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Dawn Of The Dead (2004) / Land Of The Dead - 2 DVD Movie Pack (2 Disc Set)

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Dawn Of The Dead (2004) / Land Of The Dead - 2 DVD Movie Pack (2 Disc Set)

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Mature 15+

Mature 15+

Suitable for mature persons 15 years and over.

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Dawn Of The Dead (2004) / Land Of The Dead - 2 DVD Movie Pack (2 Disc Set) on DVD
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4.5 out of 5 stars Based on 6 Customer Ratings

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"Well worth buying for Dawn of the Dead. "
4 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

I was inspired to buy this by the great free “Zombie Studies” podcast from the University of Alabama, which made a lot of references to Dawn of the Dead (and it's sequels).

Dawn of the Dead – 5 stars

Not having read the label properly, I thought this was the original George Romero movie, so was disappointed when I found this was the remake. Nevertheless, it was an exciting movie, full of great suspense. I was a little disappointed that so little emphasis was put on the change from human to zombie – there was only one character we see as both a developed human and a developed zombie character. Story development is logical without being too predictable.

Land of the Dead – 2 stars

After Dawn of the Dead, I was excited about Land of the Dead. This one is the George Romero original. I was very disappointed. The change of the zombies early on shows great promise, which is heavily let down by the fact that shortly after the start of the story, the zombies are part of the scenery, not part of the story. The characters seemed two-dimensional, and were not affected throughout the story by events going on around them.

"A fantastic pack"
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

With that title, cover, and images, there is no doubt about what one is getting into when watching these films. Thus, my review is going to assume certain familiarity or liking for the zombie horror sub-genre.

DAWN OF THE DEAD.

Overall, this has to be the finest example of a zombie horror film in existence. Every step of the way, the director nails pretty much every element that makes one of these films a success, every staple of the genre is placed well and wonderfully executed. Let's go one part at a time.

The setting: Peaceville somewhere in the U.S., it starts innocently enough with a nurse in a hospital and an off-comment about a patient having some strange reactions to an animal bite. The genre-savvy are already hearing the alarm bells in their head going off, but of course the characters don't. Our heroine goes through ehr working day, gets home with her family, yadda yadda yadda. What a wonderful life.

The morning after, it's total, complete and absolute chaos everywhere.

Friggin' A.

What happens next? If you ever, EVER, find yourself in a zombie apocalypse, you should do EXACTLY as the characters in these fim do. Head for the nearest mall. Always head for the nearest mall.

The reason is simple, there is a wide variety of survival tools at one's disposal in a mall. From the point of view of the movie makers it is simple too, it gives a closed setting where they can pull different stunts without having to justify it. Why is there a chainsaw in the film? Outdoors gardening centre of the mall. Food? Aplenty. Any equipment they may possibly want the people to use against the zombies, it's possibly there. It works. Everything from the aforementioned chainsaw (there is ALWAYS a chainsaw in a zombie flick, always!) to the zombie-fighting vehicular contraptions, is cleanly pulled off in this film.

The Zombies: They deserve special mention. These chaps take their job seriously, guys. The support cast of this film is absolutely brilliant, and they deserve serious props for their fine job. These aren't your regular “braaaaaainssss…” zombies, oh no. These are fast, angry, vicious creatures who do heaps to keep you on the edge of the seat. You can't give them an opening, they'll jump at it like hungry, rabid dogs, creating a lot more tension in situations where traditional slow zombies would not really worry you. Hats off to them.

The Characters: As straightforward a cast as one could expect. Don't look for Shakespearian character development here; while they aren't completely Flanderized, the characters are very clear cut. There is some work done with them. Of course, the director wants the audience to sympathize with the cast, so he works on giving us a good bunch of human beings to relate to, but it's not too deep. It doesn't need deep either.

Overall, the plot will keep you on the edge of the seat, there are enough “no, no, dude don't do that!” moments, where you'll want to scream at the characters in the film, it's all together a thoroughly enjoyable zombie flick.

LAND OF THE DEAD.

The man himself, George Romero, directs this second zombie flick you will get in this particular set. On a personal level, I didn't enjoy it as much as Dawn of the Dead, but one cannot really dismiss Romero's work easily. Let's go by parts.

The Setting: It's the future after the Zombie Apocalypse, and mankind is cornered, fighting a losing attrition war against the spread of the disease. From the surviving cities, the non-infected humans launch expeditions into zombie territory to recover supplies and whatnot. We are treated to an even more exaggerated zombie-fighting vehicle (which becomes central part of the plot), and Road Warrior style explorers.

Not bad. The take for this flick is clearly a more organized zombie-fighting unit.

Once we are introduced to the inner workings of the city, I was reminded of the immortal words of Obi-Wan Kenobi:

“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

Seriously, the way of life in the city is such that it would put Mos Eisley to shame. A few elite control the military and exploit a whole horde of poor oppressed people who, apparently, spend their time doing drugs and gambling on zombie fights and similar stuff. Very 1984, I have to say.

The Zombies: Okay, this is something that didn't quite jive well with me, but as I said, I can appreciate what Romero was doing without particularly liking it. One of the things the film sets out to do was, what would happen if the zombies got smarter? That, on itself, is not a bad idea – specially if they are facing more organized and better armed humans. However, one thing that the film tries to do is paint the zombies in a sympathetic tone. Yes, the poor oppressed zombies.

I'm not kidding, this is clear from the first few minutes of the film.

While the zombies are getting smarter (thanks to a particularly self-aware one), the zombies themselves are pretty typical. Not really fast runners, just a big massive horde of them coming down to the city. Fear by numbers, it's a different kind of tension but it works all right.

The Characters: Much like Dawn of the Dead, the characters are pretty straightforward and clear cut, while still being likeable – or dislikeable. While making the zombies sympathetic, Romero went and tried to make some of the human characters less likeable, as I said in a Road Warrior style, with them rushing at the zombies during their foraging expeditions with careless abandon and almost maniacal glee at shooting and maiming the undead, and so on. Well, a good variety never hurt anyone, and the performances are quite good. Of course, with the big bad being Dennis Hopper – with a delightfully hammy delivery at points – be prepared for a treat with him.

The movie is definitely a step-up in the gore department from the previous one. Intestines and other itty bitty himan pieces will fly gleefully across the screen (which is particularly interesting when it comes right after a “those poor zombies” moment, you're thinking “awww por zombie” and a second later he's ripping someone's intes­tines out). You always expect certain amount of explicit violence in these films, but there are clearly different levels.

Overall, an interesting film that has enough good moments to warrant an enjoyable time.


And finally, due to the fact that this is a double pack, with those two films in it, and at the price it's going, this is an absolutely excellent buy for fans of the genre and neophytes alike. If you're not particularly familiar with the zombie horror, you can't do better than getting this two-pack and enjoying the show. Highly recommended.

Description

Dawn Of The Dead:
Why it started…where it started - NOT KNOWN. Whatever happened, however it started, overnight, the world has become a living nightmare of surreal proportions, with the planet’s population hit by an inexplicable, unfathomable and lethal plague - and the dead aren’t staying dead. Corpses yearning for their next meal are now stalking the few remaining survivors, driven by their insatiable hunger to feed upon the flesh of the living.

Land Of The Dead:
George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead is the acclaimed director’s long-awaited return to the horror genre he invented. In this new tale, Romero creates a vision of a modern-day world where the walking dead roam an uninhabited wasteland and the living try to lead “normal” lives in a walled city.
Re-released on
March 26th, 2007
Movie Format
  • DVD
DVD Region
  • Region 4
Edition
  • Standard Edition
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.78 : 1
Character
Director
Language
English
Genre
  • Horror
UPC
5050582547252
Product ID
1556559

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