DVD Review: THE DEAD MATTER
By Dave Dreher
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Jul 26, 2010 - 6:58:22 PM
With the release of THE DEAD MATTER on DVD a life long quest has been fulfilled. Director Ed Douglas has known great success as a musician. His band MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE is the cream of the crop when it comes to Halloween themed music. You would think for most that alone would be enough but not for Ed.
He had a dream to take a short film that he directed several years back and transform it into a full length feature and with the help of Robert Kurtzman and his team at Precinct 13 he has done just that.
You can tell from the very first frame that this project is a labor of love. Shot on a very small budget and at locations in and around Northeast Ohio THE DEAD MATTER is a shining example of what someone with a passion for something can accomplish.
Is the film perfect, no it's not but it has got something that so many crap filled big budget, mind numbing projects lack, it has personality, it has heart.
All that aside, it's also a damn fine film.
So, what's it about you ask.
Some spoilers ahead but I will be as vague as possible.
In a nutshell THE DEAD MATTER tells the tale of an amulet that has the power to allow whom ever holds it to control the dead. Two vampires are hunting for the amulet. Andrew Divoff and Tom Savini star as the blood suckers and play the roles to the hilt. Divoff as Vellich looks just down right creepy with the long gray hair and that unmistakable accent making him perfectly evil casting. Savini plays it cool and calm as Sebed opting for a less over the top performance but still pulling off the gothic horror look that the film shoots for.
Also in the mix is Jason Carter as McCallister the films Van Helsing who is trying to stop either evil vamp from getting their hands on the amulet. Throw in a group of yuppies who accidentally end up with the amulet and you've got yourself a movie.
With zombie and physical effects being handled by the wizards at Robert Kurtzman's P13 this project ends up looking like a major Hollywood production and seeing that the whole thing was shot, edited and scored right here in good old North East Ohio well that just makes me proud as hell.
The DVD package itself is one of the most impressive I've seen in a while. It comes at us as a 3 disc set. Disc one is the feature along with all the special features which I will discuss here in a few seconds.
Disc 2 is THE DEAD MATTER soundtrack CD and disc 3 is a Midnight Syndicate greatest hits copulation titled HALLOWEEN MUSIC which is very simply the one and only Halloween mood music CD you will ever need.
As far as special features go we are treated to something they are calling Maximum Dead Matter which I absolutely loved. The concept is simple. The feature plays in the top left hand of the screen while picture in picture style we are treated to behind the scenes looks at the scenes playing in the feature. Interviews with cast and crew are interjected throughout and I found myself completely wrapped up in the production of this film.
It was better then a running commentary track and much better then a simple "making of " feature. A very simplistic notion that works well and is completely entertaining. Easily one of the best "special feature" packages that I have seen in a while.
While the film in a few moments does show its low budget roots it for the most part is an effective, blood filled addition to zombie lore while offering an interesting story twist that keeps you watching till the very end.
THE DEAD MATTER is one that you should definitely seek out and enjoy and you won't have to look real hard. If you've got a Mall nearby you should be able to pick it up. The DVD will be available nation wide at HOT TOPIC stores on July 30th
You can CLICK HERE and head on over to the films official site where you can find out even more about the film.
THE DEAD MATTER is home grown down and dirty horror made by folks that simply love it, appreciate it and respect it. You can't ask for more then that.
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