Friday, October 3, 2014

The Return Of The Living Dead: Import Steelbook Blu

5 split-dogs out of 5

In the 80's, punk-rock ruled, the smart zombie owned the graveyard, and even a Nazi could become a hero. With Return of the Living Dead, writer director Dan O' Bannon redefined what a horror movie could be. It was witty, terrifying, and had a soundtrack that showcased some of the best bands the era would offer. Though we only get snippets of such acts like The Cramps, T.S.O.L., Roky Erickson, and many others, their contributions to the film are priceless. I felt I should add this classic to my blu-ray collection just in time for Halloween, but was shocked to learn every U.S. release contains a remixed soundtrack that deviates from the original. Some voices are altered, and a few songs are dialed down or excised from the mix all together. Did George Lucas have something to do with this or what? "It's not a bad question Burt." 

Thanks to U.K. based Second Sight Films, a slick steelbook blu-ray has been making the rounds since 2012.  I had to go to e-bay and pay a bit more than I'd have liked to, but damn.......this thing is sweet! Three different soundtracks including the elusive original mix, a beautifully designed steelbook case, and Ernie Kaltenbrunner's note pad chock-full of production notes and cool artwork. Since this is an import, any prospective buyer should be aware that this is a region encoded disc that may not play on some U.S. blu-ray players. I was able to bypass the region lock warning and continue to watch the film on my PS3, but some of the special features won't play. There's an amazing two hour documentary that reunites almost everyone involved in the production that I can access, and I'll take that until such time that I purchase an all region player. For true fans of this film........tracking down this release is a no-brainer! (see what I did there?) If these sweet pics cause heart palpitations for the collectors out there, we can always "Send more paramedics."

The disc art is beautiful...

more artwork inside the case....

Ernie's notebook

Ernie jotted down vital info while fending off the zombie horde

Never thought I'd love a Nazi, but Ernie rules!

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