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Document of the Dead (1985)

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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 464 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 20 critic

A documentary about George A. Romero's films, with a behind scenes look at Dawn of the Dead.



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Title: Document of the Dead (1985)

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Credited cast:
John Amplas ...
Carl Augenstein ...
Steve Bissette ...
David Emge ...
Christine Forrest ...
Herself (as Christine Romero)
Roy Frumkes ...
Michael Gornick ...
Joe Kane ...
Himself (as The Phantom of the Movies)
Greg Lamberson ...
Nicole Potter ...
Narrator (voice)
Richard P. Rubinstein ...


A documentary about George A. Romero's films, with a behind scenes look at Dawn of the Dead.

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independent film


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Release Date:

21 June 1985 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


While editing the movie, the creators discovered that 10% of the negative from the original footage, including 66 shots, had disappeared. When the filmmakers didn't get a response from the New York school of visual arts, director Roy Frumkes resorted to contacting a psychic therapist (Nancy Orlen Weber) to see if she could help. Though she suspected most of the missing film had been maliciously destroyed, she did pick up on the fact one small roll of film had been misplaced at the Technicolor laboratory. It was not until years later a can of film resurfaced, where it had been stored under the wrong title was the film finally edited and put on the market. See more »


Roy Frumkes: [about "Day of the dead] Is this the end?
George A. Romero: The zombies are developing, and I'm getting dumber by the minute.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Footage from the George Romero movies Night of the Living Dead, Martin, and Dawn of the Dead is played as the closing credits roll. See more »


Features Dawn of the Dead (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

A must-see for horror film (or just film) buffs, unless you'd rather watch the films...
27 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The thing that intrigues me the most about Romero is aside from his down-to-earth attitudes when it comes to film-making and the film-making process, he has pretty much no ego. This is a man who has directed four of the most popular horror films ever made- Night of the Living Dead and its sequels Dawn (my favorite), Day, and now Land, and he doesn't seem to take as much credit for it as he should or a lessor director would. What's also fascinating about the documentary here is that it focuses on two things- Romero's style in his films (here shown as Night, Dawn, and the great vampire film Martin), and the making of 'Dawn', and in the making of Dawn one realizes why he has not much to be very big about- a lot of what goes into the film is improvisation, the work of the actors, and Tom Savini's masterpiece of comic-book/over-stylized violence and zombies. The director of this documentary goes in depth with the style that swarms over Night and Martin, and Romero goes into detail in interviews about his own process, how he writes, directs, and edits, and what seems complicated on the screen really is not.

Basically, if you love the horror genre, or even just Romero's films, it's very worthwhile to check this out, even when some of the narration becomes obvious (or if you would rather watch the films instead of hearing exposition on them). The history of Dawn is fascinating if only as a time capsule, of when malls were in their beginning stages, when make-up wasn't as sophisticated (though maybe not as unique) as today, and when the level of violence in his films was almost unfathomable in those days of post-Vietnam America. It's sort of sad in a way to hear about Romero's problems with making the films he wants to make, as he talks of the problems being a "maverick" in the Hollywood system, but that's how it might always be. But just to see these images, and to see the process and how it unfolds (especially a behind-the-scenes look at one special effect and its length and depth in Two Evil Eyes) is enough to recommend it- it's available with the Dawn of the Dead box-set on DVD, but it also is on TV every now and again. Grade: A

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