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Dawn of the Dead: Unrated Director's Cut
Available 10/26 on DVD
Review by Mr. Stinkhead

Brains....brains....brains! Lots of brains. Brains being blown out of the back of heads, brains being smattered on truck grills, brains being sprayed on the side of walls. It's all here, plus more. The unrated Director's cut of Dawn of the Dead offers more carnage, more violence, than the recent theatrical release.

Quick rundown for those of you who didn't see this movie in theaters. In a matter of hours, a mysterious zombie virus is quickly taking over the world. Survivors Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, and ER's Mekhi Phifer head for the local shopping mall and spend the rest of the movie fending off the never ending supply of the hungry undead. I loved this pop corn flick for jumping right into the action (barely four minutes go by before we see our first attack), and keeping it going strong with chases, gun shots, explosions, suspense, and plenty of gore until the very end of the credits. (Definately watch all of the credits)

The filmmakers didn't get hung up on barely plausible explanations or origin stories, they plunge us right into the struggle that the characters are fighting through at the same time. The extended director's cut not only offers up more dripping gray matter, but a bit more insight on the characters. Small details on the characters' lives before the war, allow just a little bit more attachment as the movie progresses. But a lot of info is still up to us to come up with.

After sitting through the credits all the way to the logo of the company that made the DVD, my brother and I watched the bonus features. My favorites are the two features about the make-up effects. In the first, the make-up fx director shows us the differing layers of infection. There's the preliminary—with just a bite mark and blood splatter; zombie— when they've been a zombie for awhile, and they're out for blood, and decaying— days after infection, their skin peeling away and major parts are missing. There were also stages to the level of make-up applied depending on how close to the camera the extras (or principles) were. Full blown face masks with exploding dye packs, all the way to simple face paint making their eyes looking sunken. I also fully recommend The Anatomy of an Exploding Head where we watch the filmmakers play with different techniques in getting brain matter shooting in the air with the best arc, and chunkiness. Beautiful.

The only part I didn't like about this DVD was some of the scripted supplementary material they produced just for this DVD. They have the final days of Andy, the gun store owner across the street, and an hour by hour meltdown of society as seen by the local news station. Funny, but somewhat painful to watch for more than a few minutes. I do appreciate this material being included though, I felt that this DVD was fully packed with extras, and can't wait to watch the film again with the feature-length commentary.

I love this film for the action and gore factor. I like that there is minimal character development and individual human struggles, without being so weepy that it bogs down the ultimate storyline. The added gore and character clips in this extended director's cut leaves a great taste in my mouth. Tastes like brains....mmmmmmmmmm

The Unrated Director's Cut of Dawn of the Dead is available Oct 26th on

Check out the substantial official site for trailers, pics, video clips and a lot more.


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