Document of the Dead

1985

Action / Documentary / Horror

22
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 68%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 653

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Groucho Marx as Ronald Kornblow
George A. Romero as Himself
Tom Savini as Himself
Susan Tyrrell as Narrator
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
682.80 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.22 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 3 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Platypuschow 3 / 10

Document of the Dead: How to make a bad documentary out of good material

Let it be known I'm a big fan of Romeros works and after watching Birth of The Living Dead (2013) I was eager for more Romero documentary goodness.

This documentary is considerably older and it shows, made in 1985 it focuses mainly on Dawn Of The Dead (1978) but does look further into Romeros career especially Martin (1978).

Featuring lengthy interviews with Romero himself and Savini this should have been a masterworks yet comes across criminally boring and I honestly am not sure why.

It simply isn't insightful as it should be especially considering how much backstage footage is shown and several examples of stunts and makeup effects.

There are certainly nuggets to be taken away from this but ultimately it is a huge disappointment and does not deliver on anything I expected it to.

The Good:

Some of the backstage stuff is a lot of fun

The Bad:

Weak narration

More boring than you'd imagine it could be

Sound balancing is off

Things I Learnt From This Documentary:

Tom Savini is a bonafide badass

Reviewed by Mr-Fusion 6 / 10

Worth it for the interviews

I came into "Document of the Dead" expecting more about "Dawn of the Dead, to be completely honest. This being an extra on the "Dawn of the Dead" DVD set, and titled like a play on words (say, documenting the dead) it seemed like an on-set making-of showing the actual production. It does have such footage, and said material is the centerpiece of the documentary, but it's part of a larger examination of George Romero's career.

Understandably, we kick things off with a look at Romero's name-making movie, "Night of the Living Dead", specifically to highlight the director's shooting and cutting style. Same thing for his next movie, "Martin".

And then we get to "Dawn", which featured candid interviews with the cast and crew (Foree, Emgee, Reiniger, Savini) and plenty of unseen additional footage of the mall (paydirt). Even some time-lapse photography covering the process of turning an extra from human to full- on zombie. It's during this stage of the film that such challenges as distribution rights (for independent films), taking on the MPAA, and various cost factors are discussed, which does shed plenty of light on what goes into making a non-Hollywood movie (at least as of 1978). They also go into Romero's editing style, using one of his Calgon commercials from the '60s to show how he cut his teeth.

But that's the last of the archival footage, as "Document" abruptly cuts to behind-the-scenes material of Romero's new film ('89), "Two Evil Eyes". Admittedly, I was in it for "Dawn", so my attention started to go. A better segue might've also helped, but there you go.

6/10

Reviewed by Casey-52 5 / 10

OK documentary about George Romero, Tom Savini, and DAWN OF THE DEAD

DOCUMENT OF THE DEAD has a promising idea behind it: the making of horror classic DAWN OF THE DEAD. Yet it only features a bit of footage centering around DAWN OF THE DEAD, which is not that interesting. Other footage revolves around MARTIN, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and TWO EVIL EYES. Tom Savini is interviewed, but seems bitter in most of the footage. Romero seems like a nice, down-to-earth guy and gives valuable information about low-budget filmmaking, distribution, and ratings problems. Only three of the four DAWN leads are interviewed and not in-depth at all, which was of interest to me. Some nice bits about DOCUMENT is a Calgon soap commercial by Romero's 60s company featuring none other than NIGHT stars Russell Streiner and Karl Hardman!; also are some alternate takes of some scenes in DAWN (the scene of zombies breaking through the apartment complex barricade is longer and scarier; dialogue in the scene of subduing a black female zombie) that make me wonder if they appear in ANY cut of the finished product? I'd love to know, they really are more effective. Susan Tyrell, a personal favorite, narrates the whole thing. I love her voice, so it's nice to hear her. Select scenes from NOTLD and MARTIN are featured, but what are they doing here? It's as if director Roy Frumkes ran out of DAWN material and improvised in the editing room! Overall, DOCUMENT is recommended only to hardcore Romero and Savini fans; then again, I'm a hardcore fan myself and I STILL didn't like this. Oh well, give it a try, but don't expect a masterpiece.

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