes Of Carnage
  • Zombie Effects: From Green Screen To Finished Scene
  • Scream Test – CGI Test
  • Bringing The Storyboards To Life
  • A Day With The Living Dead Hosted By John Leguizamo
  • When Shaun Met George

Land of the Dead: Collector's Edition (2005) - Blu-ray

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