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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > Mystery > Literature > Zombies > Political > Universal Halloween Starter Pack Blu-rays (Dawn Of The Dead remake/Land Of The Dead - Unrated/John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982))

Universal Halloween Starter Pack Blu-rays (Dawn Of The Dead remake/Land Of The Dead - Unrated/John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982))


Picture: B     Sound: B+     Extras D/B-/C+     Films: D/B-/B



Now issued on Blu-ray and NOT including any of the films from the Halloween franchise are three of Universal’s catalog Horror films that have sold and rented well.  We have previously covered all three in other formats, including all in their now out-of-print HD-DVD versions.  You can read about all three at these links:


Dawn Of The Dead remake HD-DVD



Land Of The Dead Unrated DVD


HD-DVD/DVD Combo Edition



John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) HD-DVD




The 1080p digital High Definition playback is the same in all three cases, but the sound is upgraded in all three cases from various Dolby codecs to DTS HD MA (Master Audio lossless) 5.1 mixes.  Dawn was in Dolby TrueHD on its HD-DVD and the soundtracks are virtually the same in sound and flaws.  Land had regular DTS on its DVD side and a slightly weaker Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix on the HD side.  The DTS HD MA is a tad better than the DTS and more so with the Dolby Plus, but this was a problematic sound mix to begin with and remains so.


That leaves The Thing, which is the oldest soundtrack here, yet has as much character as any of them, even with its limits.  I was hoping the sound would be upgraded here and to my surprise, The Thing may have an HD image with limits, but the DTS here far surpasses the Dolby in all of its previous incarnations and is more impressive than I expected.  He sound is fuller, bass richer, dialogue clearer, Morricone’s score wider and comes much closer to what the 70mm sound would have been like than all previous editions.  Fans will be very pleased.


Extras are less here than they were on previous DVD and HD-DVD releases, but Dawn retains its commentary and interviews as does The Thing, while Land does have the same extras as its previous editions.  The Thing has much more and Universal should have kept all the extras from the previous edition.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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