Living Dead, TheFeatured
I've been a huge zombie movie fan since I saw Dawn of the Dead when I was under 10 years old. Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead are easily my favorite zombie and horror movies so I was looking forward to see this fanedit.
I'm not a huge fan of combining two/several movies into one. It works with series' episodes but not that well with movies. Now combining Dawn and Day is tricky because they have different stories and different atmospheres. I'm sorry to tell but it didn't quite work because of that but Maniac did give a good effort doing that. Although I have to mention that Diary of the Dead material didn't fit at all with the rest of the movie. Fortunately it's only used in the beginning. The transition between Dawn and Dead was done very well though.
Another problem with this fanedit is that the movies suffered quite a bit on the "cutting table". Sure, Dawn of the Dead was a compact and action packed story but IMO the movie's strength always was the character development. During the film you always got attached to the characters. In this fanedit you don't have it quite in that strength. If you're looking for a more action paced version and you like the Argento's version of the Dawn of the Dead, this is for you then. It was still good but I prefer the original theatre cut over this.
Day of the Dead suffered from the same issue. The character development suffered and also I never got the feeling of being stuck underground surrounded by zombies the same way than the original version. I do admit however that the dialogue in most part is not that good in the first place. So maybe this fanedit did a favor in that regards?
Visual and Audio editing was done very well. In Dawn of the Dead there were boosted and modern sound effects used which was refreshing. Most of the effects were still the original but the modern ones gave a better impact on the action. Video quality wasn't the best but still better I was expecting from the SD source of Argento's Dawn of the Dead. The color palette in Argento's version is better than in the theatre version of the blu-ray. Colder and thus creepier. Audio in the Argento's version is a bit bad because of "pre echos" but not in the manner that it bothers. It kind of creates a special, scarier feeling into the film.
Overall I did enjoy this fanedit but I still prefer watching both the movies separately. My preferred version of Dawn of the Dead would be the theatre version with boosted sound effects, better (colder) colors and some of the stock music replaced by Goblin soundtrack. Not all of them though... some of them work really well. I have done some editing myself on Dawn a year ago but not sure if I'll ever finish and release it.
End of this big review. RIP George Romero.