Document of the Dead

1985

Action / Documentary / Horror

23
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 68%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 668

Synopsis


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April 05, 2015 at 04:20 AM

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 counting...
1.22 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 3 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews 5 / 10

Good interviews, but could have been better produced

Having just finished watching this for the third(and most likely last) time, I can sadly clearly see why I gave up on it around the half-way point the first time; as the credits rolled, I realized that I did not feel entertained or even informed... I merely felt relieved. Add to that the version I watched was only just over an hour in length, not the 90 minutes that this page lists it as, and you can tell that I, personally, was quite underwhelmed by this feature. The presentation felt flat; it really wasn't very engaging or fascinating, in spite of the movie it revolves around being both of those and more. The editing wasn't very tight, nor does it try anything interesting, but rather goes through the motions. However, I think what really slayed this was the idolization of Romero; he is compared to Hitchcock, his style is mercilessly praised and his films, shots and cuts are analyzed to mean far more and be far more planned and thought out than they actually are. Imagine the dichotomy when Romero himself, in his interviews, comes off as a down-to-Earth, nice, pleasant guy who just happens to rock at making horror movies and manages to inject satire and social commentary without it coming across as forced. These clips, as well as Tom Savini's presence(in which he confirms the viewer's first impression of Romero) are what make this watchable. Pacing is non-existent. The voice-over narration sounds as if the speaker is bored out of her mind, but I don't know what they had access to as far as that goes, so I'll cut them some slack on that. In any case, the pseudo-intellectual analysis and shameless praise is far more distracting. I respect Romero... I think he has created one heck of a horror trilogy. He's clearly talented and smart, but the way he's spoken of in this simply comes off as some excited, easily impressionable kids expressing their fandom without having the sense to openly admit that that's what it is. I recommend this to fans of Romero and Dawn of the Dead... just be aware of and prepared for the unintended hyperbole and the lackluster production. 5/10

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

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