|Night of the Living Dead (DVD, 1999, Multiple Languages)|
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|NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (DVD, 1999)|
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While the original 1968 filmed in Black & White is considered a cult classic and is credited with starting the Zombie movie genre and craze that followed (although it is not the first zombie movie), the 1999 remake was even better in many ways. Tom Savini kept just enough of the original George Romero script to appease those that loved the 1968 version. New scenes and elements were added to modernize the film while the script was tweeked just enough to keep those that have seen the original film on the edge of our seats. While black & white adds an erie dimension of foreboding, the 1999 color remake brings a depth and visceral rawness to the film that only color can achieve. If you are a horror movie buff and especially a zombie movie buff, this is one that no collection should be without.
Theatrical release: October 1, 1968.
Filmed in 1964 in the countryside around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1999.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was director George Romero's first feature film.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD produced two sequels, DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) and DAY OF THE DEAD (1985); one remake, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990); and countless imitations.
William Hinzman, who appeared as the Cemetery Zombie at the beginning of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, also served as cinematographer on Romero's THE CRAZIES.
The film was made for $114,000.
Taken From The Zombie Memorabilia Website: ARCHIVES OF THE DEAD
Based on George A. Romero’s 1968 cult classic “Night of the Living Dead,” Savini’s version portrays Barbara (played by Patricia Tallman) as a strong heroine lead who conquers her fears (e.g., witnessing the death of her brother Johnnie and seeing zombies that just won’t die) and shows a resolve not usually seen in people facing seemingly insurmountable odds—such a being trapped inside a secluded farmhouse surrounded by mindless zombies, with no transportation in sight.
But looking beyond the zombie crisis (whose origins were unfortunately not fully explained during the course of the film), the personality dynamics of those trapped inside this Western Pennsylvania farmhouse are the true stars of the film as they tackles a number of issues such as: How people handle crisis situations, who among them comes forward and takes charge, who ends up being the followers, and who among the characters is able to “reach down deep” and go beyond expectations? Lastly, are there those who would be altruistic or just end up fending from themselves?
At least from this perspective, Night of the Living Dead (1990) seems to have all the answers.
You can't help but feel a tingle of deja vu while watching the color remake of Night of the Living Dead. It is essential for full enjoyment to have seen the original since the remake takes the same story and twists and tweaks it to bring it into the 90's. People are divided into two camps on this film. They either absolutely hate it or they have been enraptured by the change-up's that it pitches at you. I am of the later camp. At least Barbara (played by the beautiful Patricia Tallman) has enough of her wits about her to point out how irrational everybody else is being instead of being the catatonic victim like the first time around. "They're so slow. We can just walk right by them." She remarks to Ben (Tony Todd) who is adamant about staying in the house. Perhaps this version isn't socially relevant like the first, but it's nice to see that Romero can add a twist ending that can stand on it's own merits, but really is amusing in light of the former movie.
The remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD sticks to the basic premise of the original, but it's even better. 1. It's in color. 2. Barbara grows a backbone. She kicks ass, shoots zombies, logically points out that the zombies are so slow she can probably outrun them, and best of all she is NOT wearing a wig that threatens to fall off at any minute, as Barbara does in the original version. Barbara's brother is still a hopeless dork. 3. TONY TODD, cast against horror-movie type as the hero, has almost all the lines in the first half of the movie. He practically delivers a monologue, since Barbara is still in shock and the other characters are zombies. If anyone other than Todd tried this, it would come off as cheesy, but his hypnotic voice makes it work. Even as the gruesome Candyman, Todd was sexy; as a hero, his sex appeal is magnified tenfold. 4. I live in Western Pennsylvania, and the gun-toting inbred hicks portrayed in the movie are, sadly, not much exaggerated. Verdict: One of the best of the LIVING DEAD series, right up there with the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD and the social satire but still action-packed LAND OF THE DEAD.