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Midnight Marathon Pack: Zombies (DVD)

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Overview

Synopsis

The Serpent and the Rainbow
Horror maven Wes Craven attempted a slight change of pace from his usual slasher movie milieu with this chiller loosely based on a true story. Bill Pullman stars as Dennis Alan, a Harvard researcher sent to Haiti by a pharmaceutical company to investigate the zombie legend and any possible connection it might have to a rumored drug that could be used as a new breed of powerful anaesthetic. Once on the Caribbean isle, Alan is aided by a good voodoo priest or "houngan" (Paul Winfield) and his daughter (Cathy Tyson), who runs a local clinic. Alan's search also pits him against an evil houngan, Dargent Peytraud (Zakes Mokae). Peytraud also controls the Tonton Macoute (the Haitian secret police), who are involved with soon-to-be-deposed dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier. The Serpent and the Rainbow was based on the book of the same name by Wade Davis, an ethnobotanist whose real-life hunt for the zombie drug was credited with cracking the medical mystery behind the myth. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi, Rovi

Prince of Darkness
Proving that you can never guess what you'll find when you clean out the basement, a man of the cloth discovers that ultimate evil has made a hiding place in his cellar in this tale of terror. Father Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is a priest who discovers a strange object in a church basement -- a canister filled with a swirling and volatile green substance. With the help of Professor Birack (Victor Wong), Loomis discovers the startling truth about his find -- it seems that Satan, who is actually an alien life form, had a son, and the essence of the devil's spawn is trapped inside the canister. The evil spirit has been guarded by a group calling themselves "The Brotherhood of Sleep," but the spirit has the ability to free itself whenever it decides the time is right...and it seems that time is just around the corner. Prince of Darkness was directed by horror master John Carpenter; he also wrote the screenplay under the pseudonym Martin Quatermass. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi, Rovi

Dawn of the Dead
The feature-film debut of director Zack Snyder, Dawn of the Dead is a modern retelling of George Romero's 1978 horror classic, which was actually the second film in a trilogy that began with Night of the Living Dead and concluded with Day of the Dead. Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames star as two of the last remaining people on an earth that has been ravaged by flesh-eating zombies. After escaping to a shopping mall with a handful of other survivors, they decide that they only way to truly elude the approaching throng of undead is to somehow make their way to an island that is supposedly zombie-free. Jake Weber and Mekhi Phifer also star. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi, Rovi

Land of the Dead
George A. Romero, who revolutionized the American horror film in 1968 with the instant classic Night of the Living Dead, returns to his dystopian zombie cycle with this horror thriller. In Land of the Dead, the zombies whose numbers had been slowly but steadily growing through Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead now dominate the streets of most American cities, while urban skyscrapers have been taken over by surviving humans, usually greed-addled opportunists who allow the living to stay in their fortified compounds for a price. Guarding the buildings are rough-and-tumble mercenaries who have learned to do battle with the zombies, making use of powerful weapons to gain advantage. But as the zombie civilization grows, the creatures have begun to slowly evolve, with their dormant thought processes beginning to awaken, and as unrest begins to ferment among the mercenaries and the entrepreneurs who pay them, the ghouls may have found a way to defeat the last stronghold of humanity. Land of the Dead stars Dennis Hopper as arch capitalist Kaufman, and Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Robert Joy, and Asia Argento as some of the mercenaries; Asia Argento's father, Dario Argento, served as a producer on one of the earlier films in the series, Dawn of the Dead. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi, Rovi

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