003797Reviews & Counting
Land of the Dead (UDC)
DVD disk
10.26.2005 By: Matt Hosack
Land of the Dead (UDC) order
George A. Romero

Simon Baker
John Leguizamo
Dennis Hopper


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The living dead have spread over the world, leaving only a few surviving humans left. Prepare for a head trip, as these humans have taken up residence at the luxurious Fiddler’s Green, where people shop, eat out, and have a jolly good ‘ol time; while there’s hell on earth outside. Not everyone is having a good time. The city is run by The Man named Kaufman (Dennis Hopper). Two mercenaries, Riley (Simon Baker) and Cholo (a badass John Leguizamo) have done his bidding long enough and have plans of their own. To make matters worse, zombies are showing signs of becoming smarter and guess what? The undead are heading for Fiddler’s Green!
It’s no feat that when you think of zombies, you think of George Romero. The man created zombies as we know them and he did it subconsciously. Of all the countless zombie films out there, Romero’s are undoubtedly the finest and that’s saying something. His acute focus on characters, story, gore, and social commentary add up to the go to “quadrilogy” of zombie films. LAND OF THE DEAD marks Romero’s fourth entry to the unspoken DEAD quadrilogy. I’m happy to say that it doesn’t disappoint. While, LAND OF THE DEAD may be the weakest of the four movies, it still rocks the socks off any other recent zombie movie out there. A lot of reviewers complain about Romero’s slower zombies and I have a reply: They are FRIGGIN’ DEAD people! If you are dead, you aren’t going to instantly be Wally West! Yes, Romero’s zombies are a bit unrealistic, but that’s not the point. The point is to see some rugged characters blow the sh*t out of ungodly zombies and recognize the wonderful meaning of it all, and that’s exactly what Romero delivers with LAND OF THE DEAD.

I dug the story which was very ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK crossed with a Sergio Leone flick. The characters were all fun to watch especially John Leguizamo who really steals the show as a modern Eli Wallach type character. Dennis Hopper is simply put, a hardass who comes off as cool. Everyone else rounds out their characters nicely and who can forget the Doughboy! The gore is killer with some really nice zombie work. If I had to change a couple things about LAND OF THE DEAD, I would put a little more focus on the zombies and change the happy-go-lucky ending. As far as new scenes that were put back in the director’s cut, there aren’t too many. There’s certainly more gore, nudity, and a great new scene with Leguizamo in Fiddler’s Green. LAND OF THE DEAD marks another great film by Romero.
Somehow, Universal packed the feature, a DTS track, and a buttload of extras all on one disc without compromising the feature quality. Nice. The disc comes latched and enclosed in a shiny cardboard case. The features range from fantastic to downright stupid.

Audio Commentary with Director George Romero, Producer Peter Grunwald, and Editor Michael Daughtery: This was a good commentary for a change! Romero takes up the spotlight. You really have a chance to get inside Romero’s head. Romero talks about zombie rules, their origins, and creating the series. He literally chews up tons of fan questions. My favorite bit is when he talks about how he didn’t think of zombies as zombies but as ghouls. He also points out the director’s cut stuff, complete with explanations. Bravo!

Undead Again: “The Making of LAND OF THE DEAD”: The first thing I noticed about this 13 minute EPK is that it was louder than most. This EPK is fun, loud, and enjoyable. There’s everything from Simon Baker talking about DVD bullsh*t to Romero not craving Hollywood sh”t. Cool.

A Day With The Living Dead: Fly on the wall spots are usually pretty stupid. Not so when John Leguizamo is at the reigns! I was immediately rolling as Leguizamo dropped tons of F-bombs and tongue kissed a random zombie. Leguizamo on food- “Crap services, I mean craft services.”

Bringing The Dead To Life: This EPK focuses on the zombie effects. Expect to be grossed out! Makeup artist Greg Nicotero shows off just about everything. It’s interesting to note that he originally was going to be a surgeon. His dad’s pissed.

The Remaining Bits: At first, I was confused but then realized this is a small collection of deleted scenes. These rocked with extra gore including smashed fingers. Ewwww!

When Shaun Met George: I had heard that Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright of SHAUN OF THE DEAD fame were in LAND OF THE DEAD and this shows their “excursion” to the film set. It’s shot on a DVCam by their friend so it has a very personal touch to it.

Scenes of Carnage: This is a pretty useless feature as they come. It’s exactly what the title suggests, a couple scenes from the movie. Pointless.

Zombie Effects: “From Green Screen to Finished Scene”: Three minutes of pre and post production shots. I actually thought it was pretty cool to see the magic of good CG- the kind you don’t notice.

Bringing The Storyboards To Life: Unlike the “Green Screen” feature, this didn’t appeal to me much. I suppose there are some of you out there that dig seeing some scribbled drawings next to the finished product. It’s a well made feature anyway.

Scream Tests: “Zombie Casting Call”: Last and least is another useless special feature. How about 50 seconds of un-rendered dancing zombies – but not funny. How is this a casting call?
If you saw NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, or DAY OF THE DEAD, seeing LAND OF THE DEAD is a no-brainer. Romero continues to do what he does best. With such a solid DVD presentation and some nice features, LAND OF THE DEAD comes as an easy recommend…I think I just heard something. It was nothing.
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