Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 21st, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1972
Director: Armando Crispino
Writers: Lucio Battistrada, Armando Crispino, Lutz Eisholz
Cast: Alex Cord, Samantha Egga, John Marley, Nadja Tiller, Enzo Tarascio, Horst Frank, Enzo Cerusico, Carlo De Mejo
DVD released: July 13th, 2010
Approximate running time: 106 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $21.48
Synopsis: An alcoholic archeologist excavating Etruscan ruins becomes the main suspect when several people close to him turn up dead.
The Dead are Alive was co-written and directed by Armando Crispino (Autopsy). The screenplay for this film was based on a short story that was written by Bryan Edgar Wallace. The cinematographer on The Dead are Alive was Erico Menczer, who’s other notable credits include Hired Killer (Tecnica di un omicidio), Emilio Miraglia’s Assassination, Machine Gun McCain and The Cat o’ Nine Tails. The score for The Dead are Alive was composed by Riz Ortolani, who’s other notable scores include Mondo Cane, One on Top of the Other, Seven Blood-Stained Orchids, Cannibal Holocaust and House on the Edge of the Park. Other alternate titles that The Dead are Alive is also known by include The Etruscan Kills Again and the film’s Italian language title ‘L’etrusco uccide ancora’.
Even though this film starts off with a supernatural slant to the killings. It quickly becomes apparent that the killer in this film is more of the flesh and blood variety. And staying true to the giallo genre conventions this film has several well placed red herrings. After a slow moving opening act the film finally hits its stride by the second act. The strongest section of this film is the final act / conclusion. Which does a great job putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. The kills scenes have just the right amount of gore. The one area where this film is at its best are the flashback sequences which help put into perspective everything that is going on. The one area where this film is most lacking are the one note performances from the majority of its cast, especially its lead actor Alex Cord (The Last Grenade). When compared to Autopsy, Armando Crispino’s more well known foray into the giallo genre. The Dead are Alive is the more conventional thriller of the two films.
Code Red presents The Dead are Alive in a anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 scope aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. This film was released on DVD several years ago by a company named Eurovista. This new release from Code Red is superior to that release in every way. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Black levels look very good and details look crisp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Even though there are some instances of background noise that varies in degree throughout. Dialog is clear enough to follow.
This DVD comes with no menu and this releases only extra, a trailer for Family Honor. Plays before the film. Overall Code Red gives The Dead are Alive it’s best audio / video presentation to date.