PART II: THE REMAKES - B
The second remake, "Night Of The Living Dead 3D" opened in limited release (145 screens) on November 12th, 2006. It was made with a budget of $750,000 (estimated) and grossed about $215,300 during its U.S. theatrical run. When including foreign receipts, the feature made $1.2 million (not including domestic home video sales). The movie opened number twenty-seven at the box office, the following week it dropped off the chart. Not kidding
. The remake is known as "House Of The Dead 3D" in Argentina and "Zombie 3D" in Japan.
The feature opened against "Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan", "Flushed Away", "Saw III" and "The Departed".
Released on home video on October 9th, 2007 from Lionsgate
(UPC# 0 31398 21889 0) for $26.98 in two separate editions, 3D and 2D. The anaglyph (3D) version came with four pairs of red/cyan glasses. There were reports that some 3D copies didn't have the glasses. Mine did, bought from Wal-Mart
, fifteen bucks on release day. Last month I picked up the 2D version (UPC# 0 31398 21891 3 00), used, mint off Amazon
There is no insert/booklet. The DVD has sixteen chapters.
The motion picture is eighty minutes long.
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* Commentary: director/producer Jeff Broadstreet, screenwriter/assistant director/digital effects/editor Robert Valding, director of photography Andrew Parke and actor Sid Haig.
* "Night Of The Living Dead 3D: Behind The Scenes" featurette (anamorphic, 18:48 minutes)
* "Filming In 3D: A Behind-The-Scenes Special Look" featurette (anamorphic, 6:23 minutes)
* "Q&A With The Filmmakers And Actor Sig Haig At The New Beverly Cinema" May 2007 interview (full screen, 11:54 minutes)
* Blooper Reel (full screen, 5:32 minutes)
* 3D Still Gallery (12 images)
* Theatrical Trailer (anamorphic)
* TV Spot (anamorphic)
* Radio Spot
* Home Video Ads: "Fido" (non-anamorphic, 2006), "Zombie Nation" (non-anamorphic, red band, 2004), "Return Of The Living Dead: Rave To The Grave" (full screen, red band, 2005), "Holla" (non-anamorphic, 2006) and "Captivity" (non-anamorphic, 2007).
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* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
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There are subtitles in English and Spanish.
The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).
It is presented in anamorphic widescreen, but...
Here's a picture of two screen shots (same frame, both copies). The 3D edition, though widescreen does not touch the side boarders, while the 2D version does. What makes things odder still is that while the 3D copy look smaller, it does in fact have more of the image then the 2D, that is weird. In the end credits (3D) the image does touch the sides. *shrugs*
As I was saying; this remake wasn't made with the intent to out do or out class the original film. It was made for one reason only - to make money. The man responsible, Jeff Broadstreet didn't bullshit about making some great cinema. No, he wanted to make a movie for direct to video that was in public domain, easy money. The early plan was to remake "I Bury The Living" (1958). But it was changed to NOTLD, more commercial; built in audience.
I appreciate that honesty
, damn refreshing. So many Hollywood films have this big spiel of how GREAT their movie is and how it's a commentary on [fill in the blank]. C'mon, dude we know it's bull. Unless you're so full of yourself that you believe your own hype; Michael Bay - I'm looking at you.
So when I take that in account, I see this feature as a different take on the Romero classic. Broadstreet and Valding didn't stick too strongly to the source material and went their own direction, its own movie. I like that.
The same way the "Resident Evil" movies are. I will admit, I was upset with how they didn't follow the video games (they could've very easily re-adapted the novel adaptations by S.D. Perry; good reads). But in the end - was I entertained? Yes. Yes I was. Same here. I'm not gonna argue if this was necessary. It is what it is, an entertaining piece of fluff. Zero social commentary, nothing wrong with that.
There was a back-up plan should the film's title need to be changed for legal reasons. The working alternative was "Curse Of The Living Dead".
This wasn't even going to be in 3D, but the financier changed his minds and wanted it in three dimensions (for the same amount of money), so it could have a limited theatrical release before going to home video. They had to create new technology to do it. This is the very first feature to utilize a hand held 3D camera system. Neat.
Two custom built 3D rigs; cameras A and B.
The film opens with footage from the original film; the beginning, the road - then pulls back revealing the movie is playing on an old black and white TV; we're now in color (and in 3D). The television is playing at an abandoned gas station. More footage appears at the Copper home, the family is watching the movie; the moment before Barbra (Judy O'Dea) is killed, Johnny (Russell Streiner) returns. I thought that was inspired. It recognizes what it is - a zombie movie. Some folks need to lighten up, stop being so cynical. I suppose at this time, I'm in the minority.
Didn't watch it with the supplied glasses, they're still sealed. I'm anal. What I did use was something I already had - a pair from 1987; "Eye On L.A." red/blue glasses from their "Hawaiian Swimsuit Spectacular" in 3D! Remember that?
. You got your glasses from participating 7-Eleven
s. From boobs to ghouls. The 3D gags? They were okay. Some were way too blatant. As for the zombie effects, they're okay, nothing extravagant.
Lets say everything from this point forward are spoilers
The film still has Barbara 'Barb' (Brianna Brown) and Johnny (Ken Ward) going to a distant - rural cemetery. Not the burial of their mother, but their aunt; their mother (Marcia Ann Burrs) is already there awaiting her kids.
Tom (Andrew Yost) and Judy (Cristin Michelle) do appear here, but have limited screen time, sex in the barn - their orgasmic moans sounding like they've being feasted on, soon that becomes fact.
The main character here isn't Ben (Joshua DesRoches), it's Barb. We see the nightmare through her eyes. Unlike O'Dea's portrayal, this Barbara isn't dazed or cowering. She's more like the Patricia Tallman's evocation; proactive (only more feminine). What can I say? Brianna Brown is a hottie.
It's funny. When I first saw this, for a short time I thought Brown was adult film starlet Briana Banks. Their faces kinda look the same, plus they both have a mole near their left eye. Maybe Ms. Banks was trying to break into mainstream films?
Nope, different woman. I say this since some XXX stars actually use their real names, such as Lisa Ann; Briana/Brianna sound alike. Anyhow, some might remember her from "Spider-Man 2" (2004), she had a bit part as the train passenger with baby when Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) attacks, single line of dialog: 'Is he still alive?'
Of all the changes the biggest one is Ben, he is not black here, he's white. I'm not going to make a big deal about this, nor should you.
At the graveyard, Johnny is attacked, bitten and flees in his car without Barb; great family love
. Their mom is already undead. Barb takes off and runs into Gerald Tovar, Jr. (Sid Haig) the owner of the local funeral parlor, he's no help as there are more walking dead here as well.
Ben saves Barb on his motorcyle and take her to the Coopers. This farm house does not belong to Tom's uncle Regis. The Coopers own this farm. Harry (Greg Travis), his wife Hellie (Johanna Black) and daughter Karen (Alynia Phillips) - from his first marriage.
The next big change is the introduction of a new character to the mythos; Owen (Adam Chambers), the handyman. He's mostly here for comic relief. Owen gets bitten and slowly dies through the film.
New Harry isn't like old Harry (Karl Hardman). He's a laid-back kind of fellow, a pacifist. Hellie is a hippy chick (a recovered addict).
The Coopers don't believe Barb's fantastic story. She want to call the police, they are reluctant
to make that call. You see, the Cooper Farm is a marijuana one. Nope, this isn't a fractured fairy tale. And Ben... he's a pusher who was coming back with the cash from selling their weed. That's original!
I can understand why some have a serious problem with that. Ben is supose to be the good guy. And he is - he just so happens to be a seller too, he only deals pot; hubcap diamond-star halo.
Before Barb can convince them, the siege happen - the dead have arrived. Tom and Judy are the first to die, she spends the rest of the film as nude zombie. The phone line gets pulled, isolation.
Karen is killed, resurrects and bites Harry. Tovar comes to the house, the nearest home. His business was ground zero. He never cremated the bodies (afraid of fire). He inherited his job from his dead father, Tovar senior. All the bodies meant for cremation were just pied piled up and stored near chemicals. Junior offset his cash flow by allowing illegal storage, exotic materials. He had to flee from work since it became overrun.
Hoping to get help since the phone line is down; Barb, Ben and Tovar leave. Harry and Hellie stay behind. They die. Out on the road, Tovar betrays them and knocks Ben unconscious, abducting Barb. He want to retake his mortuary... and to silence Barb. He plans to have her embraced as it were.
I've explained too much and will stop here. You'll have to watch to see how it comes together. The only real problem I had was with the surviving character, that person just gave up. True, all the people who were dear were killed, that character had a good thirty seconds to run - anywhere! There was still a chance to survive. Granted a lot happened, perhaps it was all just too much. But still, it's an awful way to die.
The original ending was to have Ben and Barb reaching the gas station seen at the start before falling to their fates. It wasn't filmed - not enough time, not enough money.
For a low budget feature it has a good collection of extras. I like the behind the scenes footage of Brown reacting to something that scared her then realizing it was stupid. It's so cute
. Plus the on set antics of the actors and crew. I just wish she was part of the commentary, Brown is the star after all. Yes I know Sid Haig got top billing, but she had far more screen time.
If you got them, put on your glasses - you're welcome.
Movies collide, there is a stinger at the end credits. The background for the crawl is the opening shot from the original film; the road leading to the cemetery. In the last few seconds, Barb re-appears, now lost inside the '68 classic being chased by a zombie coming up the road - inventive.
This Is A New Motion Picture Filmed In 3-D That Is A Re-Imagining Of The 1968 Public Domain Motion Picture "Night Of The Living Dead". George A. Romero Is Not Affiliated In Any Way With This New Film.
- disclaimer on the back of the DVD
Oh yeah, I can not confirm, but I suspect the voiceover guy on the trailer/TV spot is none other than Tony Todd. He has a very distinctive voice.
By the way, the idea behind Gerald Tovar, Jr.'s character not cremating the bodies was inspired by an actual police investigation in Georgia. A son had inherited his father's mortuary, but was unable to cremate the bodies. The crematorium broke down and for whatever reason he procrastinated on getting it repaired. Authorities found corpses littered everywhere, stacked and stored on any available space on the property in various states of decomposition. The man was changed and sentenced to prison. Can you imagine the smell?
The mortuary scenes were filmed in a real, defunct one; "Conner-Johnson Mortuary" (4700 Avalon Blvd.) in Los Angeles, California.
Anyhow, I have both editions in a double disc DVD case with the 3D version as the wraparound.
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There's another remake coming out this year, "Night Of The Living Dead: Resurrection". Take the concept, but move it from Pennsylvania to West Wales, United Kingdom. It's still an isolated farm house, set in the present. I'll give it a watch when it hits DVD in America. Not much info other than that, don't know any of the film stars. Saw the teaser a couple weeks back, different. It's Ben who coming for Barbara, not Johnny.
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News to me. There is a prequel coming next year. Once again, Jeff Broadstreet; "Night Of The Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation". None of the cast members return for this installment; Andrew Divoff takes over the Sid Haig role. Written by Broadstreet and Robert Valding.
After inheriting the family mortuary, a pyrophobic mortician accidentally exposes hundreds of un-cremated bodies to toxic medical waste. As the corpses re-animate, the mortician's inheritance-seeking younger brother unexpectantly shows up, stumbling upon a full zombie outbreak!
summary by Lloyd Luchre
The eighty-eight minute film is in the can and has an April 10th, 2012 release date. It also stars Jeffrey Combs as the younger sibling. Color me curious.
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SOUNDTRACKS PART IV
I own this too, "Night Of The Living Dead 3D: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". As with the other remake, this is a limited CD. Released by Lakeshore Records
(#LKS 33882) on October 6th, 2006, only 1,000 copies produced. This is composer Jason Brandt's first CD release. Brandt has a cameo as the ghoul Gerald Tovar strikes in the head (twice) with a shovel when he first meets Barb.
The CD booklet is two pages, no liner notes, just track names and times. Even though this is a limited edition the price currently from $9.83 to $16.71.
This was the movie/soundtrack that introduced me to the band, Radford
- their song, "Control". Have bought their self-titled album (2000), "Sleepwalker" (2003) and digital EP, "Black Out The Sun" (2006).
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1. Black & White World/Main Title
2. Graveside And The Mortuary
3. Road Attack And Rescue
4. Karen's Curiosity
5. A Warning & The Assault Begins
6. The Barn And Resignation
7. Alone In The Truck/Zombies Everywhere
8. Where's Karen?
9. Bullet In The Brain And The Showdown
10. God Didn't Cause This And Ben's Money
11. Attack On The Stairs
12. Please Let Me In!
13. Gerald Tovar, Jr. And The Undead
14. Who's Dead? And Shovel Work
15. Leaving The Farm And Two Bullets
16. Family Reunion
17. Betrayal And The Tovar Family
18. The Beginning Of The End/Barb & One Bullet Left
20. Night Of The Living Dead 3D Trailer Music
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Oh yeah, almost forgot, the 2D version omits the 3D Still Gallery. And the Home Video Ads for both are not a menu choice, a single long clip.
You're being warned...
Get your arms ready
for some vigorous fisting shakings? Next week we'll devour the bad side of Uncle Regis' farm, the reworked editions
. That ain't my zombie movie - is it???