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Document of the Dead (1985)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, Horror  |  21 June 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 556 users  
Reviews: 13 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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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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 June 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Definitive Document of the Dead  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1989 re-edit) | (original cut)

Sound Mix:


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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 Monkey Shines (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Not quite 'beautifully created' as they made out...
6 October 1999 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Document of the Dead' is an interesting look at the making of 'Dawn of the Dead' and other works of George A. Romero, but despite the subject matter, 'Document...' for me was a little disappointing. Well hyped in the press and by the production crew itself, I couldn't help feel a little sold short by the final package. Admittedly this in part can be explained due to technical difficulties when the film was being made, (see trivia) and we can only guess how much more interesting 'Document...' would have been with those extra 66 shots, but the film has other faults. Sound quality at times was poor, while the voice of narrator Susan Tyrell I found coma inducing, and at times narration was overtly technical to the point of boredom. There was also some repetitive cuts (including a whole rerun of the final credits and time coded footage) that obviously wasn't supposed to be there, though I'm not sure if this was down to the original production team or the video distributor.

Die hard Romero fans will no doubt salivate at the behind the scenes and extra unseen footage, as may curious independent filmmakers and students, but the presentation here will more likely bore unfamiliar, less technically minded audiences. Romero's work, and how he works is in no dispute though, it is fascinatingly interesting. He comes across eloquently while still remaining down to earth and you can't help empathise with his struggle despite his successful track record. Interviews with Tom Savini also help immensely, livening the film with his energy and obvious passion he has for his work.

'Document...' isn't quite the companion to 'Dawn of the Dead' that I was hoping for, but under the circumstances it's understandable, in fact it's a credit to the film makers that it ever got put out there at all! But despite covering some of Romero's other work, Dawn footage is what we were all here for and it's a shame that in the end there just wasn't quite enough.

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