The Ford Brothers’ The Dead is one of the best examples of modern zombie filmmaking. I know it has its detractors, mostly because of the slow-going nature of the film, but I found it to be breathtaking, which isn’t a word you hear tossed around when describing zombies anymore. The Ford Brothers managed to capture what made films like Day of the Dead have such a strong impact on viewers. It wasn’t a comedy, or even an action movie. It was a bleak, slow-burning tale of the dead returning to life, in a post-apocalyptic West Africa. While the setting of some zombie movies comes as an afterthought, in The Dead, it played as important of a role as any character in the film. While The Dead 2 takes somewhat of a different approach – at least in regards to the pacing of the film – it still retains that aspect of the first film. It’s no longer set in Africa, however. This time around, the action – and I do mean action – moves to India, where an American contractor is about to wrap-up the job he’s doing, and once the zombies make themselves known, he does whatever he can to make it to his local, pregnant girlfriend, so that she can make the trek back to America with him. The main difference here, is that The Dead 2 is a lot more action-oriented than the first film. Sometimes that doesn’t work very well, causing the film to lose the original tone, but in the case of The Dead 2, it makes it one of the most beautiful and exciting zombie films I have seen for a while.
From the press release:
A ship docks fresh from Somalia which contains one infected worker that passes unnoticed into the very heart of India’s overpopulated bustling streets, setting off an unstoppable chain of events. Meanwhile, American turbine engineer Nicholas Burton (Joseph Millson, Casino Royale) is working in the stark yet tranquil Indian countryside when he receives a call from his love Ishani (Meenu), a local girl who lives on the outskirts of the slums of Mumbai and who has hidden their relationship from her tradition-minded father. She reveals she is now pregnant and scared for her life as chaos and terror have taken ahold of the cities as the dead return to life and attack the living. Nicholas has to battle his way across their 300 mile landscape filled with flesh-eating – and infectious – undead. With the help of young street kid Javed (Anand Goyal), he has to rely on his wits and sheer brute force to try and save them all, as the clock ticks off the minutes before the last flight out of a living hell…
Bonus features on The Dead 2 Blu-ray™ and DVD include The Making of The Dead 2 and deleted scenes.
Unfolding across an epic vista of breathtaking scope, thrilling action, death-defying stunts and spine-chilling fright, yet always keeping the emotional resonance in focus, The Ford Brothers’ The Dead 2 once again melds the terror of the end of the world, with the inspiration of the human drive to survive.
I certainly understand apprehension towards another damned zombie movie, but believe me when I tell you that this one is different. I know everybody that makes a zombie movie says the same thing, but the truth of the matter is, for every solid zombie flick that hits the shelves, there are 8 more right behind it that aren’t worth a single damn.But I’m not saying that The Dead 2 is simply good when compared to other recent zombie films, it stands among a really strong lineup of genre films released in 2014, even beyond zombies. This is one extremely exciting film, from start to finish. You don’t need to be a fan of the undead to enjoy this one. Hell, you don’t even really have to be a fan of horror. As long as you enjoy thrilling adventure films, I can assure you that you will find something about The Dead 2 to love. The pacing is more suited for casual viewers than the first film. And frankly, more things happen this time around. There’s never a dull moment.
The Dead 2 makes its home video debut from Starz/Anchor Bay, and is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and even digital HD. Obviously the superior choice would be the Blu-ray. The picture quality is solid, and does an extremely good job at showing off the spectacular photography that went into making the film as exciting as it is. With a full, AVC-encoded 1080p transfer, in 1.85:1, Starz/Anchor Bay’s Blu-ray release of The Dead 2 looks exactly as a new-release film should on the format. The quality of the TrueHD 5.1 track is impressive as well. There is a lot happening at any given point of the film, and a lot of environmental factors that require solid sound design to come across as believable. There were sounds coming from corners of my living room that grew my concern as to whether or not they were part of the movie, which is a true testament as to the efficacy of the audio exhibition. The disc isn’t loaded with bonus content, but it does have some behind-the-scenes footage, and a few deleted scenes, which is better than some new-release films are packaged with. Overall, Starz/Anchor Bay’s Blu-ray release of The Dead 2 is impressive, and highly recommended.