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War of the Dead Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 85 Mins.
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 1, 2013
  • List Price: $24.98

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:2/5]

A combination World War II thriller and horror film, War of the Dead follows a group of elite American soldiers sent to the Finnish/Russian border to help Finnish soldiers fend off reanimated German zombie soldiers. Well, not exactly. The film treads a very thin line between realism and horror, imposing the plot of a thriller about a secret Nazi experimental program to cheat death and a mission to find a German bunker on a story that should have just been about fighting off zombies, who hardly appear. In fact, not to be too much of a spoiler, it isn’t until the soldiers make their way to the much sought after German base that the anticipated showdown with the zombies really…takes…off? Uhhmm, nah, not really. War of the Dead stays true to its name, and remains dull and dead. It’s too concerned with trying to be an epic war film (it isn’t) than trying to be a cool horror film (it isn’t). Perhaps if writer/director Marko Mäkilaakso could have made up his mind, the film would have been so much better, it’s filled with potential. Mäkilaakso’s has a great eye for visuals and atmosphere, but he doesn’t seem to have a clue how to handle a zombie film.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

16mm and Super 35mm film were used in shooting War of the Dead, and the film has a really gritty, grainy look pretty much straight through. This doesn’t always make for the best high definition material, especially when the grain crosses the line from simple grittiness to full-on noise. It does thankfully have strong dark levels with nuanced imagery, but there are some mild issues with banding and color gradations that can be spotted as well.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The sound mix for War of the Dead is nearly beyond reproach. The bullets whiz by, growls and screams surround you, and the dynamics are wide. Big, thunderous lows beef up the soundstage – and this is my only criticism — but, they may be just a little too unwieldy. Otherwise, this film has just the kind of well balanced blend of atmospherics and aggressive mix of discrete sound effects you want in a film like this.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

All you get in this Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is the theatrical trailer (HD). Entertain One does also allow you to access additional material if you download their app.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Where, oh, where is George A. Romero when you need him? The man invented the zombie film, and he could teach Marko Mäkilaakso a thing or two. For a film that sounds like a Romero film, War of the Dead has none of the things that make those zombi films interesting. It’s a snooze-fest from beginning to end.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
War of the Dead - Widescreen - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase War of the Dead on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B009TTTJRI[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
War of the Dead - Widescreen - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase War of the Dead on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]


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1 COMMENT

  1. Snooze fest is right. I just rented it from Blockbuster
    @Home through DISH and the only time that The War of the Dead excited me was
    today was when the mailman brought me it. Even my supervisor at DISH realizes
    that this The War of The Dead never lived up to its potential. And he loves
    horror films. But like you said; I think that was because this really wasn’t a
    horror film. Instead of waiting for the movie to end, or for the mail man to
    come, I took War of the Dead to the Blockbuster store down the street for a
    free exchange. Now that I don’t have Netflix, I never waste a movie night on
    mediocre films.

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