Review: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead DVD

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead DVD boxSTUDIO: Indican | DIRECTOR: Jordan Galland | CAST: Jake Hoffman, John Ventimiglia, Devon Aoki, Jeremy Sisto, Ralph Macchio, Mike Landry
RELEASE DATE: 11/9/10 | PRICE: DVD $24.99, Blu-ray $29.99
BONUSES: commentary, deleted scenes and outtakes, on-set webcam interviews, world premiere interviews with cast, director interview, more
SPECS: NR | 83 min. | Horror comedy | 1.85:1 widescreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

The title of this comedy-horror movie, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead, would seem to signal a Shakespearean zombie send-up. Instead, this is a vampire Shakespearean spoof that has grafted an urban neurotic comedy on its rewrite of Hamlet.

In the film, Jake Hoffman (Click) gets in the middle of a 2,000-year-old conspiracy when he’s hired to direct a strange adaptation of Hamlet. Writer/director Jordan Galland creates an easy “out” for the oddness of the plot by having the characters acknowledge that the vampire Hamlet they’re mounting is badly written. However, although Hoffman, who also is trying to win back his ex (Devon Aoki of Sin City), knows the production is ridiculous, he is somehow slow to notice that the playwright he’s working with is a vampire, intent on feasting on the living members of the cast.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead will work best for viewers looking for a campy horror-comedy mix, but it could attract others viewers. The movie boasts great New York City locations and two notable cast members: Ralph Macchio (My Cousin Vinny) and Jeremy Sisto (TV’s Six Feet Under). The most notable credit on the picture, however, is Sean Lennon, who composed the Danny Elfman-esque score.

The special features on the DVD are heavy on interviews, including a bunch of on-set webcam pieces and chats with the cast at the film’s world premiere.


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About Ed

Ed Grant has written about film for a wide range of periodicals, books and websites. He edited the reference book The Motion Picture Guide Annual and, since 1993, has produced and hosted the weekly cable program Media Funhouse, which Time magazine called “the most eclectic and useful movie show on TV.”