Few movies, let alone horror movies, have been as impactful and critically acclaimed as George A. Romero‘s DAWN OF THE DEAD.
Both an iconic quasi-sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and a not-so-subtle commentary on consumer culture, DAWN OF THE DEAD introduced the world to the legendary special effects makeup creations of Tom Savini, whose talents gave the zombies their quintessential crayon-red blood and blue-gray skin. Nearly four decades, four additional sequels, and one remake later, DAWN OF THE DEAD is preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018 as one of the best horror films of all time.
What sets Romero’s movies apart is not just their legendary status in the horror film genre, but the way he integrates social commentary into the core of each story. In DAWN OF THE DEAD, the main four characters hibernate in a large shopping mall whose only other inhabitants are shambling, brainless zombies. Peter, one of the four main characters, comments of the hordes of zombies in the mall, “They’re after the place. They don’t know why. They just remember. Remember that they want to be in here.” Through this, Romero draws the comparison between the mindless, unnecessary craving for flesh the zombies have and the mindless, unnecessary craving for material objects typical consumers have.
A 4K restoration of the zombie classic was presented at the Venice Film Festival last year, followed by an Italian release of a boxed set (see cover above) including the 4K disc and five other Blu-ray discs.
The restoration is of a version known as the European Cut, by the title ZOMBI, and appears on three of the five discs in the set. The others include the theatrical versions, extended versions, and bonus features ranging from interviews with Tom Savini and co-writer Dario Argento to press conferences and trailers. The new set also includes a 24-page booklet and art cards.