The first Underworld is the perfect example of glitz over substance, but a fast-paced storyline, lots of action, R-rated gore and yes, Kate Beckinsale in black leather, made it a worthwhile entry in the action-horror genre, if there is such a thing. Unfortunately, such a film inevitably led to a sequel, which tried to be bigger and better but suffered from the typical sequel issues. Underworld: Evolution was entertaining, but overblown.
Now, with the release of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – which replaces Kate Beckinsale with Rhona Mitra – Sony is bringing Underworld and Underworld: Evolution back to DVD in an all-new Double Feature DVD set, which includes the unrated director’s cut of the original film (15 extra minutes, give or take) and its sequel.
Aside from the extended version, the original’s disc lacks much in the way of bonus features, other than a director’s commentary, some rather weak outtakes and a documentary called Fang vs. Fiction, which looks at the historical significance of vampires and werewolves. There are some interesting moments in this documentary, but it loses its grip after a while – especially when it starts to appear more promotional of the movie than anything else.
The second film is graced with a better set of bonus features, most notably a series of six featurettes that look at various aspects of the production. These are featurettes are slightly promotional and seem content with not showing much of value, but when they do there are some interesting tidbits. A rather lame music video and more director’s commentary is also included.
If you don’t own the Underworld movies, this little double feature set may be worth purchasing, but if you already have the films on DVD, there’s not much in the way of new material; Sony just repackaged stuff it already had.