For a movie that claims to be “the definitive zombie culture documentary,” Doc of the Dead nearly hits a home run. While Birth of the Living Dead (2013) is better, it only focuses on George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968). Doc attempts to do something very ambitious: Start with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and make it all the way to 2014 in 81 minutes! Whew!
The only weakness I can see is that they don’t spend enough time on the early stuff. They mention Caligari, White Zombie (1932) and I Walked With a Zombie (1943). Then they jump to Romero and never look back. Since the film was only 81 minutes long, I think there was plenty of time to mention a few other classics such as Lucio Fulci’s artful Zombi 2 (1979), Hammer Horror’s The Plague of the Zombies (1966), and the light-hearted Zombies on Broadway (1945). They are a part of the whole story along with modern takes on the classic “Haitian zombie” such as Wes Caven’s underrated The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988).
I must confess I’m a zombie addict so most people would not even notice the absence of these films. Doc of the Dead is a wonderful documentary that explores all things zombie and why they are near and dear to our hearts!
RATING: Very Good.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.