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ZULU DAWN Released on Blu-Ray 12 March

     I've just heard that Zulu Dawn is to be released in a blu-ray and DVD combo pack on 12 March (2013) by Severin Films. Apparently it's only officially released in the US, but it's a region-free disc, so should play everywhere, and you will be able to get it via Amazon. I'm very much looking forward to this as I think that Zulu Dawn, whilst certainly not as good as its predecessor Zulu, is under-rated, and it's had a very checkered release history, both in the cinema and on video and DVD. I haven't seen the new version yet but it has supposedly been cleaned up and is in full high-definition - so I'm expecting the picture quality will be a vast improvement on the versions available before. And, let's face it, it's in the visuals that the film scores - the plot is pretty much 'iSandlwana by numbers' but the Zululand countryside looks stunning, and much of it was filmed on the historic locations (although, famously, the river crossing at Rorke's Drift is filmed the wrong way round, with the British crossing from the Zulu bank to the Natal one!). The crowd scenes, too, are majestic, and remember this was filmed long before the days of CGI, so everyone you actually see on screen was there on the day of filming. There are some oddities - powder-blue uniforms for the officers of Sikhali's Horse, and a troop of Lancers who have caught the boat out a few months too soon - and, for a film about a truly horrific event, it is a curiously bloodless film - thousands of people die before the audience's eyes, but very few bleed. It's probably fair to say that, in the post Saving Private Ryan world, one could make a better film about iSandlwana now - but in the meantime I am still pleased to see Zulu Dawn presented at its best. Apparently I am in the extras, too, a 'featurette' about the battle filmed, I must admit, very hurriedly and with a non-existent budget whilst I happened to be in Zululand with a Holts tour in 2011. I'll be interested to see how that's come out, too! Other extras include an interview with historical adviser Midge Carter, which should be fascinating, and - according to the press release - some of the footage shot for the movie but edited out of the final print.

     All in all this release is greatly to be welcomed, and to celebrate I'm posting a few stills of scenes that didn't make it to release, or interesting off-camera moments.