Undead DVD: Review By jpmangalindan

  • OVERALL
    2.5
    WORTHY
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE FEATURE
Something's fishy in the rural town of Berkeley. Meteor shards have fallen from the sky; now an infection is running rampant through the area transforming the inhabitants of this normally-tranquil area into zombie-like creatures.

Sound familiar? It should: it's the premise - save maybe the rabid fish - for tens of other zombie flicks grazing the discount rack at your local rental store.

I've seen a few zombie films (understatement of the year), so watching Undead, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the production. Make no mistake: it's low-budget, but the effects and sets they've managed to eek out of their funds aren't half-bad, nor are the performances. Felicity Mason as the former "Ms. Catch of the Day" Rene foots the makeshift femme fatale bill well, though wacko farmer Marion reeks of cheese. He's just weird and annoying.

Plotwise, nothing's ever really wrapped up. Putting two and two together here was harder to do than another completely unrelated film I watched recently, the French film Cache (Hidden), where the ending left things completely unexplained. Why is this ragtag group of people looking for an airplane. Where exactly are they hoping to go?

THE EXTRAS
Crew Commentary/Cast Commentary

Featurettes:

Making Of Doc*mentary

Zombies Internet

"Midnight Madness" - Toronto Film Festival Screening

Camera and Make-Up Tests

Homemade Dolly Construction

Construction Video

Film-to-Animatic Comparison

Deleted and Extended Scenes

Supernova Convention Footage

Artwork and Design Sketches

The Spierig brothers included a wealth of extras on the Undead DVD - it almost gives something like the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions a run for their money. There's the usual - making-of docs., deleted and extended scenes - and then the obscure, but welcome: camera and make-up tests, a Q&A with the directors and cast at the Supanova Convention and footage of the final screening at the Toronto Film Festival. You could spend hours just watching these with a bucket of popcorn on a rainy Friday night.

THE VIDEO
Widescreen - 1.85

Again, for a low-budget film, it's well-done: from the myriads of made-up zombies, the aliens and their spacecraft, even the B-level fights. The film transfer doesn't feature much static, but colors are staid and faded, not as vibrant as they could be.

THE AUDIO
Dolby Digital 5.1 - English

Dolby Digital 2.0 - English

Closed Captioned - English

Subtitles - English, Spanish

Clear vocals and soundtrack. Gets the job done.

THE PACKAGE
Undead's DVD cover is actually a striking photo of Mason as Rene wielding a makeshift triple rifle mechanism and gas mask, a direct nod to the film's finale (meant to be a shocker, but really just a, "Um, ok. So?") One of the DVD extras is the option to peruse the artwork and design sketches for the film, from the sets to the aliens to the zombies themselves.

THE FINAL WORD
An entertaining, well-produced foray into the zombie genre, Undead makes little to no sense. A recommended rental for hardcore zombie aficionados; a pass for all other film fans.

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