Season Five of ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Stalks to Disc May 19 From Lionsgate

Season five of “Fear the Walking Dead” arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD May 19 from Lionsgate.

From executive producer Gale Anne Hurd (TV’s “The Walking Dead,” AliensTerminator 2), the spin-off series stars Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, Maggie Grace, Garret Dillahunt, Rubén Blades, Lennie James and Austin Amelio.

Heading into season five of “Fear the Walking Dead,” the group’s mission is clear: locate survivors and help make what’s left of the world a slightly better place. With dogged determination, Morgan Jones leads the group with a philosophy rooted in benevolence, community, and hope. Each character believes that helping others will allow them to make up for the wrongs of their pasts. But trust won’t be easily earned. Their mission of helping others will be put to the ultimate test when the members of the group find themselves in uncharted territory, forced to face not just their pasts but also their fears. It is only by facing those fears that the group will discover an entirely new way to live, one that will leave them forever changed.

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Horror Sequel ‘Zombie Rampage 2’ Due on DVD Feb. 25 From MVD

The horror sequel Zombie Rampage 2 is stalking to DVD Feb. 25 from MVD Entertainment Group and Wild Eye Raw.

This is the long-awaited followup to Todd Sheets’ 1989 shot-on-video, direct-to-video splatterfest Zombie Rampage. Using newly unearthed footage from his aborted sequel to the VHS hit, Sheets has overseen the completion of the gore-soaked second installment in his zombie filmography that was thought lost forever.

In the film, two warring factions live side by side during the Zombie Rampage apocalypse.

The film stars Dilynn Fawn Harvey (Clownado, Bonehill Road, Hi-Death).

Zombieland: Double Tap

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 1/21/20;
Sony Pictures;
Comedy;
Box Office $73.09 million;
$30.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for bloody violence, language throughout, some drug and sexual content.
Stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch.

The original Zombieland in 2009 was such a delightful surprise that most fans considered a sequel to be an inevitability. Yet the years without one started to pile up, save for a pilot episode in 2013 of a TV adaptation for Amazon Prime Video that wasn’t picked up.

Ruben Fleischer, director of both the original film and this 10-years-later follow up, recalls in his commentary that plans for the sequel stalled because the creative team wasn’t satisfied with the script, so it was put on hold. Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick at least tried to resurrect the concept on Amazon, albeit with a new cast, before moving on to pen the “Deadpool” movies. Fleischer himself went on to direct Venom.

Eventually, though, they found a concept that works, and here we are with the hilarious Double Tap, dropping back in on the post-apocalypse to see how the core quartet of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) have adjusted to a decade of life fighting zombies.

Pretty well, it turns out. They’ve taken up residence in the abandoned White House, while Columbus and Wichita have graduated to a full-fledged romantic relationship. That leaves the now grown-up Little Rock a bit restless to find a boyfriend of her own, so she hits the road with a pacifist musician named Berkeley (Avan Jogia), who promises to take her to a walled off commune where weapons are banned and the residents hide out from the zombie hordes by getting stoned in a village atop a skyrise.

So the rest of the group sets off to find her, joined by Madison (Zoey Deutch), a ditzy blonde they find living at the mall.

The zombies have also evolved into different sub-groups, some smarter than others, some harder to kill than others, which ups the danger factor of their road trip.

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The joy of the “Zombieland” movies is that they fully embrace the blood, gore and dystopian flavor of the genre, while at the same time spoofing the hell out of it. This time around, the movie even engages in a bit of self-parody, such as when Columbus and Tallahassee encounter another duo (Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch) whose personalities are eerily similar.

The casting of Middleditch as a doppelganger for Eisenberg is but one example of the film’s meta-humor, owing to Eisenberg’s performance as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, and Middleditch as the tech startup CEO on HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” The similarity in their characters is so pronounced that Fleischer even calls Eisenberg “Tom” at one point in his commentary. Oops.

There are quite a few running gags at play in Double Tap, from an expansion of the survival rules introduced in the first film, to the elaborate “Zombie Kill of the Week” cutaways, to the search for the ideal post-apocalyptic vehicle, to reflections of the past 10 years from the point of view of a society frozen in 2009. And the filmmakers have filled the screen with enough clever background details that it may take several viewings to fully appreciate.

At its core, though, as with the first film, Zombieland: Double Tap is anchored by the winning chemistry of its cast and the audience’s eagerness to spend more time with them.

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The Blu-ray is loaded with some great bonus materials, starting with the aforementioned director’s commentary, which offers some good behind-the-scenes information.

The making of the film is also the focus of five featurettes totaling nearly 35 minutes, covering the creation of the film’s memorable vehicles and sets, to the new cast members, and a look at making the fantastic mid-credits sequence that calls back to a memorable cameo from the first film.

Another two-minute video gives viewers a director’s-eye view of one of the film’s notable fight scenes.

Fans should be especially thrilled by the nearly 13 minutes of deleted scenes on the disc, which offer some great character moments that didn’t quite work for the film’s pacing but offer some interest tidbits on their own, particularly when it comes to the Columbus/Wichita relationship.

Rounding out the extras are an amusing five-minute blooper reel and a 30-second PSA using the film’s premise to encourage viewers to prepare their own emergency survival kits.

 

 

‘Dead Earth’ Stalking to DVD and Digital Jan. 28 From Lionsgate

The action thriller Dead Earth comes out on DVD, digital, and on demand Jan. 28 from Lionsgate.

From filmmaker Wych Kaosayananda, director of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever and The Driver, Dead Earth tells a parallel story to The Driver, focusing on events that happen within the same post-apocalyptic world, with characters and locations intersecting between both films.

In the film, two young women cling to life in an abandoned resort. They must survive in silence, in mortal fear of attracting the hordes of undead. When their compound runs out of fuel, they are forced into the countryside to find gas, resulting in a nightmarish encounter with survivors. But that is nothing compared to the horrors that await them back at home, leading to a deadly confrontation with the evil that surrounds them.

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Zombie Comedy ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ Rises on Digital Sept. 3, Disc Sept. 10 From Universal

The zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die will stalk to digital (including Movies Anywhere) Sept. 3 and Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Sept. 10 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Directed by indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, the film stars Bill Murray (Olive Kitteridge, Lost in Translation, Ghostbusters), Adam Driver (Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, BlacKkKlansman) and Chloë Sevigny (“The Act,” Boys Don’t Cry) alongside an ensemble cast that includes Tilda Swinton (SuspiriaTrainwreck), Steve Buscemi (Hotel Transylvania Series, Fargo), Danny Glover (Proud MaryLethal Weapon Series), Caleb Landry Jones (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriGet Out), Rosie Perez (“Pure,” White Men Can’t Jump), Iggy Pop (Gimme DangerCoffee and Cigarettes), Sara Driver (Stranger than Paradise), RZA (“Snowfall,” The Man with the Iron Fists 2), Selena Gomez (Hotel Transylvania Series, Spring Breakers), Carol Kane (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Dog Day Afternoon), Austin Butler (The Intruders, “Arrow”), Luka Sabbat (“Grown-ish”) and Tom Waits (The Ballad of Buster ScruggsThe Book of Eli).

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In the sleepy small town of Centerville, something is not quite right. The moon hangs large and low in the sky, the hours of daylight are becoming unpredictable and animals are beginning to exhibit unusual behavior. No one foresees the strangest and most dangerous repercussion that will soon start plaguing the town. The dead rise from their graves and savagely attack and feast on the living — and the citizens must battle for their survival.

Bonus features on Blu-ray, DVD and digital include “Bill Murray: Zombie Hunting Action Star,” in which Murray discusses his fear of being typecast as an action hero; “Behind-the-Scenes of The Dead Don’t Die”; and “Stick Together,” in which Jarmusch’s frequent collaborators talk about his filmmaking style and what makes The Dead Don’t Die stand out from other zombie films.

Korean Zombie Movie ‘Rampant’ Coming to Digital and Disc Feb. 26 from Well Go

The Korean zombie film Rampant will stalk to digital, DVD and Blu-ray combo pack Feb. 26 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

From the studio behind Train to Busan comes the story of murderous creatures known as Night Demons who have overrun ancient Korea. Returning from a long imprisonment abroad, Prince Ganglim discovers that it will take the strength of his entire kingdom to stop the bloody rampage spreading across the nation.

Special features include making-of and behind-the-scenes segments.

FandangoNow Unveils 25 ‘Freshest’ Zombie Movies List to Celebrate ‘Living Dead’ Anniversary

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of zombie classic Night of the Living Dead, Fandango’s on-demand video service FandangoNow Oct. 1 launched a list of the 25 “freshest” zombie movies with the George Romero film taking the top spot.

The list was curated by movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on the movies’Tomatometer scores. (A movie gets a “Fresh” designation when at least 60% of its critic reviews are positive.)

On Oct. 1 only, fans can rent any (or all) of the zombie movies on the list at a discounted rate of $1 off the regular price when using the promo code LIVINGDEAD50 at checkout.

“Zombies owe their popularity today to a little low-budget film from Pittsburgh released 50 years ago today, and Night of the Living Dead has lost none of its power to shock, stun and terrify,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis. “With its stark, in-your-face black-and-white imagery of the dead coming back to flesh-eating life, director George Romero’s film made it clear to 1968 audiences that visceral horror no longer took the shape of Gothic frights like werewolves and vampires. It now looks just like your friends and neighbors, and there is no escape. To celebrate the ‘Dead’s 50th-anniversary FandangoNOW is hosting the top 25 zombie movies that you can view at home today, starting of course with the film that started it all.”

The list with Tomatometer scores is:

Night of Living Dead (1968) 97%
Train To Busan 96%
Dawn of the Dead (1978) 93%
Shaun of the Dead 92%
I Walked with a Zombie 92%
The Cabin in the Woods 91%
Return of the Living Dead 91%
Zombieland 90%
ParaNorman 89%
White Zombie 89%
[Rec] 88%
28 Days Later 87%
Dead Alive 86%
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead 83%
The Plague of the Zombies 80%
Warm Bodies 80%
Dawn of the Dead (2004) 75%
Planet Terror 74%
Land of The Dead 73%
The Crazies 71%
28 Weeks Later 71%
Dead Snow 68%
Night of the Living Dead (1990) 68%
World War Z 66%
The Serpent and the Rainbow 61%

 

Hulu Japan, Fox Home Entertainment Partner for Russian Zombie Series

Hulu Japan, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Japan and Nippon TV have partnered to distribute Russian Zombie series “The Day After ” on streaming, DVD/Blu-ray Disc and broadcast television.

Twelve episodes of the first season of the 2013 series “Vyzhit Posle” begins streaming Oct. 5, with a packaged-media release by Fox slated for Oct. 6. The series, which is considered Russia’s version of “The Walking Dead,” will be broadcast in Japan beginning Nov. 10.

The series story arc involves a drug company, attempting to create a perfect human race, releases a virus which proves to be deadly. People are dying by the thousands, but 11 young adults who wake up in a building basement with no memory of how they got there, find themselves responsible for determining the future of all mankind.

“We are thrilled to introduce our first acquisition of a Russian series to the audience in Japan,” Kazufumi Nagasawa, chief content officer at Hulu Japan, said in a statement. “We believe ‘The Day After’ has a huge potential in Japan given the popularity of ‘The Walking Dead’ and other zombie dramas here.”

Considered the second-largest home entertainment market globally (IHS Markit), Japan has slowly embraced SVOD. Hulu Japan, which was acquired from Hulu in United States by Nippon TV in 2014, has the second-largest market share in Japan, according to research firm GEM Partners.

Vyacheslav Murugov, CEO of CTC Media, which created the series, said the distribution deal helps establish Russia as a content creator.

“Our global ambitions are to create interesting TV content for people all over the world and to promote Russia as the country where content is born.This event is a huge and important step in our journey,” Murugov said.