"Let me bring you up to date on what's been..."

May 2009 - In the decade since I have had these Dead sites I have received compliments, questions, DVD jobs, insults, criticisms, memorabilia requests, and so forth. And since it started out as non-profit entertainment/reference, I found no reason to spend time or money on enhancing the pages. I know they're old HTML, outdated, and actually something's in the works to give the pages a much needed makeover. In the meantime, my pages have outlasted quite a few other sites (all fine in their own right.) I have preserved the reputation of these older films without the poisoning of sequelitis and plague of remake-itis. I have been honest and shit on these vastly inferior remakes and sequels. But my time these days - what time? I don't and can't live for this movie fantasyland stuff ya know and this is far from my favorite accomplishment. I have also yielded imitators and worse, thieves. In that time I have seen quite a few kids copy sites like mine, whether its images or text. Sometimes they'd be so innocent and/or stupid they'd even email me and ask what I think. Eventually their site faded into obscurity and down came their site. Perhaps you're one of those kids all grown up now reading this and realize how silly it was. Well, it's 2009 and I have not updated my site in years. I am not going to remark about any aftermarket stuff of late (ok, those action figures need better sculptors). This site is essentially made up of a book I did on zombie movies and memorabilia. I just never published it. That said, it's a very small niche and people who collect it tend to know each other. I have bought and sold tons of stuff since the 1980s. Some of them to people who were in and worked on these very films. Still, the unpublished book was copyrighted years ago. And the reason: thieves. I decided to leave my site(s) up for reference, but not to be ripped off. But I do want to talk about a person who I never met. I like to think I have enhanced this person's life in some way, as they are truly obsessed with Zombie/ Living Dead movies. So much so that they post every day on more than one forum about these fictitious creatures. Perhaps he saw the infrequent updates was a go ahead to take what he wanted in the interests of creating a wonderful, all-encompassing Dead memorabilia site rendering visits to my web site unnecessary. The problem is that he routinely copied and pasted the memorabilia pages of my site into his. Never contacted me, nor has he given my site any credit. And take the spotlight off of him - why should he? He'd want to use all my text for his site for nothing. All that work so that he gets credit and so that will lead people to think you he is the originator/authority. Wow, who wouldn't say no right? Perhaps I am not the only one he has stolen from. All I saw was every part of my narrative about Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead posters, soundtracks, laserdiscs, videos, lobby cards, etc. was taken verbatim and with no respect as to whether it was copyrighted. No effort to paraphrase but great time and energy raiding every page with no effort to contact the webmaster. Seems to me this guy should be reading about intellectual property instead of zombie fiction. Well, as of May 9, 2009, his web provider has removed his "Archivesofthedead" because they infringe on my copyrighted work. I am sure he will find another provider though. If he is intent on trying to pass himself off as something of a zombie memorabilia authority, instead of looking for that elusive Japanese laserdisc he may soon have to look for a lawyer. I actually was tipped off about this site. Makes me wonder if there's any other copycats/bottom feeders in the google depths? Heeellllooo....is there anyone there?

7-03 Though it is not due until August 19, 2003, here is what I thought of the new DVD special edition. Thanks to Anchor Bay for allowing me to take part in it, preview it and share my thoughts.



I don’t know about you, but first impressions are important. Covers are about first impressions especially. In an age where people might just want to go back and check out the inspirations behind recent zombie movies like Resident Evil or 28 Days Later, they have to be seduced by cover art just as audiences were back in the 80’s. When Day came out on Media Home Entertainment in 1986, I was excited to see that they used such a beautiful painting instead of the usual poster scheme. Thankfully Anchor Bay chose to recreate the look of that first impression. It still looks very good and hopefully more people will want to investigate the movie because of its eye-catching cover.

On first glance, the cover on this special edition looks the same, but the title is actually embossed and Bub is not green this time, and actually is a die-cut effect that reveals Dr. Logan and Dr. Tongue (the jawless zombie) underneath.

Nowhere on the front does it say anything else about what some high falutin critic rated it, or that it is the third in the trilogy or the darkest day of horror .... It is very simple. The back is largely made up of listing all the extra features, but has a newly- written, brief synopsis. The discs themselves are reproductions of the familiar theatrical poster art in an orange/yellow color scheme.

Insert Booklet

If you’re expecting a booklet filled with color shots that you already saw on the DVD, then get ready for a more original and fun approach. What Anchor Bay has done instead, is simulate a blood-smudged, 16-page notepad as if had been written by the mad Dr. Logan himself! Inside are sketches by Rob Webb and original pre-production sketches by Derrick Devoe, with clever notes from Logan himself ("reward is the key!", "how long I have been down here?", "another soldier died – they are so useful!"). Mike Felsher has written a honest, excellent reappraisal of this most maligned Dead chapter.


In short, an uncut version of Day has never looked better. The only picture close to its clarity is the Japanese JVD "Producer’s Cut" from 1997, except Anchor Bay didn’t turn up the greens as much as in that version. Color saturation may be stronger in some spots than others. The details in the makeups appear crisper, even though there is some quality difference in the cave scenes. You can see the grotesque Dr. Tongue clearer as he walks up in front of the sun, Bub in the background watching Logan’s experiments, the multitudes of zombie faces in the dark near the end, etc. One of the things I am glad Anchor Bay and Crest listened to me on was restoring the creepy UFDC leader as on the old Media VHS.

Fans may still be irked by the insistence of presenting the film in 1.85 widescreen (originally it was going to be 1.77).  The matting appears to be the same as the last DVD, and while it does reveal a bit MORE side information, it chops off tops of trees, palm fronds on the ground, zombie bodies from the waist down, zombie jaws in closeups, various things that don't take away from the enjoyment of the film, but nevertheless form the entire picture that we've come to know from years of watching on video.

The picture may be viewed as more composed and the other things "empty information", but I still would have preferred having the movie multibox, or true anamorphic so that the whole picture can fit into a black matte.


You have your choice of Dolby DTS-ES or Dolby EX 6.1 Surround. Echo to the cast’s voices have been restored for an even more claustrophobic, larger than life experience. The dialogue is different in at least two spots, from a source tape used on the Producer's Cut released by JVD Japan. John says before they descend down the elevator: "Right..I could do this even if all this wasn't going on..." and Sarah turns from Bub in the lab - "I can't look..it can't be-"

Commentary by the Pittsburgh Gang

Haven’t you all waited for the day when George would narrate us through his favorite chapter of the trilogy? The always animated yet soft-spoken Tom Savini to break down effects shots. Cletus Anderson jumps in with observations on production design and Lori Cardille squirms in her seat for the duration. The group has a mutual admiration for each other, and it shows at various times, especially during the machete scene. "Good going Lori!" George says about her emotional performance.

Commentary by Roger Avary

Who didn’t like Pulp Fiction? Well, Roger wrote it. He has seen tons of movies and it’s apparent from the first few moments of the commentary. He has genuine fondness for this picture, and really loves Howard Sherman. All the way through everytime Sherman appears, he cannot resist

Avary has strong opinions on the merits of the film, and believes that the film’s only flaw is the music – although he admits he is just a Goblin lover – but does like most of the Day score. He doesn’t hesitate to point out the more illogical things in the plot in more of a humorous way than harsh criticism ("Rule number one for if you’re the government and you stick a bunch of army men down underground – you need to supply them with recreation – they need hookers!")

Avary is fun to listen to and young enough to have vivid recollections of the release of both Dawn and Day, as well as a childhood that almost revolved around the trilogy. He recounts his days dressing up as a zombie for Halloween, playing ‘guns and zombies’, and meeting George Romero for the first time as a fanboy. He still uses dialogue from the film (such as "mouthful of Greek salad") in everyday conversation! He also seems to be convinced Logan should have resurrected and that this should exist somewhere. Lots of shots were cut from Day when it was in the editing room but footage of Logan zombified was never made. Basically his insights are surprising and serve as a nice tonic to the facts and crew perspective heard in the first commentary.


The Many Days of Day of the Dead

This brand new 39 minute documentary delivers the goods. The editing is top-notch, and there are on-screen comments from George Romero, David Ball, Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero, Chris Romero and cast members Lori Cardille, Joe Pilato and Howard Sherman. It’s hard to imagine this turning out any better. Everything from the original script to the infamous story of entrails left in the freezer and how crew got sick near the end of the shoot, is covered. This looks like something you'd see on channels like AMC or A & E.

You may notice the 15 minute featurette from the older DVD is not included. I was told that Anchor Bay was not able to re-license it. I think you’d agree that it was not necessary with the multitude of on-set photos in its place.

Makeup Test Behind the Scenes

Any Day of the Dead special edition needs Tom Savini’s personal video footage of on-set makeup tests. This is NOT the same set of excerpts from the Elite laserdisc from 1998. Anyone who has not purchased that laserdisc likely has seen Scream Greats Vol. 1 where some of the same footage was first exposed, but another generation will now see all that and more.

Audio Interview with Richard Liberty

It was nice to have "Dr. Logan" represented somehow here on this package. The 15 minute interview reveals his real last name, and last recollections of the whole Day experience. Did you know that Richard didn’t care for the ending much? Chris Stavrakis and I met with him on a golf course where he worked in 2000 to record this, just months before he died. The same interview may be familiar to die-hards who used to frequent Chris’s site, livingdead.com.

Though it ultimately was not included, I did offer a very good printed interview from the days of the old Romero fanclub newsletter but it may make it to the website interactive features…more on that later. In that interview, the character is fresher in Liberty's mind so more insight is provided into his dialogue on the tape recorder or instance.

Wampum Mine Facility promotional video

I suggested this to Anchor Bay last year to fill out the disc the way those Monroeville Mall TV spots did on the old Elite laserdisc (and hopefully future Anchor Bay DVDs). With this tour captured on video of the Gateway Commerce Center, may be the closest fans can get to seeing the underground facility, how it’s used, how it’s changed, etc.

Trailers and TV Spots

There are only three domestic (U.S.) trailers due to the scarcity of materials on foreign commercials. The first is the minute long teaser as on the previous DVD. The second is the Taurus Entertainment trailer with Bub in the theater (owners of the Japanese JVD DVD know this trailer). The third was the actual full length trailer. Interesting to know that the shots were recomposed from an old reference tape I supplied and it came out perfect. Japanese trailers couldn’t be included due to a licensing deal.

The TV Spots – previously unreleased – were also recomposed. You may notice the logo looks different in them (kind of a Wide Latin font). It is because while they could recompose the scenes and sound, the logo on the yellow background could not be used from the reference tape. You have to give Crest and Anchor Bay the A for effort however for the amazing work. Longtime fans may notice a second or two of narrative missing from the spots – "When the dead rose from the graves…" should be "IT BEGAN when the dead rose from their graves…" But the shots are ALL there. I remember seeing these and wondering what the makeup would look like since the editors made sure not to show you anything close up.

Production Stills/Behind the Scenes Stills/Makeup Stills

Anchor Bay treats you to three or four still galleries. A hundred from me, another hundred from Greg Nicotero’s personal collection, a set from the zombie extras the Loves and Lee Karr, and a set of continuity Polaroids from Cletus Anderson. Many close-up makeup shots, and full body costume shots.

Posters and Memorabilia

Most of the items you see on this site are presented in full glory - even some of my rarest, giga-normous posters were scanned by the pros at Anchor Bay. Michael E. Smith contributed a gallery of some very odd foreign video releases – did you know one company marketed Day as "Dawn of the Dead 2"? Or that another used an image from "Return of the Living Dead" on their Day video? Lots to see! If even I have never seen some of this stuff, maybe you haven’t either.

DVD ROM Features

What? You never read the original script for Day? The one that was really long and had dozens of characters? Well here’s your chance! TWO drafts, one of which is the "Gasparilla" version that George didn't even own anymore, as well as extensive production memos identifying the featured zombies, are downloadable as PDF files. Thanks to Greg Nicotero for these items.  Anchor Bay will soon provide a link to their site that will have even more extras (as if this disc wasn’t enough!)


If you own the older version of the Day DVD, you may want to copy the featurette off it if you’re a completist. Otherwise you don’t need it with this four course package. Back in 1998, that DVD went for nearly the same price as this one ($25) but this is the only Day DVD you will ever need.

8-02 "The Directors" episode with Romero was aired on August 1. As you might have seen, he still admits DAY is his favorite of the zombie films (they aired it a few hours later). See the FAQ for his comments under a question near the bottom. As far as what they played in clips, most of it was presskit stills, but they used the old full screen Media source for the scene of Bub and the tape player, and the wall of arms. No current interviews with actors or even Savini was used. Also added some Florida pics to the Locations section and to the Pre-Production section including George Romero's old house.

7-02 The worst of the worst. Astro's (of Germany) ZOMBIE 2 (DAY OF THE DEAD) 2 DVD COLLECTORS EDITION  is the worst  to date. First of all, the print is of the same quality as the old Media videotape. The picture is stretched and there are black matte bars. The second disc containing extras may seem intriguing but guess what?? They took every "extra" as far as pictures from my site (as tiny as I make em!!!) They didn't stop there. 

They took full screen video jackets from Homepage of the Dead, copied the Day excerpts from Paramount's Scream Greats (putting an annoying grey band over the screen during these scenes as if they were trying to dissuade anyone from re-using it!). They also translated text from my site and other sources in German verbatim, and copied the trailers from previous DVDs and Laserdiscs. What they call "goofs" is merely the listing of mistakes seen once on this site, and undoubtedly others. There is no such gag reel or any other 'extra'. Booklet? What booklet?

It is no surprise that such a shady, low-standard company as Astro (who've released the worst possible transfers of Dawn of the Dead UMPTEEN times!) would pull such a devious thing and when confronted about it, their spokesperson was rather shameless claiming he had the rights in Germany. The law states that if you have the negatives or source slides to a picture, you own it! And not only were personal pictures used on the DVD that I still have negatives for, but I also own several 100 slides and contact sheets for largely unseen stills.
A side note: Astro validated what they did since "HOTD bootlegs Dead soundtracks and videos" all the time. 
 Anyway, as the legal process winds, I will fill you all in. In the meantime, avoid the disc at all costs. I have news on a superior disc forthcoming that will have true extras and be the ultimate version in a quality not seen since the Japanese DVD.

As of this writing, only Anchor Bay UK is releasing a boxed set of 4 DVDs of what they call George Romero's Classic Trilogy. This is due Sept. 2nd (in the UK only) and will have the same prints previously released by BMG and Arrow of Dawn and Day. To show how companies should operate when looking for extras, I decided to help ABUK (for a price) by supplying all the images for all three films for a booklet and for extras on the fourth disc which will also feature documentaries on Night and Dawn.

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2-17-01 Gary Klahr (Steel) was featured on Dateline NBC at 9PM Eastern last night. The show was on his discovery in 1998 (after 50 years) that he was adopted, and that his girlfriend had been his sister, and that his best friend was his own brother. Amazing and strange. And they even played a clips from Day (a few street zombie scenes and BANG YOU'RE DEAD!) It was weird seeing the letterboxed footage with an NBC Peacock in the corner. But not as weird as the story and Gary and Stone Phillips talking on one on one. There could be a book in all this!

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