A press release came across our desks today that reminded us how often truth is stranger than fiction. Here we were thinking the war between HD DVD and Blu-ray had been decided months ago when WetNWildRadio Films and Anthem Pictures announced that on October 27th the independent zombie horror film Deadlands 2: Trapped will be making its way to … HD DVD. Kind of ironic that a zombie film would be helping HD DVD try to come back from the dead, no?
When asked why he was releasing the film in this defunct format, Deadlands 2 writer/director Gary Ugarek, an avid HD DVD collector, had this to say:
“Over the last 18 months, since HD DVD’s demise, I and a small group of HD DVD enthusiasts have scoured every part of the planet trying to obtain the leftover releases of HD DVD material. We were early adopters of the format and still feel to this day the format shouldn’t have been left to die off. So I did some research and realized the following: During HD DVD’s release over 1,000,000 player units were sold and over 800 titles were released for the format. At the end of its tenure the market penetration still remained strong, and the format built a dedicated fanbase.
I set out to see if these HD DVD owners would be interested in a brand new release. I presented all the information about the film, gave them access and links to trailers, the press kit and the technical aspects. and you know what? THEY LOVED THE IDEA. The feedback was unbelievable. Within 36 hours of putting the question out there, I received over 200+ emails, within 96 hours I had 380+ requests from HD DVD fans asking me to make this happen.
I presented the idea to Anthem Pictures, the distributor, and they liked it and immediately jumped behind it.”
One wouldn’t think a $6,000 zombie film would be a candidate for such a release, but Deadlands 2: Trapped somehow is. The HD DVD release will be limited to 500 copies only, with each disc noting the fact it is a LIMITED COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Each disc will also come with a Certificate of Authenticity numbering which copy the purchaser received.
When asked if he’s at all a supporter of the Blu-ray format, Ugarek replied, “I am, but when you have a fanbase for a format like HD DVD does, and you see the passion of its supporters, I immediately knew I wanted to do this for the fans. I want to give them something special.”
Special it is. Writer/director Ugarek is in fact filming some new special HD DVD only content. The tentative features thus far include:
A synopsis of the flick is as follows: Deadlands 2: Trapped stars Jim Krut (Dawn of the Dead) and Josh Davidson (Perkins 14) and tells a story in which the United States Government has developed a highly effective nerve gas that is unleashed upon the residents of a small Maryland city. During the top secret exercise the infected citizens begin to convert the other residents into a sort of living zombie until only 6 people, total strangers, remain, trapped inside a movie theater cineplex.
Click here to access Anthem Pictures’ special page to pre-order Deadlands 2: Trapped, and feel free to write directly to Gary Ugarek (click here) with any questions you may have about the film or his decision to release it on HD DVD.
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Rekindle the Blu-ray vs HD DVD debate below or in the Dread Central forums!