I KNOW THAT purists are going to jump all over me, but Danny Boyle's humane horror movie is to zombie flicks what The Godfather was to classic '30s gangster filmsthe artful apotheosis of all the scrappy genre pleasures that came before it. That said, the one thing missing from this otherwise comprehensive single-disc release (Oct. 21) is any respectful mention of its undead ancestry.
Yes, Alex (The Beach novelist) Garland's trenchant screenplay concerns a small group of survivors who are physically and morally besieged by victims of a monstrous virus and nottechnically speaking, anywayzombies, but it owes a lot to George Romero's Night of the Living Dead and even more to the Charlton Heston opus The Omega Man. Neither gets a shout out on the DVD; a rather grimly self-important making-of doc only gives some academics the chance to overuse the word "pandemic" in an attempt to lend the movie's nightmares a little veracity.
Still, Boyle and Garland are entertaining guides on their shared commentary: Garland groans that one of the deleted scenes is "unspeakable," and Trainspotting director Boyle laughs that the question now most frequently asked of him is not "How did you get Ewan MacGregor to come out of the toilet?" but rather how he accomplished the stunning scenes of depopulated London's devastation (answer: simple catch-as-catch-can traffic control). The two also perform a "radical alternative ending," reading dialogue and screen directions over storyboards for a stark denouement thatha!would have had the central protagonist martyred so that others may be cured . . . à la The Omega Man. STEVE WIECKING
THERE'S NO CURE for overacting and melodrama in It Runs in the Family, also out Oct. 21, with Kirk, Michael, and Cameron Douglas. Other titles include the moving documentary Trembling Before G-d, about Orthodox Jews struggling to reconcile faith with homosexuality; Javier Bardem and Victoria Abril in the saucy Spanish thriller Between Your Legs; and the underwhelming Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, which, weirdly, comes in both rated and unrated versionslike there's an all-girl three-way or what? The week's big release is the Indiana Jones trilogy: four discs for 50 bucks, lots of extras, but no commentaries (!) from Harrison Ford, director Steven Spielberg, or producer George Lucas. What a rip-off. EDS.