The Dead 2 Blu-ray Review
A man drips sweat and has a vacant look in his eyes. He hunches over and holds in his arm as other citizens watch him in fright. One mentions that he was bitten by a woman in town. On the radio, a newsman reports on “strange and unprovoked acts of cannibalism and violence” with unknown motives. When night falls, a group of mourners are attacked. By the next day, the local hospital will be swarming with emergency calls.
American turbine engineer Nicholas Burton (Joseph Millson, who appeared in 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY) is working in the area under a contract. He has under a week left on the job and has just found out his girlfriend, Ishani Sharma (Meenu Mishra, in her debut), is pregnant. She warns that something terrible is happening around her. In the distance, Burton sees a man being attacked and chewed on. Seeing the immediate danger—Ishani and her father (Sandip Datta Gupta, also in his debut) even get through an argument without a zombie sinking their teeth into someone outside— Burton knows he must travel the 300 miles to find her.
Sometime after striking a zombie with his vehicle, cracking another’s head open with a mallet and escaping a rooftop with a device that looks like something Inspector Gadget might pull out of his coat, he meets Javed (Anand Krishna Goyal, who may be recognizable to those familiar with DEMOCRACY NOW!), a young orphan who also narrowly escaped doom and is quick to help Burton.
THE DEAD 2 is a sequel to—you guessed it—THE DEAD, released in 2010. That movie was told of an Air Force engineer trying to survive West African surroundings and a plague of zombies. This time around, the action shifts to India. Like its predecessor (which premiered at Frightfest), THE DEAD 2 (also labeled as THE DEAD 2: INDIA) is nearly non-stop with its display of zombies, blood and guts. And that’s just what fans of the original—and zombie movies as a whole—want.
THE DEAD 2 is one of who-knows-how-many zombie movies to be released since the genre’s resurrection. But, unlike those that were made simply to cash in, THE DEAD 2 is helmed by two men—the Ford Brothers, Howard J. and Jon—who treat the scenarios with a straight face (there is even a rather dramatic scene where one of the characters questions everything they have learned about their religion). To them, this isn’t just another easily discarded entry; they actually care about what can be done with the genre.
What will jump out to those familiar with the first movie is the similar structure of a foreigner with minimal means of survival in a zombie-ridden land they are alien to. This seems fairly lazy of the Ford Brothers, who rehash much of what made the original so enjoyable and suspenseful.
The Ford Brothers certainly have a future in the horror genre, so long as they branch out a bit and their next effort isn’t called something like THE DEAD: CAMBODIA.
Video: 1.85:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. The transfer occasionally presents fine details in the surroundings, but the overall image lacks dimension.
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Subtitles in English and Spanish. The audio is a bit more effective and makes the effort to put the viewer into the zombie-infested surroundings.
The Making of THE DEAD 2 (29:12): Film critic Billy Chainsaw sits down with the Ford Brothers to discuss the locations, cast and more of THE DEAD 2. Included is behind-the-scenes footage.
Deleted Scenes (2:21): There are two brief discarded scenes.