I would like to preface this by saying that I’m a huge fan of Romero’s Dead series, including the much-maligned Day of the Dead which succeeds because of its limitations and focus on the characters. With that said, I was highly disappointed by Land of the Dead and honestly baffled by the praise it received in the press.
I was equally disappointed by the Unrated Director’s Cut DVD.
You would figure with a DVD this packed with extras, they would get something right. But other than the barely competent “Bringing The Dead To Life” which showcases the exceptional work done by the KNB FX studio, everything else is a wash out for one reason or another.
The worst culprit of them all is the all-style/no-substance “Undead Again: The Making Of Land of The Dead” which is filled with more montages than actual information. Not only is the narrative all over the place, but we don’t learn anything of value. Anyone watching these Docs already knows that Romero is the Godfather of the Zombie film (It even tells you on the box). What is missing is any references to the other Dead films in the series. How can you have a behind the scenes look at a movie that’s supposed to be the pinnacle of Romero’s Zombie Oeuvre and barely mention what got him to this point?
“A Day With The Living Dead” is not a look at what the zombies go through during the course of the day, but rather a lame tour of the set hosted by John Leguizamo who basically just chats up random crew members. What information it contains is already covered in the first featurette. The Deleted Scenes in “The Remaining Bits” are strung together with no context of where they appear in the film. Other than one scene with some more zombie action featuring Big Daddy and a Young Couple making out at the wrong place at the wrong time, the rest are so inconsequential that you wonder why they even bothered.
The Featurette I was most excited to watch was “When Shaun Met George” which chronicles Shaun of the Dead “stars” Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright meeting George Romero for the first time and filming their cameo in the movie. I will give it points for being amusing and fun especially watching Simon and Edgar’s childlike admiration for their idol, but it’s unfortunately marred by some fairly shoddy camerawork and sound as well as overstaying its welcome at a way too long 13 min.
Even the commentary was uninspired. Not only were there a lot of empty gaps, but it mostly just pointed out what you were seeing on the screen. Every once in a while there was a juicy tidbit, but certainly not enough to hold my interest.
I could go on and on but there’s no need to kick a dead dog when it’s down (pun intended). Ultimately, what the DVD left me with, was the wish that they put as much thought and care into the DVD (and the movie itself) as they did in to the creation of its Zombie special effects.