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 »
Originally a 66 minute feature, it has since been expanded two times. First, in 1989, when an 84 minute version was released, featuring new interviews from the set of Two Evil Eyes. Then, in 2012, it was released as The Definitive Document of the Dead, with a 102 minute runtime, featuring new footage filmed through 2006. See more »
Not quite 'beautifully created' as they made out...
'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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