Extra Time: the easy guide to Blu-ray and DVD extras
Clear top of the pile in an attractive package, loaded with fan-friendly extras is the two hour documentary More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead, which reunites the vast majority of the surviving cast in an incredibly slick 'Making Of'. Well dressed background sets, custom drawn animations for the credits and scene transfers and a willingness from everyone involved to talk frankly about the experience makes More Brains! one of the best 'Making Of's going. In two hours, director Bill Philputt goes from the start of the Horror genre to the legacy of The Return Of The Living Dead, contextualising the film's achievements every step of the way. Along that road, there's revelations about the casting process (no, Jewel Shepard did not sleep with Dan O'Bannon to get the part), the directing process ('I never got directed') and the tactics employed by everyone to stay sane in the face of Brian Peck ('who needs enemies when you've got Brian as a friend', says the incredibly funny James Karen). It's the definition of a complete package and its often hilarious to boot.
Everything here is worth at least a couple of moments of your time but Resurrected Settings: The Filming Locations Today has little to offer apart from Brian Peck and Beverly Randolph looking slightly awkward together and The Origins Of Return Of The Living Dead - an extended interview with John Russo - is a little flat, with material touched on elsewhere.
The last interview with Dan O'Bannon before his death in 2009 is unmissable and adds the crucial second point of view to many of the criticisms raised in the documentary (although, interestingly, O'Bannon agrees with many of them). Elsewhere, the small featurettes on the two sequels are good, with the third in particular benefiting from the insight of director Brian Yuzna and Party Time ensures that the music, crucial to the film's legacy, doesn't leave without getting something to say.
The full list of material also includes;
- Stacey Q Live: Exclusive Tonight music video
- Even More Brains: Deleted documentary interview
- Return of The Living Dead in three minutes (quite a funny little skit from the cast)
- The FX of The Living Dead – with production designer William Stout and FX make-up artists William Munns and Tony Gardner
- Ernie's Notepad (Blu-ray Exclusive) – 20-page replica notebook by embalmer Ernie Kaltenbrunner, featuring production notes, carting information and exclusive artwork
Not just the definite set of extras for The Return Of The Living Dead fans but a prime example of how to do this sort of set properly. Anyone with any sort of interest in the history of Horror will get something out of the material on show here.
The Return Of The Living Dead will be reviewed on the site on Monday.