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Birth Of The Living Dead DVD Review

Birth of the Living Dead DVD

“Birth of the Living Dead” is an engrossing documentary about George Romero and “Night of the Living Dead.”

With zombies all the rage these days, there’s no better time than now for a documentary to pay tribute to the film that essentially invented the modern zombie genre (“Night of the Living Dead”). Thankfully, that is precisely what “Birth of the Living Dead” does.

Via interviews with George A. Romero, Gale Anne Hurd, Larry Fessenden, and Elvis Mitchell, ‘Birth’ covers Romero’s early career, the production of the inspirational 1968 low budget horror film “Night of the Living Dead,” as well as the film’s legacy/impact and groundbreaking themes/scenes. While the film is perhaps a bit short and strangely lacking in interviews with more cast and crew members, the documentary still manages to be an engrossing and fascinating analysis of one of the most beloved horror films of all time. I don’t want to spoil the entire content of ‘Birth,’ but I can say that the factoids and stories about the cast and crew (Romero included), the copyright fiasco, the entrails featured in the film, the ad libbed scenes, and the breakdown of the film’s commentary on politics, race, and the country’s anger and fears in the 60’s is particularly enlightening.

Overall Thoughts: Whether you’re a die hard Romero fan (like myself), a documentary aficionado, or someone who appreciates film history, “Birth of the Living Dead” is well worth your time.

Note: Be on the lookout for a short tribute/interview with Bill Hinzman (the first zombie seen in the film) after the end credits.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Fullscreen and Widescreen. How does it look? The newly shot interviews look crisp and clear while the fullscreen film clips from “Night of the Living Dead” look decent. They didn’t use the best quality footage from the classic film.

Audio Track: 5.1. How does it sound? From the interviews to the film’s dialogue, this is a sharp track.

Extras:
* First Run Features trailers.
* “Bill Hinzman And The World-Record-Breaking Monroeville Zombie Walk”- Footage from a zombie walk charity event/Guiness World Record event that took place at the Monroeville Mall (where the original “Dawn of the Dead” was filmed). Actor Bill Hinzman (the first zombie seen in “Night of the Living Dead”) is also included.
* An audio interview with George Romero from June, 16 1970 at the Museum of Modern Art. Romero chats about the film’s production and answers fan/crowd questions.
* An extended 33 minute interview with George A. Romero from 2006. Topics include childhood fears, “Tales of Hoffman,” Pittsburgh, friends/co-workers, “Diary of the Dead,” and more. Set footage from “Diary of the Dead” is also included.

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December 26, 2013 - Posted by | DVD review | , , ,

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