Day of the Dead (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - Optimum Releasing
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (7th May 2013).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

WARNING! The population of a small town in Colorado seems to have been infected by a virus with unknown origin. The flu like symptoms usually consist of lethargy, cold sweats, nausea, discomfort, intense headaches and a slight discolouring to their complexion. Unfortunately this is usually followed by a sudden urge to savagely rip the limbs from any living creature that might stand in their way whilst chewing on their bones, sucking out their brains and chewing on their flesh. An elite, cold bloodied and tenacious military force has been sent in to clean up the mess. But where as some residents are more than willing to spend the rest of their short lives in quarantine a small group of survivors escape and head towards an uncertain demise unaware of the eyeball chomping, gut splurting nightmare that awaits them.

Directed by Steve Miner (Friday The 13th Part 2, House, Soul Man, Warlock), written by Jefffrey Reddick (Final Destination) and starring the irresistible Mena Suvari (American Pie, American Beauty), this re–imagining of George Romero's horror classic is a minefield of extreme gore and violence that takes the zombie genre to a new level of savagery.

Video

Optimum Releasing provide "Day of the Dead" on blu-ray in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 using an AVC-MPEG 4 codec. It's a competent transfer, but could be improved upon.

Sometimes the image feels a little soft, more noticeably during scenes that take place outdoors. The film is heavily-filtered with much of the transfer replicating the greenish tint that was visible during the theatrical run very well, without losing sharpness. Detail is generally good, but never close to being reference grade. Facial close-ups and clothing is where detail is at its best, but items in the background and the scenes set in wooded areas are definately lacking a little behind. There is a little bit of artefacting visible at times, as well as some digital noise, but it isn't overly distracting. Some edge enhancement is present, and there is also some motion judder at times, but the image is still noticeably better than Optimum's DVD counterpart.

Audio

There are two audio options available on the disc:
- English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- English Dolby Digital 5.1

I viewed the movie with the DTS-HD Master Audio track and like the picture, it's adequate but has a couple of problems. The biggest problem on the track for me, was a lack of directionality. The vast majority of effects come from the front speakers, with the rears and LFE generally kept for boosting the soundtrack and gunshots. Although these effects do sound good, the lack of direction also causes the track to be less effective and immersive than it ultimately should be. There was no obvious damage to the audio track and dialogue is always clear and concise.

There are no subtitles included.

Extras

The extras start off the following selection of soundbites:
- Mena Suvari (2:06)
- Nick Cannon (2:18)
- Annalynne McCord (2:01)
- Michael Welch (1:43)
- Stark Sands (2:05)
- director Steve Miner (3:26)
- special make-up designer Dean Jones (2:34)
Annoyingly, there are some dropouts in audio and some poor synching as various segments begin. This is highly annoying and extremely noticeable. The quality of the soundbites isn't great either. Only Dean Jones is a little informative, with the others turning the whole thing into a bit of slapbacking affair and giving us rather obvious tidbits of information which you would expect to hear in any typical press junket fluff piece.

The "Selected B-Roll" (14:11) is easily the best of an all round poor extras package, and to be honest, it isn't that interesting due to a lack of any introduction or narration. It's essentially footage of scenes being shot that also includes various members of the crew. There's also some behind-the-scenes footage of cast members being given direction, and many shouts of the infamous "Action!" from director Steve Miner. Most interesting is a couple of shots which show the actors landing on crash mats, and then viewing the same shots with the stunt people who land directly on the floor for the more realistic impact shots.

The final extra is the theatrical trailer (1:41).

All extras are presented in standard definition.

Overall

The Film: C Video: B- Audio: B- Extras: D- Overall: C

 


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