Directed by The Spierig Brothers
Produced by The Spierig Brothers
Written by The Spierig Brothers
Director of Photograpy Andrew Strahorn
Music by Cliff Bradley
Cast: Felicity Mason, Mungo McKay, Rob Jenkins, Lisa Cunninham, Dirk Hunter & Emma Randall
2002/104 mins/Color/5.1 Dolby Digital
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/Australia/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Lions Gate DVD
Local town beauty Rene (the beautiful Felicity Mason), has lost her childhood farm to the bank. She decides to head to the big city but burning meteorites coming from the sky are bombarding the town and hitting citizens, turning them into flesh-eating brain-sucking zombies! She later finds herself taking refuge in the isolated farm of the town loony, Marion (Mungo McKay) - an ass kicking farmer who knows much more then anybody else about what's happening, thanks in part to his wild fight with a resurrected fish sometime ago. Soon enough more people are joining them, Wayne (Rob Jenkins) and his pregnant girlfriend Sally Anne (Lisa Cunningham) along with the annoying police Chief Harrison (Dirk Hunter) and his female constable Molly (Emma Randall).
If that wasn't enough, there's a burning acid rain pouring just before lights are coming from the sky to take the living dead. And a huge wall now blocks the only exist road from the town. What first seemed like an zombie infection now looks like an alien invasion.
After playing in festivals around the wordl, Lions Gate finally released UNDEAD on DVD in North America. Highly inspired by the now famous New Zealand director Peter Jackson's BAD TASTE and BRAIN DEAD, the Spierig Brothers have crafted an extreme, slapstick, gory, wild and funny tale of the undead and extra terrestrials. Echoes of George A. Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD are also very evident in the first half of the film. Even though the film was made with a rather low budget (under $1 million) all the efforts and passion that went into making it turned it into one of the best zombie films of recent years! There are many very cool and innovative gory scenes where zombies get mutilated by circular blade, shovel, fists through the head, triple shotgun, torsos being ripped in half, down the middle and more... all shown in their glory and gory ways, nothing is cut or offscreen here! Michael and Peter Spierig are huge fans of the genre and its shows. This is the kind of film that would make a perfect viewing with some friends and a couple of beers.
UNDEAD was shot on Super 16mm then upconverted to High Definition to be presented on this amazing DVD in a 1.85:1 anamorphic aspect ratio. The film looks very good with nice black levels, rich reds and shadow details. There's a little film grain but its part of the charm 16mm. Otherwise, the film looks is surprisingly very good and the transfer is as good at the Australian edition released a few years ago. The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is loud and clear making great uses of the directional sound fx possibilities, especially the use of the subwoofer. Bradley's musical score takes much of the audio space and gives the film all the atmosphere it needs. Overall a very nice transfer and presentation.
The disc is loaded with extras, first we get two commentary tracks. The first one is with the crew and features directors Michael and Peter Spierig, Cinematographer Andrew Strahorn and SFX Makeup Artist Steven Boyle. They go into pretty much all of the technical details of the making-of the film. The next one is with the cast and features Mungo McKay (Marion), Dirk Hunter (Chief Harrison) and Emma Randall (Rene). It sure sounds like they had a blast being part of UNDEAD and they have lots of fun recalling many anecdotes.'Supanova Convention Q&A with Cast & Crew' takes us to the Australian convention in 2004 where the people behind the movie talked about it. 'The Making of Undead' is a very interesting 35 minutes documentary about the making and tribulation of the film. The Spierig brothers talk about their past, influences and goals, the lead actors are interviewed. We also hear from the cinematographer, fx guys and pretty much everyone that was involved in the film. We also get to see lots of behind the scenes footage, post production, the way the musical score was done and the world premiere.
In 'Midnight Madness' we see how the film did at the famous film festival and it was also the last film ever to play at the Uptown Cinema in Toronto Canada. The Q&A session is even included! ' The Zombies Internet Featurette' is a cool but rather short featurette on how they created the zombies and the training of the actors playing the living dead. 'Camera and Make-up Tests' shows us how the different lightning were experienced and tested, the use of telecine and various frame per seconds sequences. In 'Homemade Dolly Construction Video' we see how they... well created a dolly. 'Animatic to Film Comparison' is a pre-vis to film comparison of the plane sequence and how they planned the whole thing.
We also get 5 deleted scenes, 5 extended scenes including an alternate title sequence which is a little too ARMY OF DARKNESS for me. Finally we get the International teaser, teaser trailer, theatrical trailer, some very cool production stills, artwork and design sketches and a preview of SAW II. The film is separated in 20 chapters, comes in a keep case. There is no inlay card or booklet and the very cool animated menus features music and sounds. There is also optional English and Spanish subtitles.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2005. ©
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