PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - B
Never ran into this error message before; had to break Part I into two...
The text that you have entered is too long (24205 characters). Please shorten it to 20000 characters long.
The "Millennium Edition" was the second attempt by Elite Entertainment
for a deluxe release.
The first happend five years earlier. Streeted on August 6th, 1997 for $29.95 was the "Special Collector’s Edition" DVD (#EE1116). I do not own this. Information comes from various locales online and my archive. Good.
This version had less bonuses than the "Millennium Edition".
I'm taking a guess; since there were no subtitles on the 2002 DVD, there probably was none here either. Same goes for the dubbed option, not present.
As to be expected, this is ninety-six minutes.
- - -
* Commentary 1: director/co-writer George A. Romero, co-writer/actor/film editor John Russo, producer/actor/make-up/electronic sound effects/still photographer Karl Hardman and actress Marilyn Eastman
* Commenatry 2: producer/actor Russell Streiner, director of photography/actor/assistant camera Bill Hinzman, actress Judith O' Dea, actor Keith Wayne, actress Kyra Schon and production director/actor Vince Survinski
* "Night Of The Living Bread" short (full screen, 8:25 minutes)
* The Latent Image Commericals: Guiness Book/Chevy Dealers #1, Guiness Book/Chevy Dealers #2, The Calgon Story, Iron City Beer (all full screen)
* Theatrical Trailer
* TV Spot
- - -
* Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono)
- - -
Since this is also from the laser disc print, it too has the THX
treatment. The big selling point was that DVD had the best possible image presentation. Looking at the picture of the rear cover (found online), it's different. I'm not used to seeing the chapters listed in back. It came in a black case. Oh yeah, no insert included with this release. This edition did include
the false start. The odd thing is that this release has 31 chapters. Why didn't this carry over to the later, better DVD?
Since were talking about other editions, I should include this. Yes
, I hate that image too. On November 27th, 1996 Elite Entertainment
released a bare bones, budget, single disc LD (#EE1115), CLV only. This sold for $34.95 and like the other laser disc has 31 chapters. The only extra was the trailer. I do not own this. Why would I? The 25th anniversary set is way better.
- - - - - - - - - -
SOUNDTRACKS PART I
Up until two years ago, there's been a single official
soundtrack to the horror classic. Released by Varése Sarabande
in 1982 was "Night Of The Living Dead: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (#STV 81151). The catch? It was issued exclusively on vinyl. The LP had 15 tracks and LONG out of print. I do not own this... format. Like the feature film, the soundtrack has had various bootlegs. I'm guilty of owning two of them.
The first one was bought from Monsters In Motion
website in 2003, don't remember the price. I thought it was real, nope. It's a CD-R, it plays in my CD player, but what it's lacking is quality. It is as if the person responsible just hooked up a record player to his computer. Zero attempt to clean up the audio. It was awful, like poor radio reception. What the hell? I lost money on that. The covers (came in a CD case) was printed off an ink jet printer that was running low on pigment. Man, I had to work on the above picture to make it look as good as it does. Which is pretty amazing, I thought I threw that piece of crap away years ago. Why do I still own this? I'm not joking, that's a serious question. It's shit.
The second was pure digital. Thank you, interwebs.
This happened in the Summer of 2006. I was reading IMDb
's messageboard for NOTLD and saw someone posted a link for a download, the soundtrack - presented in 192 bits. Awesome!
So I did. As I recall, he/she didn't do it. They found the link elsewhere and included it in their reply to the soundtrack question. This was bare bones, no tagging. But the sound quality was great. Who ever did this, took the time to make it as good as it could be.
So I tagged the hell out of them. Looked online and found the various track information (complete artist data) and a copy of the liner notes by Romero himself (inserted into Lyrics). I did a good job, nay I did a fantastic job! Found a good image of the vinyl cover and included that too.
It still needed work. So I took up the cause in 2010. Did I not mention I kinda procrastinate? For those who don't know, as a hobby I do audio restoration. As I wrote above, I'm anal. You would be surprised how many albums are released wrong; snaps, pops and clicks. Someone is definitely asleep at quality control. When I rip my CDs (which I own
) into MP3s. I sometimes need to extract the AIF documents and repair them. I'm anal, it bugs me. One of the big offenders was the soundtrack to "A View To A Kill" (2003), remastered my ass!!! I had to fix several BIG snaps on it. What the hell? How could they NOT hear that? Okay sorry, taking a step back.
So I took all the MP3s and converted into AIF documents. There isn't some super spiffy program like from Star Trek
to clean up snaps and such with a single push of button. You have to do it by hand - second per second. My restoration took a week an a half to complete. Some were far too embedded for removal. I did the best I could to make them as unnoticeable as they could be. In addition to mending, some tracks and track portions were amplified because of low audio. They were then ripped back as 192 MP3s (and retagged).
I know what some of you are thinking. Yes, a bit of fidelity was lost. But that loss is negligible. The album was in mono, there shouldn't be any noticeable degradation (the source was 192 bits) - unless you have serious hardware. The outcome was the best possible solution to that situation.
I also improved my original tagging, now with movie trivia on each track. Plus I recreated the Varése Sarabande
cover. The image is a composite of six elements and color corrected. You can read the text clearly. I learned much in that four years. It looks mighty swift. *nods*
Important. The soundtrack was made up of existing library music, not made for the movie. It saved the production money as it was an indie flick.
- - -
1. Driveway To The Cemetary (Main Title)
2. At The Gravesite/Flight/Refuge
3. Farmhouse/First Approach
4. Ghoulash (JR's Demise)
5. Boarding Up
6. First Radio Report/Torch On The Porch
7. Boarding Up 2/Discovery: Gun 'N Ammo
8. Cleaning House
9. First Advance
10. Discovery Of TV/Preparing To Escape/Tom And Judy
11. Attempted Escape
12. Truck On Fire/Ben Attacks Harry/Leg Of Leg
13. Beat 'Em Or Burn 'Em/Final Advance
14. Helen's Death/Dawn/Posse In The Fields/Ben Awakes
15. OK Vince/Funeral Pyre (End Title)
- - - - - - - - - -
SOUNDTRACKS PART II
Things changed in 2010 (May 25th). For the first time an official CD was created, "They Won't Stay Dead!: Music From The Soundtrack Of Night Of The Living Dead", put out by Zero Day Releasing
(#ZDCD21). I don't own this, but will soon enough. I pretty much own all the 'Dead' CD soundtracks. I will be buying this, I'm just waiting for a nice Ebay
Look... I didn't know about this. If I did, I would've have wasted so much time remastering that bootleg, seems all so pointless now. Well at least my repairs for "Bram Stoker's Dracula" CD soundtrack (1992) hasn't been in vain. Yet.
Anyhow, the company ZDR
also released a NOTLD documentary called "Autopsy Of The Dead" (2009), haven't seen it. I will eventually.
This new soundtrack is remastered from original (mono) sources from Capitol Hi-Q
's production library. The track names are the original titles'. Due to copyright issues, they couldn't rename them as they did for the 1982 album. Which means the old Varése Sarabande
release is kinda illegal. How cute.
- - -
1. Eerie Heavy Echo (L-1204)
2. Night Suspense (JB-33)
3. Heavy Agitato (TC 416)
4. Light Suspense (JB-37)
5. Fateful Fire (TC 151)
6. Dreary Danger (TC 157)
7. Weird Eerie (ZR-87C)
8. Small Disaster (TC 130)
9. Reserved Disaster (TC 127)
10. Space Drama
11. Black Night (TC 155)
12. Shock Suspense
14. The Music Box
15. Mystery Hour
16. Curious Danger (TC 158)
17. Dramatic Eerie (PG 190)
18. Mysterioso (8-ZR-8)
19. Danger In The Night (Take 9)
20. Mysterioso (ZR-68)
21. Emotional Bridge
22. Somber Emotional (L-33)
23. Punch Disaster (TC 132)
24. Attack at the Window (Medley)
26. Acoustic Space Station (Take 8)
27. Weird Suspense
28. Mysterioso (ZR-65)
29. Mysterioso (ZR-9)
30. Serene Heart (TC-306)
31. Tension (TC 402)
32. Sting 44 (TC 344)/Sting 27 (TC 329)
33. Fire (JB-28)
34. Chase (ZR-62)
35. Heavy Dramatic (CB 16B)
36. Heavy Dramatic (CB 54)
37. Heavy Dramatic (CB 15A)
38. Heavy Dramatic (CB 15B)
39. Eerie Heavy Echo (L-1216)
40. Eerie Heavy Echo (L-1214)
- - - - - - - - - -
There is a hidden gem within the "Millennium Edition", a vintage ad for the Monroeville Mall
(circa 1969). The same Pennsylvania mall where "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978) was filmed. I do not know if this TV commercial was made by Latent Image
, could very well be.
Bonus Materials -> Next -> "Beginnings: The Latent Image/Hardman Eastman Studios" -> "Outtakes From 'The Derelict'" -> hit previous chapter button, once it starts to play.
This egg also appeared on the "25th Anniversary Collector's Edition" laser disc; at the end of chapter 15, side 4.
And with that we conclude Part I of this retrospective. Keep reading, I have more to tell - much, much more in the weeks to come.
There's more, as in now
- not next Thursday.
I forgot to give an explanation of laser disc. Man, I feel old. Laser disc or sometimes called Laserdisc was a video format that began in 1978 and died in 2001. The discs were LP sized (think giant double sided compact discs) and came in two types, CLV and CAV.
CAV is an acronym for Constant Angular Velocity, also known as Standard Play. Discs are encoded at a rate of one frame per disc revolution and disc is played at a fix speed of 1,800 rpms. The time per side is 30 minutes (54,000 individual frames). Users have the ability with these discs to frame advance and smooth multi-speed playback (foward and reverse), plus the option to go to an individual frame.
CLV is Constant Linear Velocity, also known as Extended Play. The rotational speed during playback varies from 1,800 rpms for the innermost tracks to 600 rpms for the outermost. The length per side is one hour. Movement on fast-foward and reverse is choppy. Fancy players (which I didn't own) overcome that problem and behave like CAV discs.
Both types have chapters like DVDs. Laser disc was the format that introduced consumers to the now common movie extras; restored/remastered films, commentaries, deleted scenes, screenplays (whole or excerpts), teasers/trailers, bloopers/outtakes, galleries, making-of featurettes, documentaries, interviews, presentation in stereo, isolated music, Matrix Surround Sound (simulated Surround Sound), liner notes on the jacket/sleeve and director's cut; LD got there first - it was in fact the first interactive video format. Many of the early DVDs had their extras culled from materials originally appearing on laser disc.
Almost forgot, they also presented audio in either digital mono/stereo or analog mono/stereo. Some discs were encoded with AC-3 and/or Dolby Surround. Not to mention, closed captioned. A good chunk of the discs were encoded with CX (Compatible eXpansion), a noise reduction system for the hiss/hum, analog audio only.
One of the big selling points (beyond chapters, though some disc didn't have them) is that laser disc was the only format
you could watch movies in widescreen. Yeah, everything back in the day was Full. And of course the superior picture quality (at the time).
In that era, VHS was king. Video cassettes have a resolution of 240 lines, LD has 425. Not to mention since no contact is made with the disc (like DVDs), there wasn't damage occurring with each and every playback, unlike tapes.
Movies on laser disc had to be broken into parts/discs (depending on the length) and side flip(s) to continue/conclude the feature. High end machines did this automatically. This is the one feature I don't understand that isn't in current DVD players. So many TV box sets have double side discs. Why don't the players, play both sides without flipping? How hard can it be?
The very first special edition LD was from Criterion
, their release of "Citizen Kane" (1941) in 1984, two disc set. I used to have that.
Yup. Today's word is Verbose
Okay, NOW I'm done with Part I.