#1  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:26 AM
Night Of The Living Dead DVD Retrospective

PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - A

Hello. My name is JohnIan, some of you are readers (hopefully) of my bimonthly write-ups (Thursdays); a look back at previous store exclusives called "Past Tense" (within my tread, "Free Bonuses With DVD Releases - Part 2"). Check it out if you haven't. Oh yeah, the current version of "Past Tense" started with the August 18th, 2011 post - before that I was just treading water.

What you see here is a side project from that weekly feature. The idea started in late November of last year. What would be cool thing to write about? I think this all started one night looking about on Ebay, NOTLD collectables. Hmmm, there's a thought. As far as I can tell, this hasn't been done before; collected and indexed. If I'm wrong, please excuse me. I hope I'm not redundant.

First off, I own most of this stuff, I'm anal. The few exceptions will be noted where needed.

Oh man, getting this written was hard - blame the feet of procrastination and dread. I had to climb this big ass tower that kept getting larger and more complicated. I initially just want to go through the relevant DVD releases to the George A. Romero classic. But then I started to think about the laser discs and the CD soundtracks. Then popped in my head was the remakes, the re-imagining and colorized edition - more and more subjects to include.

I began working on the images on November 23rd, took about a week to complete (at first - pretty much kept working on additional images throughout). Looking at the result it became apparent that I would need to break this article up. Each post/reply has a limit of ten images. I have way more than ten.

Then another popped in my noggin'. Why not write-up this whole project and post them, one part at a time - each week. I have a month worth of material. Sounds like a grand idea.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoy this, a labor of love.

This is gonna be huge.

Shadows crawlin'!

- - - - - - - - - -



Released on March 12th, 2002 from Elite Entertainment for $24.95 was the "Millennium Edition" (#EE1117). This DVD came in a blood red case (the first I ever saw) and a red foil wraparound, well the top and bottom of the front were foil.

There were two inserts. The first was a chapter listing with liner notes by Stephen King on both sides, he had a lot to say. The second was a single sided advertisement from Elite Entertainment which read "Got Blood?" Their collection of horror titles. I'm not going to list them; I counted, the sheet showcases forty-one releases.

The motion picture is ninety-six minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* 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
* Treatment/Original Script (frame advance)
* Personal Scrapbook And Memorabila gallery (159 images)
* "Night Of The Living Bread" short (1990, full screen, 8:25 minutes)
* "Duane Jone's Last Interview" December 13th, 1987 (audio only with stills from the movie, 16:21 minutes)
* Judith Ridley Inteview (full screen, 10:39 minutes)
* Beginnings: The Latent Image/Hardman Eastman Studios
- About The Studio (frame advance lecture)
- Commericals (by The Latent Image): Magic Lantern, Awrey, Guiness Book/Chevy Dealers #1, Guiness Book/Chevy Dealers #2, The Calgon Story, Iron City Beer, Kennywood Park and Duke Beer (all full screen)
- Outtakes from "The Derelict" (a short starring Karl Hardman, full screen, 1:22 minutes, no audio)
- Breaking Out Of Commericals About Image Ten (frame advance lecture)
* Scenes From "There's Always Vanilla" (a.k.a. "The Affair", lost film by Romero, starring Judith Ridley, full screen, 5:09 minutes)
* "There's Always Vanilla" gallery (7 images)
* Theatrical Trailer
* TV Spot
* THX Opimizer

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono)
* Dolby Digital 5.1

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are no subtitle options.

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).

The DD 5.1 remix is different (newer) than the remix used in the "30th Anniversary" edition from Anchor Bay Entertainment (1999).

For those of you who don't know, this is a full screen motion picture. It was not filmed for widescreen, lensed on 35mm stock. So don't try looking for it. If you DO find it, you're getting less of the movie. The "Millennium Edition" was transfered from the laser disc (1994) remastered print (supervised by film's producers).



All of the extras on the disc originated from the "25th Anniversary Collector's Edition" LD (#EE1114). I still have mine (with good reason). This was a two disc, laser disc set (CLV/CAV) that streeted on October 26th ('94) and retailed for $89.95. I remember being all giddy upon learning of its release and saved my money to buy that. If I'm not mistaken (it's been seventeen years), I found out about it through Laser Craze, an LD store/mail order shop. Never visited their store in Massachusetts, I'm in Southern California. They were awesome; pre-order titles and get 20% off. Bought a lot from them, great deals - considering the prices at other places.

For those of you jotting down facts. This was Elite Entertainment's very first laser disc release. And the very first black and white movie get the THX treatment. The "Millennium Edition" has 12 chapers which is kinda weak, the LD had 31.

I still remember being real excited when the package finally arrived, carefully opening it, reading all the liner notes and specs. But I didn't play it. This was a big deal for me at the time. Laser discs were expensive. The 17th of the following month was my birthday - that's when I wanted to see it, making it a special day indeed.

On that Thursday (looked it up), I pulled out disc 1 and gently placed it into my laser disc player. *play*

My jaw dropped.

WTF!?!

The movie starts and the worst possible print plays; all scratched up with blots and hairs. My heart sank.

A moment later the Elite Entertainment logo crashed through the screen, things went black and the film played for real. Okay, you got me! I have to say I was impressed by the image quality I saw. There were no DVDs back then, nor Blu-Rays or HD-DVDs. You HAD video cassettes, VHS or Betamax. This LD presentation blew them both away.

The commentaries are good, very informative. But of the two, the first one was better, more livelier. As if a group of friends got together, joked around and reminisce. The second is dry and proper; except for the comment on Kyra Schon's breasts, that was weird.

Oh yeah, the Stephen King liner notes is from the laser disc gatefold jacket. It also has notes from Romero, Tom Savini and Sam Raimi. The "Millennium Edition" does not include the false (damage print) start.

My favorite TV commercial is "The Calgon Story", a parody of "Fantastic Voyage" (1966). A group of 'Calgonauts' are shunk to mirco size and inserted into a washing machine (why the hell would anybody do that?), they become trapped in the fibers of a t-shirt. Engines clogged by left-over detergent film. The explorer release Calgon and film be gone, free! Oh God, I'm old enough to have seen this ad originally air. I was a wee little boy.

Okay. The low down...

Did all the extras carry over?

No it didn't. *sigh*

As you read above the main gallery has 159 pictures, minus the stills with text explaining what category you're looking at. The laser disc's gallery is bigger. How much more? Nearly 400 images! Hundreds of production and publicity stills - including very rare color photographs from the set. That alone is my reason for keeping the LD. And I don't know if it will ever appear on DVD. Too bad.

Getting ahead of myself; the gallery on the recent "40th Anniversary Edition" (2008) does in fact have production stills missing from this 2002 release. But that number is only 68 pictures. All together that 227, we're still lacking over a hundred and fifty images. While true, 40th does have some color stills - not all of them. So for avid fans, hold on to that laser disc.

Man, I have a problem.

So this color picture thing had me thinking. I have some of those color photos - in card form, "25th Anniversary" set. An eight card... well, trading card collection, published by Imagine, Inc. in 1993, long out of print. There was a time I was very into collecting non-sport trading cards. Not ashamed, I have quite a library (a good chunk of it feminine, bikini and nudes; there were even a couple of gentlemen clubs which had sets - oh pre-internet). Since I can't take screen snaps off my laser disc, this would be the next best thing. So I took a hi-res scan of two cards, #1 and #8. Both of these images are exclusive to the LD. Cropped off the black boarders with the text "Night Of The Living Dead" in gold.

Say thank you. I'm dead serious. You have no idea what a mess I made trying to locate them.



It was a hair puller. I haven't seen this set in well over a decade. Where the hell did I put them? So I played amateur detective and found them. Where's MY Scooby Snack? The text. Card 1 "On Location: The Entire Cast & Crew!" Card 8: "On Location: Duane, Judy, Marilyn, And Karl". I should mentioned that I have cards #2 and #3 autographed by Karl Hardman and Marilyn Eastman, it was part of the set. I can't recall what I paid.

The image on card 1 appeared inside the gatefold of the laser disc. Where's Romero? He's the fellow next to the 35mm camera.

Weird - like looking at old family pictures. Who were these guys?

Last edited by JohnIan; 06-04-2013 at 12:21 AM..
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:28 AM
PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - B

Never ran into this error message before; had to break Part I into two...
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The text that you have entered is too long (24205 characters). Please shorten it to 20000 characters long.
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OTHER COPIES

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.

- - -

Extras:

* 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

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono)

- - -

NOTES

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.

BUT...

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.

- - -

TRACKS

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 price.

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.

- - -

TRACKS

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
13. Dream
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)
25. Shock/Stormy
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)

- - - - - - - - - -

EASTER EGG



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. *nods*

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.

WAIT!!!

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.

Last edited by JohnIan; 09-30-2013 at 02:14 AM..
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2012, 03:33 AM
PART II: THE REMAKES - A

Welcome to part two! This week's "Living Dead" reflection takes us on a trip to a familiar, yet different farmhouse. Today we cover the NOTLD remakes. I wanted this installment to be shorter, wanted. Man, I had a lot to say - it just grew in numbers like the infected. *nods*

Since this was made after 1982 I have access to various theatrical stats. We'll dive-in here first.

Our first redo is "George A. Romero's Night Of The Living Dead". The feature opened on October 19th, 1990. It was made with a budget of $4,200,000 (estimated) and grossed over 5.8 million during its U.S. theatrical run. The movie opened number six at the box office, the following week it dropped to number fourteen.

The feature opened against "Quigley Down Under", "Ghost", "Memphis Belle" and "Goodfellas". Some big titles there, minus "Quigley".

I saw this on opening day. I still have my ticket stub. As I wrote, I'm anal. Some things about me; I only see movies in theaters on opening day - I like the rush of a fresh audience and I keep my ticket stubs. It's my place in cinema, a witness to when it happened. It's stupid, I know, but I continue to do it. I started with "Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade", May 24th, 1989. The last one seen (as of this writing) in the big dark room was "The Thing" (prequel), October 14th, 2011.

That theater (from 1990) has long disappeared into history. The building was turned into a high end, consumer electronic store. Bought a few laser discs there back in the day. And now? That store died late last year, a victim of the crummy economy. It's a cool looking building. Would take a lot to renovate it, but it would make a really cool large house. Keep one of the smaller screening rooms and turn it into... a home theater. Sorry, reminiscing. Saw a good chuck of the movies in my youth there.

Moon don't look friendly.



Released on October 6th, 1999 from Columbia TriStar Home Video for $24.95 was the special edition DVD (ISBN# 0-7678-2783-X). To date that is the only edition for the 1990 version available. It came in a common DVD case, normal wraparound.

There was an insert, a two page booklet; production notes and chapter listing, twenty-eight of them. The re-release (2005) fails to include the insert. I hate that.

The motion picture is ninety-two minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* Newly remastered print
* Commentary: director Tom Savini
* "The Dead Walk: Remaking A Classic" making-of featurette (full screen, 24:52 minutes)
* Talent Files
* Theatrical Trailer (full screen)
* Additional Trailer: "The Tingler" (full screen, black & white, 1959)

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
* Dobly Digital 2.0 (mono; Portuguese dub)

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai. The odd thing is, the English subtitles is auto on when the film starts, you have to turn them off. Can't recall another release that particular.

The DVD is double sided and presents the movie in anamorphic widescreen on S-A, full screen S-B. The extras are identical on each side. Too bad they could include more. I remember the home video for "Wrong Turn" (2003), same deal - double sided, but S-A and S-B had different extras. Oh yeah, the disc labels are reversed, full screen is wide and vise versa.

The commentary was solid, Savini talked mostly throughout. Various things pointed out such as the name of the home owner is "M. Celeste". As in the Mary Celeste, yes that Celeste.

I own this, bought from Best Buy for ten bucks, I want to say 2004. For me the featurette just scratches the surfaces. My favorite part was the merging of 1968 footage with 1990, the cemetery zombie that breaks the car's window, very seamless.

The program shows a few poor looking deleted scenes, culled from a VHS tape. They had to make cuts to get an R rating. The original pass at the MPAA resulted in an X. The lost bit that sticks out is when Tom (William Butler), Judy Rose (Katie Finneran) and Ben (Tony Todd) are in the pickup going for gas. Tom is in the flatbed and shoots a zombie, point blank range with his shotgun, its head ceased to exist in a shower of blood.

What this movie needs is a deluxe edition. The longer gorier version, commentary with the cast, production artwork (would love to see that, some of the early drafts on the zombies), home videos, storyboards, bloopers and more featurettes on the making. And a better remastered picture with sound (though the back of the case claims this feature was digitally remastered). Plus something else?

Can't say for certain, I just don't know. The DVD has an item listed as 'Trailer', the thing is - this feels like a teaser. Trailers tend to be around two minutes or so long. This thing has a run time of 1:09 (including the green MPAA rating screen). That feels wrong, teasers are roughly a minute in length. So I would like to see the trailer, if it existed.

The big point here that was gingerly mentioned; Savini had trouble making the movie. Not from the Hollywood end, but from the local mob. They had their teeth in the production. It's only mentioned once, probably for good reason. And maybe that's why we won't get that better version. Dogs best left sleeping.

This was an enjoyable remake, some have gone as far as saying this equals Romero's version. Can't say I disagree. It was the first picture to introduce me to Tony Todd. I can't imagine him NOT being Ben, intense fellow.



And some nice eye candy with Barbara (Patricia Tallman). I'm not into short haired girls, but she definitely an exception. I'm glad she made it beyond the massacre.

What really shines here are the zombie effects. The gaunt bald fellow who pops through the window (Jay McDowell). I remember seeing that for the first time. My mouth was wide open. How the hell? 'They're shooting him, skin is breaking, but it's not regular squibs. I see flesh.' Just fracking outstanding!



He looked so freaky, yellowish, skinny, disturbing. As with the half burnt zombie from "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978), this guy became iconic.

Well... there is a weak point, Johnnie (Bill Mosley). No, not like that. He was fine. I'm talking about his death. The dummy head that hits the tombstone, breaking the neck. It looked so fake. The problem was it lingered a second too long, should've been a very quick cut. Boom! Dead.



There is another. The DVD cover. It's barely passable. CGI zombies? Yeah, I know, the cover foreshadows things to come. Granted the ghoul with the open maw is traditional drawing. The cover works, it gets the message across, true. But why? The film's poster was WAY better and ominous. They should've gone with that.



I have this too, the laser disc. This was a single disc release (CLV only), it streeted on April 11th, 1991 for $34.95 (#77176) from RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video. In full screen, the horror (plus no chapters!). The only extra is that same, so called 'trailer'.

The issue I have with this is the cover (beyond the lack of chapters and not in widescreen). Gets the job done, but gives away the ending - a zombified Ben. Okay, yes, everybody knows that Ben dies in the end. But since this was a remake, it coud've gone a different route as it did with Barbara. What if newbies saw this? The surprise is gone. Anyhow, the cover works and IS superior to the DVD's.

Now THE question... who was the hotter MILF, McKee Anderson or Marilyn Eastman as Helen Cooper? I think I'm gonna side with Anderson. I was going to include Johanna Black from the next remake, thought about it... nah. She was perfect for that interpretation and leave it at that, though she seems like a cool person to party with, hilarious.

Why does the dead woman with the doll look like she just broke major foul wind?

By the way, the cause for the apocalypse was never given. There has been speculation, but no definitive answer(s). As it should; the world comes to an end, the reason why at that point is purely trivial - not much you can do about it. So? The back of the DVD says different...
Quote:
Seven strangers are trapped in an isolated farmhouse while cannibalistic zombies - awaken from death by the return of a radioactive space probe - wage a relentless attack, killing (and eating) everyone in their path.
- - - - - - - - - -

SOUNDTRACKS PART III



Another item I own, "Night Of The Living Dead: Original Score From The Motion Picture". This limited CD was released in late August of 2002 from Numenorean Music (#NMCD 002). Only 3,000 was produced. This isn't so much a regular soundtrack as it is a redo. The CD is a re-recording by Paul McCollough (composer) utilizing most of the same equipment used during the scoring of the film. The original tapes were preserved, but McCollough believed he could improve upon their sound. I don't have an issue with that.

The booklet (eight pages) contains liner notes from him. And original artwork commissioned exclusively for this release from Ron Pegenkoop and Cliff Cramp.

There is something missing. The chase music where Barbara has abandoned the car and has gone on foot, two hungry graveyard ghouls pursuing. Don't have an answer why it's absent. There was room, the album is 62 minutes long.

My favorite tracks are "Cemetary", "Passage To Normal" and "Pump Run".

Damn it, just looked, Numenorean doesn't exist any more and they only released three soundtracks before dying. The last CD was in 2003. Holy crap!!! This soundtrack is selling, used for $199.99 on Amazon! I paid twenty-four (when you count shipping and tax).

- - -

TRACKS

1. Cemetery
2. Farmhouse
3. Tensionizer
4. Twin Geeks
5. The Pity Of Angels
6. Boarding School
7. Talking Points
8. Courage To Go
9. Pump Run
10. Zombies Win! Zombies Win!
11. Passage To Normal

- - - - - - - - - -

The next and final remake is often considered an atrocity, some would go as far as call it an abomination (wait until next week's installment). I don't, they went a different direction and were blunt with their intentions. I'll explain in a few.

Last edited by JohnIan; 04-25-2014 at 02:18 AM..
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2012, 03:38 AM
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 (reseller).

There is no insert/booklet. The DVD has sixteen chapters.

The motion picture is eighty minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* 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).

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

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-Elevens. 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.

Different?

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.
Quote:
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.

- - -

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.

- - -

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.
Quote:
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!
- IMDb 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.

- - - - - - - - - -

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).

- - -

TRACKS

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
19. Control
20. Night Of The Living Dead 3D Trailer Music

- - -

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???

Last edited by JohnIan; 01-02-2013 at 12:14 AM..
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2012, 04:20 AM
PART III: ANTIPATHY - A

Got your 'Hater' t-shirt on? Go ahead, I'll wait.

Yeah buddy, this week's "Living Dead" rumination waddles onto our darling like a tipsy hobo (like there isn't any other) and tries to clean their car's windshield - only making the once clear glass, murky. Good job bro.

Yeah, no.

Today we cover the two NOTLD tinkers; the DVD releases which manipulated or if you so choose, tampered with the 1968 horror masterpiece.

Lookout for the darkness.

Our first is the recut with then newly filmed footage re-do, "Night Of The Living Dead: 30th Anniversary". Man, I could've sworn this had a limited theatrical release in 1999. The date I found was August 24th, but that's the DVD release date. I looked at my archives and confirmed the home video street. There's a glitch in the Matrix, maybe. So in lieu of any stats, I'm going to dive in.



As mentioned a moment ago, this was released on DVD (a gold disc, before the standard silver) on August 24th, 1999 from Anchor Bay Entertainment (#DV10951) in two separate editions; single disc $24.95 (#DV10889) and a two disc, Limited Edition (only 15,000 produced) for $34.95. I have the latter, bought new off Ebay dirt cheap - for good reason. Looking at my records, this happened sometime in 2004. I have a listings of what became part of my library; month per month, year per year. I'm anal.

I'm going to be talking about the "Limited Edition". There are two inserts, a mini thirty-two page booklet; I've haven't run into another one of those. And a chapter listing (printed on cardstock), thirty for the 30th and twenty-four for the remastered 1998 version. The other side of that is what appears to be the poster for the re-do. The single disc version omits the booklet. The DVD case is an Alpha, the thick kind of case that has two openings. I hate these, it's designed for scratching. You need to use your finger under the disc to pry it, there event a slot that reads "Lift Here". Planned obsolesce, if you ask me.

The motion picture is ninety-six minutes long (both editions).

- - -

Extras:

* Newly remastered print
* Fifteen minutes of new film footage
* New score by Scott Vladimir Licina
* 1998 Edition, original cut, remastered with new score
* Commentary: writer/director John A. Russo, executive producer Bill Hinzman, producer Russell Streiner and art director/associate director Bob Michelucci (30th Anniversary)
* Behind The Scenes Featurette (30th, full screen, black and white, 9:14 minutes)
* Scene From The Bill Hinzman Film "Flesheater" (1994, full screen, black and white, 1:04 minutes)
* "Dance Of The Dead" music video by Scott Vladimir Licina (full screen, color tinted, 3:37 minutes)
* Slide Show Gallery (30th, full screen, 4:09 minutes, 40 images)
* Trailer (full screen)

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (both editions)

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are no subtitle options.

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).

This is the first time the film has received a DD 5.1 remix.

The second disc is the CD sountrack.



The booklet features interviews with John Russo, Bill Hinzman, Debbie Rochon and Licina. Since there is no CD track listings, the last page has the track names. Man, reading this is amazing. Either they really believed their own hype and thought they made a truely awesome film or... drugs. Lots of a lots of nose candy. 'Best movie evar!'

Dark-sided!!!

Where to begin?

*long deep sigh*

How about with a quote...
Quote:
He [John Russo] has butchered, defaced and ruined one of the greatest horror films of all time.
- Harry Knowles

Russo (Washington Military Reporter in the 1968 film) wrote and directed the new scenes. Originally Romero was to have co-written and directed the new material, but it failed to happen. Why? Zombies. George was working on a screenplay for Capcom, the aborted "Resident Evil" adaptation. It also went in a different direction as did the final film, Google it.

In the end, Romero DID NOT participate in the re-do. The only thing that can be said is that he gave Russo his blessing to try and that he did liked the new score.

The new footage include:

* The grave diggers (Danny played by Grant Cramer and Mike by Adam Knox) brings the coffin of a child killer/molester from prison (where he was executed) to the cemetery; this is same pick-up truck Ben (Duane Jones) finds and drives from Beekman's Diner.

* The parents (Arthur Krantz played by George Drennen and Hilda Krantz by Julie Wallace Deklavon) of the slain child are at the gave site - making sure he's dead, one final look before he's buried. Rev. Hicks (Licina) says a pray before leaving the diggers to their business. The body re-animates and attacks Mike, they drive off. This is the same ghoul who attacks Barbra (Judy O'Dea) and Johnny (Russell Streiner) later.

* The aftermath of the dinner massacre is shown, undead feasting on a car crash victim. Hinzman's daughter Heidi, plays Rosie, the waitress from Beekman's.

* Additional footage of zombies coming to the house.

* Footage of the ghouls eating the remains of Judy (Judith Ridley) and Tom (Keith Wayne).

* A television reporter (Darlene Davis played by Debbie Rochon) and camera man back at the cemetery the following day, interviews Reverend Hicks (Appalachian much?). While the locals kill off more zombies.

* Hicks confronts patient zero (as it were - returned to the graveyard) with his bible and is bitten in the face. The ghoul is killed by the posse.

* One year later at Ormsby Medical Center, Darlene interviews Hicks again. He didn't turn, the preacher is still human (Hicks attributes his survival to God). The man is under constant observation, fearful that he may become one of them. His blood is being studied. He has a guard dog, a tiny canine, Mushu. The critter isn't for his protection, but ours. Should he turn, the dog will be the first one eaten and its screams will give notice to that fact. Hicks then goes on a rant that the undead are possessed by demons and must be spiked. This frightens Ms. Davis and she leaves.

- - -

Fifteen minutes of new footage at the expensive of fifteen minutes of original footage *head shakes*; gone is various character development. Gone is Ben seaching for wood and nails to fortified the house. Barbara's long recap of what happened to her and her brother is shortened. Gone are the marital problems of Harry (Karl Hardman) and Helen Cooper (Marilyn Eastman), they don't bicker. Harry's ego is check too. Mention of the Venus probe is abbreviated, probably since the new cause is supernatual; taking a cue from "Dawn Of The Dead" (1979), 'When there is no room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth.' And all that's left of Barbra is hysterics; the pieces of her mind are thrown.

As noted above, there is no official explanation why the dead have risen; people has latched on to the exploded satellite (which had strange radiation). But that may NOT be source. For this iteration, the cause is a vengeful God.

Others have mentioned that society began to collapse weeks after the dead rose ("Dawn Of The Dead"); one year later things are pretty much normal in this new ending.

- - -



The biggest tripe is expecting us to believe the cemetery ghoul is the same. Hinzman was thirty-one when he did it the first time, he was sixty-two when he reprised his role. It shows, c'mon who are we kidding? The idea is cute, but should've been executed with an actor who looks like Hinzman (maybe with a mask involved).

Some have complained that the radio announcer (heard in the house) is a bad impersonation of the original. Sorry folks, that's the same guy, reprising his voice - Charles Craig (also the TV news anchor). The broadcast IS different since it was modified for the new footage.



A nice bit; when the grave diggers leave the prison in the background a tanker truck is seen driving by; the same tanker Ben describes to Barbra that was on fire. A nice touch - I will give them that.

You gotta love these quotes from the commentary, both from Russell Streiner...
Quote:
It's important from a filmmakers stand point, to, that we - in approaching this 30th anniversary edition. We as filmmakers wanted to keep the integrity of the original film.
Quote:
Anybody who appreciates the craft of filmmaking will appreciates how this, the new footage is integrated with the old footage without tampering with the content of the original film at all.
Sir, you failed.

You can understand why so many people hold this version in contempt. Try to imagine - learning that pandas don't naturally have those dark circles around their eyes. And there's a guy in the zoo whose job it is punch them in the face every few days to keep up appearances; that's a close approximation, emotionally speaking.

I know, you're picturing it too; poor, poor Ling-Ling.

The original music appears when Barbra and Johnny search for their father's grave. When the first zombie attack happen in the house, before we met the rest of the players in the basement. When Ben goes up stairs to take care of eaten corpse. When the second wave of ghouls attack the house. When Ben, Tom and Judy leave to get gas and subsequent explosion. When Ben gets back to the house. When all hell breaks loose, Ben shoots Harry; ghouls almost get Helen. When the zombies finally get in. And lastly when the posse is close to farm house.



Amazon reviewer, Bill Robinson noted a flub. At the car crash, one of the kids who got killed. Her shoes are contemporary, what appears to be Sketchers. A product that didn't exist in the late 1960s, duh!

Another is by commenter, XQuester; how come the passeners of that crashed car are still 'perfectly seated' even though they were NOT wearing seatbelts? The car crashed, hard into a tree. They would've shoot through the windshield, like those clowns blasted out of cannons. A good example would be during the opening credits of "Zombieland" (2009), the woman who crashed (that's reality based, not pretty).



I think it's on purpose that Rev. Hicks looks like Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church Of Satan. Man, at least I hope so. Dude?

That featurette isn't one - false advertising, it's just home video clips edited together. Meh. The only thing interesting is an on set visit by none other than Karl Hardman, smoking a cigar.

For an abomination, the picture quality is very good. Even though this is full screen, the image does not touch the sides, fuzzy black boarders. The audio was good to okay, I don't have a sound system so I can't give a better review here. But what I caught immediately was the simulated stereo. I remember hearing this on episodes of "MASH" when it aired on channel 11 here, Fox, Los Angeles.

After viewing it (he bought a copy), Harry Knowles, webmaster of Ain't It Cool News made the following edict on September 19th, 1999:
Quote:
I will ban anyone that likes this piece of shit from my talkback. WHY? Simply because If you like this piece of shit abortion of a product, I could really give a shit if you ever read my site. No nice words will be spoken about John Russo or that Reverend Big Teeth in any place that I have created. Those intellectually deprived, artistically bankrupt hacks should be shunned from society. ANY magazine that has promoted this festering pussbucket of a product should be BURNED! It is terrible in the ways that ... I don’t know what way. Cause I’ve never experienced anything that sucked this hard.
- - -

My thoughts?

It's superflatulistichalitosis or excrementainment.

BUT I am okay with the overall notion. It would make a cool expanded motion picture, like the paperback novelization by Christopher Andrews (Rising Star Visionary Press, 2009; this on my list, I have read a sample chapter and various positive reviews, I like what I've seen).

What happened here is they had a high concept that was carried out with limited budget and a talent pool which couldn't execute it properly. Add to the mix bad actors, hamming it up to the camera. And the gumption to believe they improved on the original. A bad combination. Plus they took out so much of what gave the film, flavor - what made it feel true and not hokey. We all know people like these characters, it's not so removed from real life. Well, minus the dead rising to feast on the living of course.

As written in The Seattle Times on August 20th, 1999 (Mark Rahner, reporting); the production has a budget of $300,000. It needed at least twice that much to get it done proper. There is one dead body in the new footage, the above referred car crash. The corpse looks like a puppet, it has NO weight to it. So very fake. Why did it look like Hardman?

Last edited by JohnIan; 10-12-2012 at 01:09 AM..
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2012, 04:25 AM
PART III: ANTIPATHY - B

SOUNDTRACKS PART V

As touched on, the "Limited Edition" came with a CD soundtrack. The tracks are a mixture of music and film dialog. It also contains a bonus track.

- - -

TRACKS

1. "This Radio Station Will Remain On The Air"
2. The Dead Walk
3. "I Gotta Get Back To Beekman's"
4. Night Of The Living Dead
5. "That's The Lord's Way Of Punishing Sinners"
6. Resurrection
7. "Boy, You'll Be Damned To Hell"
8. They're Coming To Get You
9. Heads
10. Sanctuary
11. "They Know We're In Here Now"
12. The Congregation Gathers
13. "Is There A Key?"
14. The Beginning Of The End
15. "We Have To Go Out & Get Johnny"
16. Ashes To Ashes
17. "Your Brother Is Dead"
18. Music Box
19. "You Know A Place Back Down The Road Called Beekman's?"
20. Ben's Tale
21. "The Unburied Dead"
22. Tension
23. "In The Cold Room"
24. Window Into Hell
25. Isolation
26. "The Killers Are Eating The Flesh"
27. Feast
28. Isolation Reprise
29. "The Dead Are Rising"
30. The Secret Door
31. "I'm Boss Up Here"
32. The Siege Begins
33. "The Cellar's The Safest Place"
34. The Safest Place
35. "We'll See Who's Right"
36. Tragic Love
37. "Helen"
38. Alone
39. "I Oughta Drag You Out There & Feed You To Those Things"
40. Rhapsody In Crimson
41. "The Scream"
42. Mother's Milk
43. "The Posse"
44. Hell On Earth
45. "They're Dead"
46. Decay
47. "Shoot 'Em In The Head"
48. Dawn
49. "Somebody Had A Cookout Here"
50. The Hunt
51. "Hit Him In The Head"
52. The Killing Stroke
53. Innocent Blood
54. "He's A Dead One"
55. Tragedy
56. "The Dead Must Be Spiked"
57. Descent Into Madness/The Dead Walk: Movement Two
58. The Dead Walk: Movement Three
59. Dance Of The Dead
60. Night Of The Living Dead 1968 (special bonus track)

- - -

Repeating...

I bought the deluxe set in 2004 - that was the first time I had ever seen the 30th Anniversary remix. I had read the various reviews before which had condemned it. I knew going it that this was going to be a train wreck. But before that, I hadn't. I surfaced online in the Spring of 1999, dial-up (still on it). I've always been collecting soundtracks, before CDs it was cassette tapes.

DVDs didn't enter my life until November of 2003. So at this time in '99 I was actively pursuing laser discs. To my surprise, the company which produced the new score, Screem Jams Productions had a website which was selling the soundtrack by itself, no DVD attached.

I have always been a fan of Ain't It Cool News, but during those early internet days, that website kept crashing my browser, Netscape. So my ability to read content/reviews was very limited; surfing the web on a 14K modem on a computer with a 75 MHz processor. I dared to dream!



I found out that I could buy this soundtrack by check or money order, I picked a postal money order and sent it off. A week or so later the above came to my home. This CD has a different disc image than the one used in the "Limited Edition". It came in a printed cardboard sleeve (cover art by Alex Ross) with a flap to seal/re-seal. The back of the sleeve listed the track names - minus one. I remember emailing them since track 60 was a mystery to me. I received a reply with the name. This soundtrack was mostly exclusive to that DVD set and had a far lesser release individually, less than 15,000.

I like what I heard and wanted more.

- - -



Also available in even limited numbers was the enhanced CD single, "Dance Of The Dead".

Sent over my postal M.O. and shortly there after received this as well. The enhanced part is the music video (as seen on the DVD), presented as an MPG. This too came in a printed cardboard sleeve with flap (cover by Talon Nightshade). The difference here is my copy, under the flap is autographed by the composer.

I can barely find a couple mentions online; like it never existed, making this one of the rarest CDs in my collection. Even the website Soundtrack Collector doesn't have a listing. Once again I had to email them to find out what that bonus track was. Both CDs were released in 1999. I have no catalog numbers (or UPC), they do not have them. Anyhow, I have both inside that Alpha case in near mint condition; sleeve and discs. And I don't remember what I paid for them.

TRACKS

1. Dance Of The Dead ('They're Coming To Dance With You, Barbara' Mix)
2. Waltz Of The Dead (Featuring Russ "Johnny" Streiner)
3. Dance Of The Dead (Album Version)
4. Waltz Of The Raving Dead (Featuring Russ "Johnny" Streiner) (bonus unlisted track)

- - -

So many people complain about the Scott Vladimir Licina score. As you can tell, I'm not among them. It kinda works, I said kinda. It needed to be more subtler.

Something else about me.

I like atmosphere music, fan of the genre. Such bands as Midnight Syndicate (have all their albums - minus one since it was a 'best of' with zero new material), Nox Arcana (working on getting them all) and Buzz-Works. The odds are if you have been to Knotts Scary Farm or Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights you have heard their music; the first two have created music for Halloween attractions, both have been doing it for nearly a decade. I suppose it could be an acquired taste. Then again I also have the entire "Big Screams Scarround Sound Environment FX" CDs (nine of them). The ones that gets heavy rotations are "Wind!" (#8) and "Thunder Storm" (#3). I like getting in the mood when I write. Though if I really want to get real creepy I'll play "Liquid Prism" by Laocoön, every time I hear that I think of Stephen King's "The Mist". It's an eerie instrumental, parts sounds like distant moans.

- - -

Discovered something while researching this entry. In 2001 there was a SEQUEL to this balderdash, "Children Of The Living Dead". I remember a comic by that name in 1998, but didn't know there was a real flick. The movie is different. Pure crap from the reviews I've read. They must've had some kind of compromising photos of him, Tom Savini stars.

- - - - - - - - - -



Released on September 7th, 2004 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for $14.98 was the colorized edition (UPC-A# 0 24543 11970 8). It came in a regular DVD case. I believe this is still in print.

The DVD streeted against "The Island At The Top Of The World: 30th Anniversary Edition", "Resident Evil: Deluxe Edition", "Alias: The Complete Third Season" and "Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles" (NBC mini-series; January 27th - 29th, 1980).

I own this, bought last month for this project (from Ebay). Well... it was just an excuse to own it. It's been on my list for a few years, now part of my collection.

There is an insert, double sided single sheet. One side is the chapter listing (with colorized stills), sixteen of them; the other is a variant of the DVD cover. There something about the chapters I want to mention, but I'll do that in a few.

The motion picture is ninety-six minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* Newly colorized print
* Black and white version
* Commentary: Mike Nelson of "Mystery Science Theater 3000"
* "Separated At Death" non-game
* Theatrical Trailers (colorized)
* Additional Trailers: "Carnival Of Souls" (full screen, colorized, 1962) and "The Flesh Eaters" (full screen, black & white, 1964)

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono, both editions)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (colorized)
* DTS (colorized)

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are no subtitle options.

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).



Is this frowned upon? Yes, by purists. Not by me. The big question is... how is the colorization? I would say, very impressive. If you are expecting some kind of technicolor experience, you WILL BE disappointed. The colors are muted, but well defined. No edges, if you know what I mean. It looks quite nice.

I'm old enough to remember way back in 1986 when Hal Roach Studios released the first colorized attempt on home video cassette, it was big news. One of the first films to be injected with color. I rented it from a store that no longer exist, the pharmacy that was next door, bought the space; it's now their storeroom, had some good times there. Anyhow, I remember being unsatisfied, all the colors bled. It wasn't rotoscoping, early digital as I recall.

The job looked amateurish. Plus the pigment choice sucked. All the zombies were this green, pea/vomit hue. They now look decent with a gray (just a slight green) tone to them. It works.

There was an alleged second color release in 1997 from Anchor Bay Entertainment. I've never seen this nor can I find any information or its cover. I've been to their official website. Their catalog only goes back to March of 1998. It appears that everybody is copying the entry from Wikipedia. I've checked my archives - squat. As far as I can tell, there was no DVD released from them in 1997 for the film. I've reached a dead end. There could be a very minor possibility; this colorized release could be VHS only. I know they did release a couple titles, cassette exclusive, like "Curse Of The Black Widow" (September 16th, 1977; ABC TV movie, a Dan Curtis production). So until I read different, I say alleged.

Anyway, the color job (2004) was done by Off Color Films. The problem here is the print used to colorize, not all that great. I don't know; the video appears to have a contrast problem, maybe this is because of the colorization process. But even then, the black and white version shouldn't have that affliction. There are some specks here and there. A dark vertical line across the screen from time to time. There is a lot of grain, not so much that it gets in the way. There is missing details in this DVD, feels washed out - 'bleached' would be a good word.

The stuff that happens at night (without lights) have a surreal, dark and blue appearance. This might be part of the process, perhaps it can't handle the lack of color.

I would like to see this redone with the print from the 40th Anniversary. Plus the technical advancement since '04. It could look incredible. Oh yeah, the TV reports in the film are still in black and white.



There is once instance of a bleed, not a color issue, but over lapping images. I'm guessing Little Miss Barbra's coat was an algorithm victim.

Oh yes, the video appears to be zoomed/blown-up, one reviewer called it a ten percent video loss. I've seen the comparisons, I agree. Not as bad as it could've been, I guess. What is curious is that the framing changes throughout the film; for some scenes there are boarders around the picture, some times not, sometimes just the sides. Weird.



What don't I like? This is me nitpicking. I get the impression that the color scheme was up to them. As you can see in Part I - A, there were some color photos that could've been used for reference. Different colors were used on clothes. Ben's shirt was slightly pink, not light blue. Tom's tee isn't red, it's light blue. Harry shirt was light blue, not gray; the tie is sort of the correct color though. Stuff like that.

As previously mentioned, I don't have a sound system. So my audio review is only basic. What I can say is the sound is a big improvement over the 30th Anniversary - which sounded artificial. This is the first time NOTLD has been presented in DTS.

The commentary? Lame. It wasn't funny at all. If you're into dull humor, then this is a winner. I couldn't get through the whole thing; maybe a quarter of the film, then gave up.

The "Separated At Death" game isn't one. It's a ghoul still from the movie, then a picture of a celebrity who looks like that zombie. There is no choice at all OR anything game related. Why is this even here? It's stupid and a waste of time. The best I can say, 'it's interactive.'

Both movie trailers are colorized, the first was altered for the new colored feature, the second is the original - in color. The reason why "The Flesh Eaters" trailer is here is because Bill Hinzman had a role in the feature.

- - -



This was re-packaged in 2009 by Legend Films (UPC# 8 44503 00134 4) for $9.95. The new cover still showcases the '04 cover without "The Classic Is Now In Deadly Color!" text on the top. The re-release emphases Mike Nelson's commentary, now called "Rifftrax: Night Of The Living Dead". All the extras from the '04 release was cut, minus the commentary. The DVD came with a free voucher to download a podcast from Rifftraxs website. The film is presented in black and white.

Something else I uncovered while researching (fits into this week's catagory), there was another re-do, released in 1991. All the audio was removed and redubbed by James Riffel. The project was titled, "Night Of The Day Of The Dawn Of The Son Of The Bride Of The Return Of The Revenge Of The Terror Of The Attack Of The Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Crawling, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D" (quite the mouthful). It does not have an official DVD, it had a limited VHS release back in the day, some 500 copies. From what I've read it was very politically incorrect and hilarious. I'm going to seek that out (DVD-R), if I can.

I like this quote from Enemycoke:
Quote:
This movie is like that tape in "The Ring". Sitting on a shelf in an abandoned hotel in the middle of the woods, Unlabeled, and deadly.
Before I close this section I want to include one more bastard.



I apologise for the picture quality. I did the best I could do, it's a composite of two images; same one, broken up to fix the distortion - from the best pix I could find on the web. What you can't see (very well) is that there are dark veins on his head. That fellow has been deceased for a few days. Why is it here?

As you know NOTLD is in public domain; when they were forced to change the title from "Night Of The Flesh Eaters" (since a varient was already in use - "The Flesh Eaters" [1964])) and forgot to include the copyright notice. Boom! Anybody can copy and sell this movie, legally. The film makers have seen very little profits from what is the most successful independent film in cinema history.

There are TONS of crappy copies out there (VHS, DVD and Betamax). Far too many to list - what do they all have in common, regardless of format?

They have awful covers, as if the artwork was done by someone who got a C- in their art class. A few have the poster with added junk. Some are a potpourri of random images from the film slapped together like a kindergartener's collage. Hell, I've even seen art that is best described as stick figure theater. So when I ran into this cover, I took notice.

I guarantee this DVD is off a poor condition print; too dark, too scratchy and or too washed out with bad audio - just barely watchable. But... I would like a copy, would pay no more than a dollar for it, but I would care to own it as a novelty. Whoever released this did something unique, they gave the movie an original, real cover. While that dead guy does not appear in the film (though he kinda looks like the cemetery autopsy zombie from the 1990 remake), looks sway. Good job on a crappy product. The release year or company? *shrugs*

So when the world has fallen to those damn dirty apes and Man is rendered a mute savage; among the long forgotten relics WILL BE public domain copies of NOTLD - take comfort or despair in that, I'll let you decide which.

There you have it. We've come to the end of another ghoulish and long winded chapter. Chapter! Okay not so few. The insert has the names for each of the sixteen, unlike the usual which has serious titles, this goes for laughs.

1. One Way Trip
2. They're Coming To Get You Barbra
3. Zombies Hate Clotheslines
4. Fun With A Tire Iron
5. Let The Board Nailing Begin!
6. Barbra Wigs Out
7. Nothing Like A Loaded Gun
8. Enter Scuff Head
9. Ben The Alpha Dog
10. Barbra's Still Out To Lunch
11. Willard
12. Barbra's STILL Out To Lunch
13. Einstein At The Gas Pump
14. Feast Of The Living Dead
15. Dad, Your Arm Taste Great!
16. Ending Credits

- - -

It's not over yet kids, I've saved the best for last. So don't worry, that taste will wash away next week. I'll include some additional odds and ends, a couple of them X rated. Oh boy! That got your attention. *smile*

Last edited by JohnIan; 01-02-2013 at 12:15 AM..
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2012, 05:02 AM
PART IV: THE 1968 CLASSIC RELOADED - A

The dead will slumber once more after this week (or not), but before they return to their graves (with full tummies and bloody chins) we have one more relevant home video release to talk about. And I've saved the best for last, "George A. Romero's Night Of The Living Dead: 40th Anniversary Edition". *jazz hands*



It was released on May 20th, 2008 from Genius Products (#81174WRP1) for $19.98. It came in a regular DVD case.

The DVD streeted against "George A. Romero’s Diary Of The Dead", "Killing Zelda Sparks" and "24: Season One - Special Edition".

This release originally came with a cardboard foil slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. It also came with a single sided advertisement for this very release and "Diary Of The Dead".

The motion picture is ninety-six minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* Newly remastered print
* 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
* "One For The Fire: The Legacy Of 'Night Of The Living Dead'" documentary (anamorphic, 83:48 minutes)
* "Speak With The Dead: A Conversation With George A. Romero" August 26th, 2007 interview (anamorphic, 15:48 minutes)
* "Ben Speaks: The Last Interview With Duane Jones" December 13th, 1987 (audio only with stills from the movie, 16:46 minutes)
* Still Gallery (68 images)
* Theatrical Trailer
* Additional Trailers: "George A. Romero's Diary Of The Dead" (non-anamorphic, 2007), "Halloween" (non-anamorphic, 2007) and "W∆Z" (anamorphic, 2007 - also known as "The Killing Gene")
* Home Video Ads: "Inside: Unrated" (non-anamorphic, 2007) and "Automaton Tranfusion" (non-anamorphic, 2006)
* DVD-ROM: Original Screenplay (PDF)

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 2.0 (remastered mono)

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are subtitles in English and Spanish.

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).

Some bits before we get to the meat (as it were) of the review.

There was an early misprint when the 40th was announced - it was to have Dolby Digital 5.1. Not true. If you want that kind of audio you need to seek out Elite Entertainment's "Millennium Edition" or 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's 2004 colorized version, that also came with DTS.

The commentaries are once again from the 1994 laser disc special edition, not a bad thing. Both were very thorough, nothing to complain. It could be a statement of how great they were. *nods*

As mentioned in Part I - A, the gallery here is abbreviated. Elite Entertainment's 2002 "Millennium Edition" has 159 pictures. Both releases (this and that) are dwarfed by the "25th Anniversary Collector's Edition" LD ('94) also from Elite Entertainment; some 400 images. Just a reminder for those keeping track.

- - -

When I first reviewed this in 2008 I wrote that the film has an 'ever so slightly blue hue'. I wish to recant that. When that was written I was watching it on my laptop.

As I cull the specs for the disc I'm viewing it on my portable DVD player. I don't see any of that indigo, looks very black and white. I may have been tired at the time of writing, I'm a night owl so it may have effected my viewing. Hell, I'm writing this at 4:38 in the morning. *shrugs* So, there. Yeah.

The film has never looked as good as it does now. I mean NEVER. The release prints (1968) were done on out of date film stock and left overs, Walter Reade (distributor) went the cheap route. This 40th outshines the previous best, the "Millennium Edition". All these fine details are now to be seen, like the very lite stripes on Ben's shirt. While its true this edition has more grain, it doesn't get in the way. Double edge sword, some are bothered by that sort of thing. As I wrote, this was never printed on grade-A stock. You get what you get and compared to the rest, it's a massive improvement.

Okay. This is a hot topic among die hard fans - framing. The presentation on the "Millennium Edition" is actually window boxed; fuzzy black frame around the screen. This boarder was taken out for the 40th. A lot of people are claiming it's digital zoom. I don't think so. I believe they struck a new master from a better print. Here an example...



One the left is the 2002 release, the right 2008. As you can see there is a boarder on the ME. The boarder is gone in the 40th, but there is MORE of the image shown! That's a moth flying across the camera on the lower, right hand side. Before this new master, people were claiming that was a goof; some guy's hand waving slightly across camera, telling the actor to move way from the bodies (the edge of his fingers), nope - it's a moth. Here's another example.



When Barbra (Judy O'Dea) first enters the farm house she's freaked out by the stuffed boar head. This is a real goof, there's a hand in front of the camera moving it into position (it's there for four frames). Once again, left '02, right '08. You can see the specks in the ME that are gone in the 40th. But there two specs in the 40th (upper center) that are not present in the ME.

There are some scenes like where Ben (Duane Jones) disassembles a table that looks like a digital zoom. Not so much, that zoom is also in the "Millennium Edition" - caught my eye when I was comparing the two, it's present.

So, there you have it. The 40th edition is from a newer master, struck from a better print. This is a non-issue and should be celebrated if anything - we're getting a little more of the movie than the past three decade of home video (re-)releases. You don't need to lug around Dr. Theopolis to know this is a very good thing. *nods*

The biggest extra present is the near, feature length documentary. Damn impressive. Minus a few who are no longer with us, the doc has interviews with all the cast members. It was nice to see it dedicated to the late Karl Hardman (1927 - 2007). Well, minus O'Dea. For some reason she has really shunned her participation, but then again so did the late Jones. I suppose she wants to be known for something other than NOTLD. Whatever, if it were me? I would be riding that gravy train till I die. Anyhow, this features the very last interview with Hardman.

What's sucks is that so much matertial is forever gone. Back in the day there was flood where the posters, press kits, outtakes and deleted scenes were stored (basement; The Latent Image offices). All destroyed. Scenes? Some eight minutes were trimmed. These include another shot of the ghouls and an extended basement moment with Harry and Helen (Marilyn Eastman). Not to mention ALL the early commercials and shorts by Latent Image have fallen into oblivion. I want to believe that somewhere, someone has this stuff stored away in their attic - long forgotten, just wating to be recovered. It does makes sense. But that pipe dream is as wishful as finding that missing spider-crab sequence from King Kong (1933).

Anyhow, as I wrote weeks ago, if you really want all the extras (well... most) for the motion picture; you need to have both the 40th and "Millennium Edition" DVDs. If you are just interested in the best looking version, then you only need the 40th.

The Home Video Ads and Additional Trailers are not a menu choice, it's a single long clip that runs at the start of disc play.

A good companion to the documentary is "Night of the Living Dead: Behind The Scenes Of The Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever" by Joe Kane from Citadel (2010; 272 pages), $16.95. I need to pick that up. Another good book is "BFI Classics: Night Of The Living Dead" from British Film Institute (2008; 128 pages), $14.95. Film historian Benjamin A. Hervey looks at the social commentary contained in the film. I've read some of it at the bookstore, need to pick this up too.

What I want is "Night Of The Living Dead: Studies In The Horror Film" from Centipede Press (2011; 368 pages), $125.00, (decorative cloth) hardcover (only). Editors Jerad Walters and Marco Lanzagorta collect eighteen essays covering various topics. And two interviews with George A. Romero - from 1979 and 2006. Plus black and white and color stills. As understand it's limited to 200 copies, can't afford it.

Okay, now for the rest...

- - - - - - - - - -

SOUNDTRACKS PART VI



Now here's a true oddity, not really a soundtrack, but I'm gonna allow it. In 2009 400 Lonely Things released "Tonight Of The Living Dead". It was by pure accident that I learned of it. This is a concept album based off the library music used for NOTLD. This CD was over a year in the making; pet project of 400 Lonely Things. A collage of treated audio from the horror classic. There is no dialog, just music and sound effects - remixed. The stuff is dark ambient, experimental music; sixty-five minutes.

The twelve page booklet has a foreward from actress Judy O'Dea; who was given an advance copy. The album has four dedications. The imagery to O'Dea. Audio to the late Karl Hardman. Music box to Kyra Schon. And the concept album to George A. Romero. I'm very glad I bought this. It originally sold for $10.00, now it goes for $15.00 from Pimalia records.

1. It Begins
2. Tonight
3. This Old House
4. No Answer
5. The Music Box
6. Cricket Window
7. Cellar Company
8. Another Fire Always Smiles

Wait, I'm not doing this justice. Here are two excerpt from the booklet:
Quote:
Using mutated samples from the film itself (many with their excellent foley work intact) as the only ingredients, and weaving these treatments into a subtle and creepy, dialog-free, instrumental companion.
400 Lonely Things is Craig Varian.
Quote:
Tonight Of The Living Dead is concerned with the more understated and haunting moments of this movie, focusing on the fragility of "Barbra" and drawing out the sense of bewildering relentlessness and hypnotic inevitability of waiting in an old farm house for the world to end.


In case you're curious, the album cover is a mixture of two frames from the film; the moment before Barbra runs inside the farm house. At first I thought that picture was something they snapped for the CD. Nope, two frames Photoshopped together, looks creepy. Sway.

There is a music video for "Tonight" - not on the disc. Type out 'Tonight Of The Living Dead by 400 Lonely Things' on YouTube. The video is 9:14 minutes long, very phantasmagorical.

- - -

Continuing with the audio motif.

They don't make enough of these nowadays - audio dramas, the Golden Age of radio. Wait, GOOD audio dramas. Granted there are a few going on right now, like "We're Alive" (awesome zombie series/podcast - DO seek it out).



I still have this, bought back in the day from B. Dalton bookstore (long gone) in my local mall, "Night Of The Living Dead: A Fully Dramatized Tale Of Absolute Terror!" The cassette was released by Simon & Schuster under their Audioworks line in 1988 to cash in on NOTLD's 20th anniversary. It retailed for $9.95. I still have the folded single sheet catalog inside the cardboard case. Well... the cassette holder is plastic.

There are three performers doing all the voices; Ed Bishop, Bill Hootkins and Linda Hayes. They needed either better voice talent OR more performers. The voices were not very different which can break a presentation like this. As you might expect, Hayes does all the female roles - all her voices sound the same. What makes it worse, Barbra now sounds like a cartoon character. *shakes head*

Man, I have complaints about this adaptation, the voice actors leave a lot to be desired. The word 'cheesy' comes to mind. And the biggest bitch, they altered the ghouls. Zombies do not talk and they don't take breaks from hunting people. One of them rest after chasing Barbra; leans against a tree.

The revised story (fifty-three minutes) takes place in '88; Ronald Regan is the President calling for calm as the plague escalates (bad Regan impersonation too). All the characters sound lame.



For collectors this is a curious piece of history, which is why I re-purchased it on CD. It was re-released on compact disc in 2004 also for $9.95 (you can find this cheaper on Ebay). Would I recommend this to non-die hards? HELL NO! This reworking suck balls then comes back for seconds. It could've been good - even great. What we got here is bad radio. Shame on you, M'Lou Zahner (executive producer) and Michael Brooks (audio adaptation), you're not fans.

The CD has 22 tracks, the last one has fifteen seconds of silence. And the new cover sucks too! At least with the cassette they tired something different. The original release came with a cardboard slipcover which mirrored the jewel case art, not many CDs do that.

Okay, what the hell; the cover? Hands rise from the gave and hold on to? Is that suppose to be lightening as seen in the background? There is some kind of distortion in that sphere. Is it a metaphor? The dead eating the souls of the living? That CD cover makes no sense. Just added frosting to this crap cake.

Last edited by JohnIan; 02-11-2013 at 10:17 PM..
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2012, 05:12 AM
PART IV: THE 1968 CLASSIC RELOADED - B

BLUE CINEMA

Nudies! You've been waiting for this mention. There have some parodies, but few XXX ones. I can name off the top of my head just two. Before you ask, sorry, both covers feature nudity so I won't post them. I just made you sad in the pants. It did me, I had to read the detailed review for the one below.

Get this crap over with - "Porn Of The Dead". Released in April 2005 from Metro Studios under its Loaded Digital line, directed by Rob Rotten.

Oh man, this is messy and disgusting, take a real Hollywood zombie splatterfest then mix it with a porno. I'm glad I've never seen this. The stills were bad enough, gory sex. NO. I'll pass. There is no central plot, this is a gonzo release; five unrelated scenes featuring the undead with little to no dialog.

There two scenes that I'm lightly going to mention as examples. Think oral sex, now make that member a bloody one. Take the reverse situation - now make that bloody too. Sick sad world, Daria. Sick, sad world. Should you care, there's a porno version of "Re-Animator" called "Re-Penetrator". I'll pass too.

What I can tell you is that this DVD features an all death metal soundtrack (why of course), behind-the-scenes featurette (forty-eight minutes), trailers and slide show gallery. Audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. Retails for $25.99. The runtime is 101 minutes.

This repulsion stars Sierra Sinn, Hillary Scott, Trina Michaels, Ruby Knox, Nikki Jett, Dirty Harry (not that one - Clint isn't that hard up; oh a double entendre), Alec Knight, Buster Good, Trent Tesoro, Joey Ray, Jenner, Rob Rotten and Johnny Thrust. As mentioned this is a Rotten film (another one - zing!).

Let me make this crystal clear. Rotten is the kind of director that Christian groups rally against porn to, lumping his movies with the rest. The man makes extreme videos. Not the normal, happy-fun porn (Tori Black). The kind that very, very, very few people are into. The sick stuff as in this case; dismemberment, necrophilia and some serious religious blasphemy. Look, I'm an atheist and I'm offended. I put Rotten in the same camp as Rob Black. I don't need to explain him further than two words - "simulated rape". Stay away. It's a blight on the industry.

All righty.

Next up is a XXX vid released in October 2008, "Night Of The Giving Head", clever title from Exquisite; directed by Rodney Moore. Oh noes! I'm scarrred!!! Run for them there hills, Linda Lovelace has returned from the dead! *smiles* The runtime is 101 minutes too.

This story driven blue movie stars Amber Rayne, Caroline Pierce, Nikki Rhodes, Rucca Page, Samantha Sin and Christian. The DVD has a slide show gallery, bloopers and making the soundtrack featurette; presentation in anamorphic widescreen. It retailed for $29.95. Plot? Ha-ha!!!

Due to Global Warming, holes are popping in the ozone layer. This environmental woe is making some semen wonky. Ladies who get *cough* a treat become effected. They crave non-stop man salsa. That the set-up; four girls are now trapped in a hilltop house with THEM lurking and horny outside. The horror! It's up to the local sheriff to save the day. Not gonna to leave you hanging (zing!), a cure is eventually found. I'm gonna guess... unaffected semen. Now you may be pointing, 'hey that's a plot hole'. Don't finger that, it's porno logic, it right up there with horse sense. Have I seen this? Nope. Why? I've seen stills, it looks very amateurish - like a bad high school play. Why see it when I can watch a better blue flick? Maybe something with Alexis Texas, Holly Michaels, Dana Dearmond or Gage (remember her?).



Okay there is this, not a video, not even adult - mature, yes. Published from 2007 - 2008 from Image Comics under their Crawl Space line was a four issue zombiesploitation mini-series called "XXXombies"...

The year is 1977. Porn director Wong Hung Lau has two days to film on location, a house. He's under a lot of stress and debt. Hung Lau has locked his talent and crew inside to keep them from being distracted. You can pretty much guess what happens next. Things go bad as they find Los Angeles quarantined because of the undead plague. Things get worse, not so much from the zombies, but from Italian mobsters who have come to get their money owed from Hung Lau. More trouble and possible salvation comes from a pissed off dad of the one the girls; who is responsible for turning his princess into a whore???

I do not own them, but these puppies are on my list.

- - - - - - - - - -

VARIOUS BITS

There is another remake coming out this year, the release date is in flux. This is called "Night Of The Living Dead: Origins 3D". A CGI animated retelling; the group comes together not in a farm house in the sticks, but trapped in a modern day New York City apartment. The teaser I saw was okayish, the animation looked like something the Syfy channel would produce. So that's the downside. The project was directed by Zebediah de Soto. He co-wrote the screenplay with David R. Schwartz. This has taken over two years to get done, it was first annouced in the Fall of 2009.

What I DO like is the cast of voice actors; Danielle Harris as Barbara, Alona Tal as Helen Cooper and Joseph Pilato as Harry Cooper - the man who played Captain Rhodes in the third sequel, "Day Of The Dead" (1985). But what really has me all hopeful is that Bill Moseley and Tony Todd are reprising their roles from the 1990 version; Todd as Ben, Moseley as Johnny. How cool is that?! Please don't suck. What I would prefer to see is the same CGI animated level/style as "Resident Evil: Degeneration", that worked perfectly.

Yeah, you may be saying; 'Hey JohnIan there was another version in 3D'. True, but it wasn't that good. The print they used was not so great, plus NOTLD ('68) was never in 3D. So the final effect is so-so at best.

Fine. Released from Slingshot Entertainment on August 1st, 2004 was "The Ultimate 3D Horror Collection: Vol 2" - inside were two wired shutter glasses, the Video Synchronization Controller box and three (public domain) movies. The films (DVDs) were "Dementia 13" (1963), "Little Shop Of Horrors" (1960) and NOTLD. It originally sold for $99.99, now it can be found for $38.99. The 3D effects had some depth perception, but that's it. As you may have expected, I don't own this nor do I have interest in buying. There you go. True, some time later those glasses became wireless.

- - -



This is something I would love as a poster hanging on my wall. A tribute to artist Patrick Nagel by Matt Busch. The cover to the comic book annual #1, L.A. convention variant (250 at the convention; 1,500 copies for the reprint) from Avatar Press, 2008.

How friggin' cool is that? If you grew up in the late 1970s and early '80s you've seen his work, Nagel. The man had the eye for the female form. His artwork has appeared on album covers and in Playboy plus many others. For some bizarre reason his art adorn hair and nail salons' windows. You've seen them.

He died of a heart attack in his car in 1984; a bit of wicked irony, he died after making an appearance at an American Heart Association celebrity fund-raising event.



Busch did second Nagel inspired cover, same comic book annual, but for the Wizard World, Philadelphia convention (same year). A limited edition of 1,500 copies. *sigh* I'll be honest, it didn't have the same umph as the West Coast cover.

- - -

There's a short (six minutes) out there called, "Night Of The Living Dead Mexicans" (2008), a parody. I would like to see that, couldn't be any worse than "Night Of The Living Bread" (1990).

- - - - - - - - - -

ADDITIONAL NOTES

One last topic before I close this big ass crypt...



This is something I don't know. I'm confused, there are contradictions. So here are the facts that I know. What you see above is the cover to a book that was/is/not written by Romero. This tome would('ve) covered the start of the crisis. And for the first time ever, delve into the real reason how the plague started - more than a substantial hint(s). Plus rules, what the ghouls can and can not do; like - run.

It was reported in the Fall of 2009 that Headline, a United Kingdom publisher had paid Romero, a rumored $300,000 advance to pen the book. At that time, the novel had a July 2010 release.

The (official) book description:
Quote:
In San Diego, an autopsy seems routine until the corpse sits up and begins to walk - after all of his organs have been removed. Suddenly, the rules of this world have been rewritten and the dead now walk the earth. In Atlanta, a reporter covers the epidemic, showing viewers glimpses of increasing chaos from across the globe. Nowhere, it seems, is safe. The captain of an aircraft carrier hopes to save his crew from the disease by remaining at sea, but seemingly within moments zombies are wreaking havoc on the ship. THE LIVING DEAD follows different groups of people as they react to the crisis, working together or, for some, using their limited knowledge of zombies to try to survive. But is survival even possible? Or desirable?
The 'maybe' book seems to be structured like Max Brooks' novel "World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War" (2006); vignettes in chronological order - told in first person. I highly recommend it, Brooks wrote what many (myself included) consider the definitive zombie apocalypse tale, that damn good. Oh yeah, the upcoming movie adaption, sucks! I won't go off into a rant about this, you can read the reasons why elsewhere. My heart sank when I learned - this should've been awesome. It's so far from it, another one for the fire, Vince. The book is written so screenplay friendly. There exist a better adaption, a full cast audio production. My only problem is that the five disc (CD) set is abridge. Okay, back to topic.

Here is a quote from Headline publisher, Vicki Mellor on the deal...
Quote:
[Zombies are] one of the new buzz words in publishing. I think that the world is ready to re-embrace the zombie culture - after the massive amount of vampire novels that have been published, it's time for a change of antagonist. We are very aware that there is going to be an explosion of zombie novels being published over the next year, but we absolutely believe that we have the definitive novel from the one author whom every fan of the genre will want to read. There is no one more qualified to write a zombie novel. You just have to look on the internet and around the world at the enthusiasm with which Romero, and zombies, are greeted, to see that there's a huge amount of potential for these books.
That cover image appeared on Amazon, Spring of 2010. The page number was listed, 320 pages. Info was given about the audio book edition, unabridged for $29.98. During this time, the online retailer claimed the hardback would have a retail price of $25.99 with a release date of July 1st that year.

???

The book didn't come out. The DVD release of his sequel to "Diary Of The Dead" (2007), "George A. Romero's Survival Of The Dead: Two-Disc Ultimate Undead Edition" (streeted on August 24th, 2010) had a statement from Romero in the special features. Asked about the novel, he remarked 'don't believe eveything you've heard'. False news?

But here's the thing, there was an official announcement from Headline. And the detailed listing on Amazon. Was this a hoax??? A joke on fans?

During my researching I found this bit; Tower (the website is still alive, but Tower Records is dead) still has a entry for it, now called "The Living Dead: The Beginning" with an ISBN number of 0446561835. Different date though, July 24th, 2010.

There's more...

As of last month, Allbookstore.com has a listing for July 2012, same ISBN. The book is now being published as they claim by Grand Central Pub. (same number of pages). Amazon currently has a July 1st, 2012 release for the audio book from Hachette Audio. What hell?

The cover pix has been removed on Amazon. It has a price of $74.99 for a book with "Unknown Binding", temporarily out of stock. Confused?

This is what I think happened - pure speculation.

He did write most or perhaps completed the book (first draft). The deal with Headline turned sour. There may have been a silent legal battle over the rights. This was when Romero made his comment on the novel. He won or some agreement was reached. A new publisher was awarded the deal, Grand Central Pub. A revised date was given, July of 2012.

Only time can only tell IF or WHEN this book sees the light of day. But I suppose the important question - is it any good?

- - -

There you go folks. Over month of my life in these words, I hope you enjoyed it. Will there be another installment? Maybe. Maybe. There are those two NOTLD remakes which have yet to be released. I could do an update when they hit home video. Plus that sequel to the 3D reboot and that Riffel re-dub (should I find it).

Do I have an idea for another retrospective? Yes I do. But right now I don't have that DVD, it's kinda pricey (more than I'm willing to pay). I'm keeping my eyes on Ebay. What's the subject? It will be on a short lived television series that has a following. The home video release was screwed up. Plus a mention to the TV movie that may have spawned/inspired it. After that? I don't have any other topics; something could pop in my head.

Sure, why not? I've leave you with these two bits of trivia...

October 27th, 1968

What's that? That's the date the world ended; the historic day - the fall of mankind.

Barbara: They ought to make the day the time changes the first day of summer.
Johnny: What?
Barbara: Well it's eight o' clock and it's still light.
Johnny: A lot of good the extra daylight does us, you know we've still got a three hour drive back, we're not going to be home until after midnight.

Taking the film's release 1968 as the event year; Fall Daylight Savings (gaining one hour) fell on the last Sunday of that October, the twenty-seventh.

And lastly, the November 2008 issue of Empire magazine (British), published the results of a world-wide poll of the "500 Greatest Movies Of All Time"; "Night Of The Living Dead" (1968) ranked 397th.
Quote:
Nighttime's on fire
We are the heat
The flame is desire, burns in the street
Know it's gonna strike, again and again
Hold on to the Night, hold on till the end...
- Johnny Steele

Last edited by JohnIan; 07-12-2014 at 10:44 PM..
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2012, 03:32 AM
Update...

Found out about this an hour ago.

One of the most iconic zombies has passed. Samuel William Hinzman a.k.a. Bill Hinzman died this week. He passed away on February 5th, 2012 at the age of seventy-five from cancer.


(behind-the-scenes photo)

Best remembered as the Cemetery Ghoul (original NOTLD). I would say it's a tie as to who's more famous; him or Karen Cooper (Kyra Schon).

I wasn't sure if I wanted to do this add on, this isn't DVD - but I would be remissed if I didn't.

Last edited by JohnIan; 02-10-2012 at 03:34 AM..
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  #10  
Old 06-18-2012, 08:42 PM
PART IV: THE 1968 CLASSIC RELOADED - C

No matter how many shots you take, there is always another one lurking just out of sight, moments away from grabbing you. Fight or flight, I chose the first.

The last entry on the subject was posted on January 26th, some five months ago. I have another one...

All I can say is that I completely forgot to include it the first time around.

Why?

It's utterly redundant. But for the subject as whole, I need to include it...



The "40th Anniversary Edition" from Genius Products (#81174WRP1) as seen above in 'The 1968 Classic Reloaded - A' was re-released as an exclusive from Best Buy for the 2009 Halloween season. Sorry, I do not know the actual street date. I checked my archive, couldn't find a listing. I can tell you it retailed for $14.99.

The DVD was given a new slipcover (cardboard), replacing the original cardboard foil slip. Important, the image you see here is a reproduction I made. I found one pix online for it, but the picture was low res. So I used it as a reference. Anyhow, I don't own this. Why would I? It's not as nice as the red foil one.

What is it?

It's the very same DVD release with a new slipcover masquerading as a new title. In short, Best Buy pulled a Wal-Mart (retail giant does this for its movies all the time).

Sure, there is a second possibility.

NOTLD 2008 special edition had a limited pressing. I recall reading some folks were having a hard time finding a copy in stores, only X amount were made. Best Buy made an agreement with Genius Products to sell the DVDs at their stores only.

You may be asking, 'why not just re-release in a small amounts to all stores?' True, it's for Halloween, most retail shops have a holiday movie rack (even grocery stores) - it would make a perfect fit. I agree.

This is conjecture; perhaps they still have some copies which hadn't sold, but not enough for all stores to order. So Genius came up with the idea to sell their surplus with a new slipcover to a single chain. I can tell you that when I ran into it, I only saw two DVDs at my Best Buy, limited quantities.



Anyhow, you can still find the regular release on Ebay and Amazon for fifteen dollars so less. You just can't find it now in brick and mortar shops. Granted, somewhere in the U.S., a Best Buy might still have their exclusive on the shelf.

- - - - - - - - - -

ADDITIONAL NOTE

Before you ask, I checked... the previously mentioned Romero, zombie origin book.

The street date still remains July 1st, 2012. I have no new news other than that. We're allegedly less than a month away from its release, there should've been some kind of announcement or fanfare. So far, none..

I'll keep you posted.

Last edited by JohnIan; 08-27-2012 at 01:59 AM..
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2012, 06:38 AM
PART II: THE REMAKES - C

It rises once again; veiny, murky, hungry hands outreached hoping to grasps more than warm tender flesh...

Delicious green backs.



Barbara (Patricia Tallman) has something else to fear besides the ghouls outside.

I've been silent on a recent home video dissension, simply because I'm not into Blu-Rays. I'm not impressed by the format, I don't own it. But more and more talk rolls by. I should include it in the retrospective, as a footnote of sorts, since it does relate to the 1999 DVD release.



Released on October 9th, 2012 from Twilight Time (through Screen Archives Entertainment) for $29.95 was the limited edition Blu-Ray (UPC# 8-51789-00332-0), only 3,000 produced worldwide of the 1990 remake. The region A/1 (1080p) came in a common BR case, normal wraparound.

There was an insert, an eight page booklet; production notes by film historian Julie Kirgo.

The motion picture is ninety-two minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* Newly remastered print
* Commentary: director Tom Savini
* Isolated Score: composer Paul McCollough
* Theatrical Trailer (in HD)
* Catalog Ad: "The Rains Of Ranchipur" (1955) and "Bonjour Tristesse" (1958)

- - -

Audio:

* 5.1 DTS-HD MA

- - -

NOTES/RANT

Missing from the new Blu-Ray is the making-of featurette, "The Dead Walk: Remaking A Classic", though the Savini commentary from the DVD does carry over.

As I wrote, I don't own this or any Blu-Rays. All of this post was researched. I spent hours online, looking about and reading from blogs, message boards and HD reviews, taking a lot of notes. I think I've managed to gather the essential data to write this topic. Okay. That being written lets begin...

There are subtitles in English SDH.

The Blu-Ray is not dubbed in any language(s).

It is presented in anamorphic widescreen.

This was the first title from Twilight Time that sold out in eight days; this is the pre-order, not days after the street date. That's impressive. A pre-order sold on Ebay for $150.00. It has a current auction price of $65.00, though some are asking for $199.00, new. And it's now selling on Amazon for $99.97. As I wrote, that's impressive for an indie release.

The problem hit the tubes shortly after people got their copies and watched it; angry and upset fans vented their displeasure online... in droves.



What you see above are from a YouTube video from a fellow named Auzorann, it's called "1990 NOTLD DVD vs Bluray Comparison". It's short, thirty-five seconds. I download the hi-def vid. These three stills were not altered by myself or Auzorann. The change is pretty explicit, everything has been given a dark bath of blue tint. The image details that were on the DVD are dimmed away by the new transfer - which is the opposite of what you would expect from high definition.

By the way, the included trailer isn't Smurfed up.

To put it gently, folks were not happy with the new Blu-Ray. In the days that followed the release, news came to light. The company never examined the product they were selling.

Lets take a step back.

In 2010 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment was working on a deluxe edition of the 1990 horror film, a 20th anniversary release. A new transfer was made. This project was supervised by the film's director of photography, Frank Prinzi. He claims this is how the film was suppose to look. I'll get into the contradiction and other controversy in a few.

For whatever reason, Sony terminated the project. The release didn't happen and this transfer sat on the self for two years.

Along comes a new company, Twilight Time (they release limited edition Blu-Rays of hard to find/vintage films) they learn about the new transfer and want to release a HD version of the movie. The upstart buys the licensing rights, an exclusive three year contract. And the rest becomes history.

To combat the MASSIVE negative comments, Twilight Time posted the following on their Facebook page:
Quote:
UPDATE: As promised, we have discussed NOTLD at the studio and are able to verify via SPE’s Mastering Department, that our Blu-ray is indeed the approved transfer from 2010, generated for the film’s 20th anniversary, and done in consultation with the film’s director of photography. As you will have also seen on this page and elsewhere on the Internet, director Tom Savini has now had a chance to view the end product and declared it "fantastic." As we are aware that some fans of the film will remain disappointed, our offer of a full refund still stands if you wish to return your copy. However, we would caution you with this thought: this is a limited edition run of 3,000 copies, and the title is sold out. Right or wrong, it is a collector’s item, and there are no guarantees this title will ever be repressed. Going forward, if TT encounters another situation where the new transfer differs greatly from the old, we will bring that to collectors’ attention prior to the disc being offered so that you may know of the changes beforehand. Thanks for all your support.
Savini posted on his Facebook, the following:
Quote:
You know what...I watched it last night and it's beautiful. I can't see anything wrong with it and I watched it on my 70 inch high def Sharp.
That's where it could've ended, mostly. But there's more.

- - -

A commenter on IMDb with the moniker Zilla7777 made this post in the message board for the 1990 motion picture on October 9th, 2012:
Quote:
It turns out that Tom Savini "gave his okay" on this version after it was long-sold-out. I know, because I just got done talking to him (I initially contacted him via email, the same one he uses on his public website for contact: tom_savini@msn.com). He also told me that he was PAID FOR HIS "OPINION" by Twilight Time, the label that released this dreck.
That kinda invalidates his quote about how great the transfer is; conflict of interest. This feels very much like damage control. It becomes even more...

As previously mentioned, missing from the Blu-Ray is the making-of featurette (nearly twenty-five minutes long). It should be noted that most releases from Twilight Time are bare bones. This is a quote from that featurette from actress Patricia Tallman:
Quote:
When we started shooting, we started with the beginning of the script, which was the graveyard scene. This was spring time in Pittsburgh; we wanted to have that gloomy, rainy kind of thing going on - which I believe is the way it is in the original. Instead we had these glorious, sunshining, blue days with birds chirping in the background. Not scary at all. But at the end, Tom loved it, 'cause its the opposite; it was the opposite of what you expected. And that's what he kept doing in that scene.
I'm going flat out and saying this is BS (how great the picture is), nothing more than trying to spin crap on a cracker.

Still trying to save face, Twilight Time posted this on their Facebook:
Quote:
Well, the Blu-ray is an accurate representation of the transfer...obviously things like bright/dark levels are utterly subjective. The transfer was undoubtedly approved by the filmmakers.
How is an indigo screen subjective?

But there's even more.

There is another issue that hasn't gotten as much attention, the audio. Sound effects are missing/deleted from the newer transfer. It's present in the DVD though. The clicking sound from Cooper's shotgun after he fired all his rounds is truant. In addition so is the camera noise from the end credits; the sound effect of a camera's motor, moving the film forward for each end credit still is absent. Why were they taken out? I have no answer. Are there more deletions? Probably.

- - -

Some are claiming the situation can be fixed by adjusting their televisions, which isn't correct; the tint is too far embedded to revert. Worse yet are the folks who see nothing wrong with the altered video. I don't know what to say to them. The word apathy comes to mind. Did they buy the hype?

Here's a quote from an online fellow named Project-Blu, pretty much sums up what I feel:
Quote:
the scary thing is, some people (the revisionists in this case) just don't understand the betrayed emotions people get when something they love and are familiar with changes. if someone took their pet and shaved it bald, they'd be upset, and others would state if it didn't harm the creature it isn't THAT big a deal.
Yeah. Apathy. Like those folks who recorded that guy getting beat up on the street with their smartphone - not helping, just recording; wondering how many 'Likes' they'll get.

$99.97? This really should be in that Blu-Ray discount bargain bin at Wal-Mart.

- - -

I do believe that Twilight Time shouldn't have taken all the heat, but they're not 100% blameless. They should've seen what they were releasing before shipping them out.

And if they did? They should still sell it. But have a disclaimer and a video comparison and stills for buyers to decide. Look, they would still sellout, true. But all this mess on their heads wouldn't have exist - the blame would fall solely on Sony for creating the bad transfer.

I do wonder about something things.

Sony had to have known about this image situation; they're the ones who made it.

Maybe they knew this wouldn't go well with fans and hi-def connoisseurs. What if they gave this inferior product to Twilight Time? Let them take the wraith of angry buyers and have them pay for the licensing rights - get back some of the money they lost on the '10 transfer. After three years, they'll re-release a collector's edition. They now know that there is a rabid fan base for this movie, granted it's a niche market. The newer title will be done correctly and become a huge seller.

It's not that outlandish of a notion since there exist TWO hi-def transfers. The other hasn't been tinted navy blue, both owned by Sony. When was the second made? I don't know, but I can tell you it's on the streaming service VUDU from Wal-Mart.

The other is about the abandoned 20th anniversary special edition. How much special features were produced before the plug was pulled? Was the bad transfer the tipping point? Sony didn't want to spent the money to fix it and decided to stop the project? How far did they get?

- - -

Just so you know, there is a bootleg Blu-Ray (region free) that includes the workprint as well as the commentary with making-of featurette from the DVD, that's as much as I know.

- - - - - - - - - -

ADDITIONAL NOTES

This something I never really thought about - for me it was self-explanatory. But I guess some are confused. Ghouls in the Romero universe don't speak as in talk.



The first person that Barbara and Johnnie (Bill Moseley) encounter in the cemetery wasn't a zombie. He was traumatized and injured, bumping into and speaking to Barbara saying "I'm sorry." Makes you wonder what kind of horrors he witnessed and participated in. Actor Pat Reese is listed in the credits as The Mourner. Here are a couple of quotes to settle that - not a zombie misunderstanding (both from the DVD, same making-of featurette)...
Quote:
Tried to manipulate you in the remake - to believe that the first guy you see is a zombie, just like in the first film.
- director Tom Savini

Quote:
He scares us, we think he's gonna be the zombie; turns out, he's just a freaked out old guy.
- actress Patricia Tallman

- - -

Well... There is one thing that took a direct headshot, the Romero novel, "The Living Dead". July 1st, 2012 came and went, nothing happened. Zero update or publication. I still can't say what happened, was it a hoax? Was it really going to happen and the project got axed?

As far as I'm concerned, the book is dead, as in dead, not undead.

Last edited by JohnIan; 10-31-2012 at 05:11 AM..
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2013, 03:37 AM
PART II: THE REMAKES - D P1

You run.

Running faster than you have in your entire life. Up until now, you never had a reason to do so. But as much dust as your feet kick up, giving evidence of your flight - you are still being pursued. They; the undead, have no need for sleep or rest or develop leg cramps - ever persistent, patient and oh so hungry. Hungry. HUNGRY. Expensive name brand name sneakers or generics won't matter much now; how far can you go before YOU falter?

Well... it's been more than a year since I started this project, but the undead much like this endeavor continues to rise. So here we are. This entry covers a film that was previously mentioned in PART II: THE REMAKES - B, "Night Of The Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation". I've place it here (this category) since it sort of fits, this is a prequel. A prequel to 2006 remake, "Night Of The Living Dead 3D".



"Night Of The Living Dead: Re-Animation" did not have a theatrical run, though it did have a premiere on January 15th, 2012 at the L.A. 3D Club, obviously in Los Angeles. I have searched, can't find it; I can not find a budget for this movie. I'm puzzled. I've tried.



It was released on home video on October 16th, 2012 from Screen Media (UPC# 8 14838 01270 4) for $24.98.

The DVD streeted against "That's My Boy", "Chernobyl Diaries" and "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted". It contained both the 2D and 3D versions. Presentation in anaglyph 3D; the release came with one pair of red/cyan glasses.

There is no insert/booklet nor slipcover. The DVD has ten chapters.

The motion picture is eighty-eight minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* "Night Of The Living Dead: Re-Animation - Behind The Scenes" featurette (anamorphic, 13:44 minutes)
* "Night Of The Living Dead: Re-Animation - Producing Visual Effects In 3D" featurette (anamorphic, 5:12 minutes)
* "Night Of The Living Dead: Re-Animation - Outtakes" (anamorphic, 3:32 minutes)
* Home Video Ads: "Below Zero" (anamorphic, 2011) and "FDR: American Badass!" (anamorphic, 2012)
* Web Ad: www.popcornflix.com (anamorphic, 2012)

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are no subtitles

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).

The movie is presented in anamorphic widescreen; both 2D and 3D on the same side. The extras are identical, but for the 3D version option, the extras as shown in 3D (minus home video and web ads).

The United Kingdom release (August 20th, 2012, £9.46 from 101 Films) has an additional extra; commentary with director/producer/co-writer Jeff Broadstreet, star Sarah Lieving and stereographer Andrew Parke. It's too bad this wasn't included on the region 1 release or have the commentary available as a downloadable podcast from their website. Oh and the U.K. release came with two pairs of 3D glasses. Joy.

This was a hard to find at retailers title - nobody had it. I was expecting Wal-Mart to have it in store, nope. I ended up buying this from Amazon. Got a good deal on it, new.

Was this movie needed? No, not really. Was it horrible? No, not really. Was it good? No, not really. This is a middle ground feature film. It's okay, but not much else. You got an afternoon with nothing to do, this could make a nice time waster. It's filler and doesn't rise above it. Which is okay, I guess. It could've been a whole lot worse.

Once again Jeff Broadstreet returns from the '06 remake to direct and produce this direct to video sequel as does Robert Valding who penned that remake. The film takes place the day before the events of the 2006 movie, when the outbreak was still contained.

I have a major pet peeve with connecting movies (sequels/prequels), one word - "continuity". And this flick really failed on that. Now I understand that star wouldn't be coming back and his role needs to be recast, that sucks, but I acknowledge it. The thing is try to get someone to look like the missing actor...



The role of Gerald Tovar, Jr. "Junior" was originally played by actor Sid Haig (above left). The character was recast, now with Andrew Divoff as the perpetrator.



Divoff looks NOTHING like Haig. That's a part of the problem, the other is mannerisms. Haig's Junior was somewhat indecisive and nervous. While Divoff plays the part with much confidence and planning. Haig's Junior was winging it. And that took me out of the movie. They're not the same man or an extension. Yes, it's nitpicking, but it's a legitimate gripe. Well, that and Junior in the oven room, near the end - his never needing to reload, magic shotgun. I guess morticians have access to special weaponry, you know... because of their occupation.



Our main protagonist her is Cristie Forrest (Sarah Lieving) who just began her job at the mortuary. Much like Barbara 'Barb' (Brianna Brown) from the remake (above right), Cristie is a strong willed and an intelligent woman. She made a good heroine, that part I liked. I cared.



I guess there is a second antagonist, but not so much - an antagonist to his brother, but not the overall story. Jeffrey Combs (of "Re-Animator" [1985] fame) plays Junior's sibling, Harold. His brother has fallen on hard times and is trying to get or scam money from his elder kin. When he finds out about the dead rising, he's trying to make the situation into a money making scheme. I did like the question Harold asked; 'are they slow for fast moving?' His plan never gets off the ground. By the way, the original subtitle for this movie was "Resurrection".



Robin Sydney plays the goth chick, DyeAnne. She's a mortician working for Junior or rather was. She over-painted (face) on a client's departed loved one, her third strike. Cristie is DyeAnne's replacement. She must now familiarize the new girl with the mortuary. Sydney does hot goth girl, right. *smiles*

Last edited by JohnIan; 09-17-2013 at 04:55 AM..
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2013, 03:40 AM
PART II: THE REMAKES - D P2



I guess, the biggest, 'why' moment is the introduction of Sister Sara (Denice Duff), seen here with DyeAnne after getting bitten (yeah, that's a spoiler - like you're really concerned). Yes, that's a Sarah Palin clone. Why? I have no clear answer, than just because. Palin, I mean Sara is also on the movie's poster.



I did like the couple of nods to the 2006 film, Gerald talks to his handyman Russell (Adam Chambers) and it is revealed that his slacker twin brother, Owen works at the Cooper farm. Chambers' played Owen in the remake (above right). To be honest, I didn't recognize him until that line was spoken.



The other link being Francis Del Amo (played by the film's casting director [both movies], Mark Sikes). Sikes played the naked zombie eating a priest in the remake. We get to see him here alive with his wife, Honey (Rhonda Aldrich). That was a nice touch.

Okay, let me re-address more problems with continuity...



Just like the recast of Junior, this grabbed my attention, not in a good way. In the 2006 remake we learn at the son has kept his undead dad at the house (above left). For the prequel, they reintroduce the character. Gerald Tovar, Sr. looks NOTHING like he did in '06. I will say that the make-up job looks better here. Remember this is suppose to take place one day before the remake. That's a big disparage. Look, I know this is a movie, but certain rules must apply. C'mon, the father was shirtless in the remake and is now fully clothed and didn't have a mustache.

The other is the Tovar home. The house presented in the prequel - also looks nothing like the '06 house. It's a different location. Why not just use footage from the remake with a tiny bridge like a porch set for the characters to walk in.



A film like this depends on the effects in this case both practical and CGI. They work for the most part. Can't say it took me out, it was serviceable. I did enjoy looking at the special effects featurette; the CGI insertion of the cemetery in the back of Tovar's business. I knew it was CGI, but did not know to what extent until then. It works.

Looking back at this prequel I can say I was entertained, it did it's job. Go in with low exceptions and some ninety minutes to kill, you'll have a decent horror flick. Like I wrote earlier, you could do a lot worse. Not a ringing endorsement, but *making an 'okay' gesture with hand*.

In short, if you like the 2006 remake, you'll probably like this too. If not - stay away.

- - - - - - - - - -

SOUNDTRACK

As far as I can tell, there hasn't been a soundtrack (physical or digital only) issued for this direct to video feature film. I can tell you that Jason Brandt reprises his job as composer from the '06 film. Anyhow, if this changes, a CD release - I'll keep you posted.

- - - - - - - - - -

ADDITIONAL NOTE

I want to address this next, a quote from the rear of the case...
Quote:
On par with The Walking Dead.
- from the Horror Chronicles

WTF has that guy been smoking? This is nowhere as good as the AMC cable zombie series. To say that, is like demanding to get slapped in the face, by a gentlemen's club bouncer (a rather large fellow named 'Tiny') who's been having a real bad day. You just don't play with fire, dude. You just don't.

Oh yeah, there is no stinger at end credits, a miss opportunity. To be honest, the 2006 remake feels like the better movie.

- - - - - - - - - -

JUST BECAUSE



A behind-the-scenes snap from the 1968 original, chocolate syrup for blood (that's Romero with the can).

Last edited by JohnIan; 01-03-2013 at 03:48 AM..
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  #14  
Old 02-06-2013, 05:08 AM
PART II: THE REMAKES - C 2

The Blu-Ray like its subject matter, won't say down.



I'm speaking of the hated Twilight Time Blu-Ray release of the 1990 remake. Today I made a further discovery. Well, that's not accurate - it was exposed in November of 2012 from the website, Cinema Lowdown. That is, I found out about it today. *nods* The article (click here) was posted a month after my piece.

The movie website has a post entitled "Cinematographer Frank Prinzi ASC Shares His Thoughts On Night Of The Living Dead (1990) Blu-Ray", November 11th, 2012 (written by Chaz Lipp).

As mention above in my write-up, "Part II: The Remakes - C"; Twilight Time issued a statement about the deep blue hues on their Facebook page. The relevant part of the quote repeated...
Quote:
As promised, we have discussed NOTLD at the studio and are able to verify via SPE’s Mastering Department, that our Blu-ray is indeed the approved transfer from 2010, generated for the film’s 20th anniversary, and done in consultation with the film’s director of photography.
Why is the transfer so dark? Why did the director of photography do this? As mentioned in that portion of this thread, that's not what the director, Tom Savini was going for.

The man in question is Frank Prinzi, the film's cinematographer. Much of the blame, at least from Twilight Time's point of view on directly on Prinzi - he approved transfer. Did he?

No.

He didn't.

A new twist in this disappointing muddle.

Cinema Lowdown contacted Prinzi for a comment. And he dropped a bombshell...
Quote:
I have to let you know that I haven't seen the transfer on Blu-Ray, on a good screen, yet. I just saw [a] quick clip on the internet and what I saw looked bad. I was consulted verbally a couple of years back but was never given a "first draft" copy of the transfer to give my true feedback. It went from words to visuals. The range of interpretation is limitless. The words “cool” or “darker” can be taken in so many ways that without a visual marker to refer to, one can go in any direction. From what I hear the direction taken did not bring pleasing results to many.
Lets make this clear, the 2010 transfer was not actually worked on by Prinzi. Who did it? Some fellow working for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, but not Mr. Prinzi. More and more it feels like Sony just wanted to dump this new transfer on someone, get back some of their money from the licensing.



See that Sony? She's looking at you. Trust me, you don't want that, nor the trowel little Ms. Cooper is holding.

Last edited by JohnIan; 02-06-2013 at 05:15 AM..
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  #15  
Old 03-21-2013, 03:39 AM
PART IV: THE 1968 CLASSIC RELOADED - D

There is a stench in the air.

Foul.

It's strong enough to be felt on the back of your throat - demands your full attention; a harbinger of some thing very wrong - it's nearby...

Once again this retrospective adds a new title for its home video legion. And no Kiss Army will save your ass from the growing menace. This offering brings us a twist on the Romero fable in "Mimesis: Night Of The Living Dead"...



This 2011 film did not have a theatrical release, it did however have a run in the film festival circuit (and won some awards). It was made with a budget of $500,000 (estimated). There is no box office numbers, obviously and became a direct to home video title.



It was released on February 12th, 2013 from Anchor Bay Entertainment (UPC# 0 13132 60074 1) for $26.98.

The DVD streeted against "The Dead", "The Rum Diary" and "Dr. Seuss's The Lorax Deluxe Edition".

It comes with a cardboard slipcover which mirrors the wraparound. There is no insert/booklet. The DVD has twelve chapters.

The motion picture is ninety-five minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* Commentary: director/co-writer Douglas Schulze and co-writer Joshua Wagner

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are subtitles in English and Spanish.

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).

It is presented in anamorphic widescreen.

I picked up my copy from Target for $12.99 on release week.

Let me give you a rundown first. What is this about? In short, it's mimesis; meaning - life imitating art. It's about jaded horror movie fans, taking role playing to the extreme.



The film begins at a convention, Motor City Nightmares, a horror assembly. We are introduced to Duane (Allen Maldonado) and Russell (Taylor Piedmonte), friends. At the cafeteria they meet Judith (Lauren Mae Shafer), a goth girl who offers them an exclusive invitation to a convention after party. A shindig out in the sticks, next to farm house. Can you see where this is going?

They do some drinking at the party and try to hook up, at least Duane does, and wake up the following day separated.



Russell finds himself with a convention attendee, Karen (Jana Thompson) at a cemetery; nearby the house. Both have been stripped and redressed, now wearing the attire of Barbra and Johnny. There is no time to reflect as they are attacked by what appears to be a zombie - biting a chunk off Russell's neck. Karen flees, screaming - lots of screaming.

Duane is stirred from his drugged slumber inside a pickup truck by her shriek. He too has been redressed as the character Ben. She tells him the improbable, Duane doesn't believe and leaves on foot to find his friend. He finds Russell near death and brings him to the house.



From this point we meet the other victims; a group who were trapped in the basement. A family; Karl (Gavin Grazer), Marilyn (Carol Ilku) and their daughter Kyra (Bryana Dorfman). And one of the party goers, Keith (David G.B. Brown) along with Judith. All given a change of clothes; Karl as Harry Cooper, Marilyn as his wife Helen, Kyra as Karen and Keith as Tom. The odd person out is Judith who is still in her goth getup, unchanged. She is no Judy.

Karl tries to leave and is halted by various ghouls outside. It is Keith who sees the situation for what it is, they're in a messed up version of the Romero classic. Things somewhat follows the events in the movie as more are killed and the group is attacked. I'll stop here.

You've probably noticed; each of the party is named after an actor from the 1968 movie. So what's the deal?

As I wrote above, this is about deranged horror fans - who make their living putting together Halloween attractions, haunted houses and such. They've become so desensitized and want a real kick, a rush; using make-up and metal dentures to role play the undead - to murder. Yeah I know, I expect to see a young Tom Hanks wondering about in the background (go to IMDb, "Mazes And Monsters" [1982], you'll understand - I'm old enough to have see that when it first aired on CBS).

This film's original title by the way was "Mimesis: Play Dead".



There is a subplot I've left out. It's pretty weak involving a kidnapped, horror director, Alfonso Betz (Sid Haig). Oh yeah, Bill Hinzman has a cameo as... Police Lieutenant Bill Hinzman. His final acting role by the way.

I'm not keeping this movie.

It's okay to watch, once (or maybe twice with the commentary), but that's about it. I just didn't care about any of the characters. It had well enough effects and the acting was passable. It's an original story, I'll give them that. But not all that great. There is even a nod to the Jeff Broadstreet remake, "Night Of The Living Dead 3D" (entry on the January 11th, 2012 post).



The gang manages to capture one of the non-zombies. A terrorizer named, Owen (Brian Matthew Richardson). Owen being the name a character (played by Adam Chambers, above right) from the 2006 remake; the Cooper family handyman.

Anyhow, not helping is the commentary, it's bland. I'm looking at internet pixs while listening. I am a fan of Sara Jean Underwood. *nods* It's competent, they talk about creating the film, yes. But there's something missing.



The only good thing, that took my interest was the haunting. They shot at an abandoned farm house that was supposedly haunted. One night during filming there was scream, they couldn't find the source, but caught it on audio. After filming the house was mysteriously burnt down. I would've loved to have heard more spooky production stories like that. Sadly, no.

- - - - - - - - - -

SOUNDTRACKS PART VII



I have no intention to own this. There is a limited edition CD, "Mimesis: Night Of The Living Dead - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Released by Varése Sarabande (VSD-4214) on March 11th, 2013, only 1,000 copies produced. Music composed by Diego Navarro. This has a price tag of $15.98.

- - -

TRACKS

1. Main Title
2. The Farm
3. Opening Titles
4. Party At Night
5. Zombie Attack (The Zombie Dance)
6. Seriously Injured
7. The Haunted House
8. Evil Feelings
9. A Horrible Feast
10. Revealing The Truth
11. Caught In The House
12. The Plan
13. Night Breakout
14. There Is Nothing We Can Do
15. They Are Coming
16. The Renegade
17. You Knew It All Along
18. The Chase
19. The Devil’s Kiss
20. A Sad Ending
21. The Movies Made Me Do It!

- - -

Just so you know, Motor City Nightmares is a real horror movie convention (I didn't know that). They have an event happening on April 26th - 28th, 2013, their fifth show. This will be housed at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel. Look online for ticket prices and such. There you go. *nods*

I'm working on another edition of the '68 movie. I missed one. I had this DVD, but sold it. This was months before I started the project, a decision I regret. I could've still sold it, but a few months later than I did. Oh well. I'm working on it.

FYI, there is another remake coming to home video at the end of April - what is old, is new again.

Last edited by JohnIan; 09-17-2013 at 04:54 AM..
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  #16  
Old 10-17-2013, 03:34 AM
PART IV: THE 1968 CLASSIC RELOADED - E P1

The first Winter of the new world, under an amber moon. A light frost cover the residential gravel. You stay quiet, eyes scanning, looking for even the most infinitesimal movement; your backpack nearly empty of food. It's time for another house raid. A hope for something more beyond unfed cans of third tier vegetables. But before you can enter the seemingly abandon home there's a rousing coming from within; that virgin ice beneath your feet - a double edge sword. And today, it heralds your presence. They too are hungry and not for canned goods.

Here's another for the bonfire. Once again its been recreated for our modern times, but not better or even lateral. No. Welcome to "Night Of The Living Dead: Resurrection".



This did not have an American theatrical release, but it did have one in its native land, the United Kingdom on November 30th, 2012. Don't know their stats. I can tell you it was made for $20,000 (estimated). And that when it hit home video in the UK it raked number twenty-seven; May of this year. It was the only Top 40 title that particular week that wasn't made by us Yanks. That being said, this was a direct to home video release in the States.



Released on April 30th, 2013 from Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. (UPC# 0 31398 16762 4 00) for $26.98.

The DVD streeted against "The Guilt Trip", "WWE: The Best Of In Your House (Pay-Per-View Classics 1995 - 1999)" and "Silver Linings Playbook".

The release came with no slipcover nor any kind of insert(s). The DVD has sixteen chapters.

The motion picture is ninety minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* Commentary: director/co-writer/co-editor James Plumb, director of photography/co-editor/composer James Morrissey, first assistant director/still photographer Victoria Rodway and star Mel Stevens with sound man Paul Brookes (who doesn't talk on the commentary, he's recording)
* Home Video Ads: "Night Of The Living Dead: Resurrection" (anamorphic, red band), "Descendants" (anamorphic, red band, 2008), "Dark Feed" (anamorphic, red band, 2013) and "Psychic Experiment" (anamorphic, red band, 2010)
Web Ads: Fearnet.com (anamorphic) and ePix (anamorphic)

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are subtitles in English and Spanish.

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).

It is presented in anamorphic widescreen.

This was mentioned in passing in the March 20th, 2013 post. I had planned on buying it on release week and doing a review shortly thereafter. But I got burned with the last entry, "Mimesis: Night Of The Living Dead". I wasn't going to spend twenty bucks on a movie I might not want. So I waited until I found a price I liked. Last month I found it, slightly over five dollars - shipping included.

So, what is this? This is a zombie movie set in West Wales, United Kingdom.

It starts with the zed outbreak in full force; Ben (Sule Rimi) is driving on country roads (avoiding traffic and the undead) trying to pick up Barbara. Yes, they know each other here. He almost gets killed trying to siphon fuel from a discarded car. He fails and drives as far as his tank will take him.

The vehicle conks out in the dead of night, leaving Ben to walk the rest of the way with an empty canister hoping to find more petrol. From here he finds the farmhouse in the sticks. And is promptly killed by the owner - shotgun to the face. Yes, that's a spoilers. I'm doing you a favor.

On the commentary filmmakers said they wanted to do that since they knew they were going to be hated for remaking a beloved film; why not give them a real reason to hate? Boom!

From that point on we follow the people inside the house.

The father, Gerald (Terry Victor), his pregnant daughter Jennifer (Rose Granger) and her boyfriend Kevin (Lee Bane). Others in the house include Karen (Kathy Saxondale), the mom; Sam (Aaron Bell), Jennifer's brother, he's been bitten. A sibling, Mandy (Mel Stevens) and their senile grandfather, Bamps (he's been bitten too, don't tell anyone). Kevin and Mandy secretly had an affair - that was stupid. ALL affairs are secret, until exposed.

Thing go quickly downhill once Sam turns and attacks Kevin (in their bathroom), biting him in the arm. You can pretty much guess what happens next.

But the real danger comes from a group of violent teen scavengers (among the worst kind of violent scavengers); recording their carnage on smart phones. They arrive at the farmhouse for more than lighthearted tomfoolery.

By dawn, only Karen and Mandy survive, another spoiler. But that number gets dropped to one and she's going to be put in the 'rape van'. I'm not joking, the other armed men who come after, actually said that.

So I'm sitting here as I was watching it, wondering... why? Why was this even made? It makes me appreciate the Jeff Broadstreet production and even tolerate the "30th Anniversary" recut. Yeah. I'm so glad I only paid five bucks for this wannabe. Anymore would be a crime.

Actual dialog:

Quote:
You cheated on my little girl with my OTHER little girl.
- Karen talking to Kevin, shotgun pointed at his head

Every one of them is utterly disposable, I didn't give a crap, that and it's slow. I'm not bashing slow features - it can lead to some very great things/moments. Here; nothing happens for long stretches, just lots of banal chit chat. If the goal was to create a boring zombie movie... well done.

This is pretty much "Night Of The Living Dead" in name only, much like the recent big screen adaptation, "World War Z" - which has NOTHING to do with the source, Max Brooks novel.

Man, it's real toss up, which was worse; this or that "Zombieland" (2009) painfully unfunny parody, "Stripperland" (2011). Read more about that in the October 17th, 2012 Past Tense.



Something good to say? Well, the zombie gore effects were decent enough. Tough, those fake contacts were a bit much.

*weak half smile*

Oh yeah, it looks like the dead girl on the poster is Mandy, maybe foreshadowing the events after the movie, that rape van - another spoiler.

I wanna go back for a moment. Why is it that the DVD cover looks so generic? Looks like they found a bunch of stock images and photoshopped them together. Whatever. They could've at least made an effort to sell their crappy DVD.

- - -



Okay. You can have a low budget zombie movie and still be entertaining. Good examples are "Automaton Transfusion" (2006) and "Dance Of The Dead" (2008). Released on home video from Genius Products and Lions Gate.

Both have good effects and story. A great one with "Dance". Now I will confess, that I was upset that "Automaton" just ends without a solid conclusion. The filmmakers were out of money, they plan on making the sequel next year - we're talking real independent film making. I understand and have accepted it.



Hell, Gregg Bishop made his first feature before "Dance" for fifteen grand on maxed out credit cards, loans from family and friends. And "The Other Side" (2006; released on home video by Allumination FilmsWorks) is inventive as it is fun *nods*; awesome foes. The first female Reaper (Lori Beth Edgeman; she's on the poster) is very much my type. Not as in dead-possessed, but as attractive and petite.

It can be done. But this motion picture ("Resurrection") is awful as hell. Yes, I know I'm repeating - I'm glad I only paid five bucks.

All they had to do was make me care. The video for "Automaton Transfusion" is poorer than "Resurrection", but what I saw on screen made me cringe (that pregnant teen) and give a damn about what happens to those characters. Yes, they were stereotypes, but just enough above it to get attached.

By the way, "Dance Of The Dead" is highly recommended. It should be better known, shown around Halloween. Do seek it out. A great mix of humor, horror and smarts. The prom scene made me smile. Yes, that poster is a riff on the one used for "Shaun Of The Dead" (2004).

Last edited by JohnIan; 03-05-2014 at 01:53 AM..
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  #17  
Old 10-17-2013, 03:36 AM
PART IV: THE 1968 CLASSIC RELOADED - E P2

RANT

Lets wash away "Resurrection" with the '68 classic.

I'll start with a story and work my way to it.

I didn't see the original movie until my family bought a VCR back in 1985. NOTLD had aired on television as programing filler late at night - I was going to elementary then junior high, so I couldn't say stay up at those hours. So my very first exposure to it was from a children's' magazine that I flipped through at my local mall.

It was inside a Woolworths - remember those? This would be around 1982. I want to say the magazine was called Popcorn or something the like, it had a stupid title. They had a piece on successful low budget movies and cited the Romero classic with a picture.



I still remember the image all these years (that very pix). I was transfixed; the dead coming back to life, attacking the living? And what is that guy holding? The picture used was tiny inside the mag. This was at a time when home video was still in its infancy. If I wanted to see it, I would have to wait until it broadcast and hope that it would be at a time when I could watch. And that's where it was - until that video cassette recorder.

We got a budget Magnavox VCR and a whole world of cinema opened before me. Well, I was still bound by money for rentals (we never had cable TV - I still don't have it), but I found a way around that (besides taping aired movies)... the local library. They had free one day borrows. Granted, a limited selection, maybe fifty titles - but that grew in time to well over a thousand video cassettes. Among them was "Night" and its sequel, "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978). This is how I witnessed the silver screen downfall of humanity. Man, I still remember those big clap shells.

Since then I've seen the feature countless times. It's been a part of my life. And a topic among friends.

Every once in a while something pops up that I never noticed or thought about before. It happened once again. A post on a different message board that started with "What exactly happened at Peteman's (sp) diner?" by Euro4569.

Quote:
I think all we can assume is that the diner was attacked and people were killed by zombies. Ben contradicts himself several times while he's telling Barbra about the incident, so all we really know is that he encountered some sort of traumatic scenario where people were being attacked and Ben managed to survive by escaping in the truck.
- GroovyDoom

followed by

Quote:
Ben was out of work, looking to score, decided to steal a pickup truck at a diner. While he was under the dash hotwiring it, he saw the burning truck coming so he "moved the pickup out of the way just to save it for the owner". So he hotwired it, stole it, and drove off to leave the real owners no escape and they all died... so he claimed the now ownerless truck. Listen to what he actually says and that's the real story you get from his words. No one "jumps into someone else's car "just to listen to the radio"".
- VartanD



Have I looked at the character wrong all these years?

So I decided to transcribe Ben's dialog about the event. I'm not talking about just retyping the subtitles; often they do not match what's actually being said. Subtitles were used as a guide, but not final word - I listened.

Ben's Story...

Quote:
You know a place back down the road called Beakman's?

Beakman's Diner?

Anyhow, that's where I found that truck I have out there.

There's a radio in the truck.

I had jumped in to listen to it; when a big gasoline truck came screaming right across the road.

Well, there must have been - ten, fifteen of those things chasing after it - and grabbing and holding on.

Now I didn't see them at first.

I could just see that the truck was moving in a funny way and those things were catching up to it.

The truck went right across the road.

I slammed on my breaks to keep it from hitting myself.

It went right through the guardrail.

I guess - I guess, the driver must have cut off the road - into that gas station by Beakman's Diner.

It went right through the billboard, ripped over a gas pump and never stopped moving.

By now it was like a moving bonfire.

Didn't know if the truck was going to explode or what.

I can still hear... the man screaming.

These things just backing away from it.

I looked back at the diner to see if - if there was anyone there who could help me.

That was when I noticed that - the entire place had been encircled.

There wasn't a sign of life left except... by now there was no more screams.

I realize that - I was alone with fifty or sixty of those things just standing there staring at me.

I - I started to drive. I... just plowed right through them. They didn't move, they didn't run or - just stood there staring at me.

I just wanted to crush them.

And they - scattered through the air like bugs.
- Ben's one sided conversation with Barbara as he reinforces the house

- - -

Quote:
I'm not that really used to the truck. I found it abandoned.
- Ben commenting to the group before going to the gas pump

- - -

I always saw Ben as an honorable man, not without faults. He has a low tolerance for bullshit.

He's a guy who's sympathetic (putting shoes on a dazed Barbara) and not afraid to ask to help (having a tough time driving the car, maybe a stick shift). He gives people equal footing until it become apparent they're jerks/idiots (not treating Judy or Tom as a kids, which is what Harry's was doing). And he's a thinker (plotting and enacting ways to secure the house and their escape to the nearby armed shelter in Willard [Pennsylvania]; even igniting the fireplace - just in case they'll come through the chimney and setting the chair on fire to keep them at bay from the back door). He's constantly brainstorming.

He also gets upset that the group had stayed in the cellar, not even helping a woman who was screaming - Barbara's 'lets get Johnny' episode. Chivalry.

Quote:
We luck into a safe place and you're tellin' us we gotta risk our lives just because somebody might need our help, huh?
- Harry Cooper

Quote:
Yeah, something like that.
- Ben

The other is responsibility. He never told Tom or even Harry to go to the gas pump while he stays inside safe (protecting the women). It was his plan, he will go out and implement it; whatever happens, it will happen to him too - not passing the buck. And that's important, it speaks of his character.

- - -

This is what I think happened in his story to Barbara.

The girl is pretty much in a state of shock and almost catatonic. He's trying to talk to her and she's transfixed, staring up the stairs. He follows her gaze and goes up finding the remains of woman of the house. This sight threw the pieces of her mind. So Ben altered his story to save her from being further broken.

Things WE know that they don't know... at this time:

The people in question are dead, not alive or insane. And they are devouring their own - cannibalism, the living. These later facts are not even being pondered at this point. The first radio reports told of random mass murders committed by persons unknown, mayhem. This isn't just at one burb, it's happening all over; not cloistered in a particular economic or racial area.

Ben may have been looking for work (as he said to the group, he wasn't from around there) and had gone walking to Beakman's; perhaps hoping to be a cook or busboy. I see him as a drifter, which is not a bad thing. He may have had a motel room outside of town, which could explain why he has nothing with him; no backpack, luggage or satchel (a.k.a. Jack Sack).

He sees cars drive by, racing away as he's walking. Odd. He gets there, but before he goes inside he hears the truck's radio - an emergency broadcast. The keys are still inside the car, engine running, the door open. He does hop inside to listen. Something yet unknown is happening locally and it's a serious call for alarm. 'Get to shelter NOW.'

Ben leaves the truck, thinking it would be a good idea to get out of there, perhaps hitching a ride with a owner. Once inside there isn't anybody present - alive. The undead have moved onto fresher prey. It's a bloody mess at Beakman's. Like the customers and staff were attacked by a group of ferocious bears, all of them mauled. He probably didn't stay too long. Yelled for assistance - if there wasn't anybody alive. Silence. I don't expect him to explore the now ghost restaurant.



Earlier, the owner of that truck had heard what was going on and went to the diner to pick up/save a loved one. He walked into a meat grinder. He's dead, whoever he was. Yes, above is an image from the "30th Anniversary"; Beakman's waitress name Rosie (Heidi Hinzman). I needed a pix to illustrated the point.

At this time Ben sees the gas tanker and the rest follows the events as spoken.

He deliberately leaves out what he saw in the diner; who the hell would believe him? Would they blame him? He is Black after all and this was a time of intense prejudge. But it's that sight at the top of the stairs - this ISN'T isolated.

When he told his story to Barbara, Ben was shaken up; more than just seeing the man burning in that cab - he may have been thinking about what he saw inside the diner.

There is yet another possible scenario; Ben's comment to the gang about the truck being abandoned when he found it. The car he drove to the farm may NOT be the same one from Beakman's. I'm still going with him being a drifter.

Events follow as outlined above, except he doesn't have a motel room. All of his worldly possessions are with him, satchel, pack - whatever. It accompanied him when he took the truck from the diner. The bad news is that it was low on gas. He ditched that truck for another found on the side of the road - abandoned. There may have been a swarm of ghouls near it. Ben had to discard his stuff to save his life, that's why he came to the house empty handed.

- - -

I like this quote from the NorWesCon 33 convention in 2010. A panel called "Zombies: Origin Of The Species" (April 3rd, '10) - what would've happened if Romero didn't make his classic? The conversation drifted into this...

Quote:
One of the things that, that none of them [iterations; remakes, plays, expanded version] did was touch the same raw nerve that "Night Of The Living Dead" [1968] did. And you’ll get what I mean by that when I say, that you might be able to touch that same raw nerve with a remake today if the lead character was flagrantly gay. Because at the time that movie came out - the horror was not, was not just the dead were eating the living, the horror was a world turned upside down; the power structures, turned upside down.

For a Black man to be in control of that situation was touching a thread of sociology horror in America, that is very difficult for people to who do not remember what was going on in that period of American history. Touch. The only thing that would be even be roughly analogous to that would be the current struggle for gay rights.

And so you might be able to create that same kind of unconscience, ‘I don’t like what I’m seeing and I don’t know exactly why I don’t like it’ feeling that was feeding into the horror. ‘Cause horror’s gonna be; not just fear of an unclean death, but fear of the normal becoming un-normal.
- Steven Barnes

- - -



While doing the transcribing I heard somethings I've missed all these years.

Quote:
Mayors of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Miami, along with the governors of several eastern and midwestern states have indicated that the National Guard may be mobilized at any moment, but that has not happened as yet.
- radio announcer

Miami. "Day Of The Dead" takes place in Florida. I wonder...

By the way, it has shot - the opening in Fort Myers, FL.

The other is a time line; I was under the belief for DECADES that this situation was Day One. NO, it's not.

Quote:
The whole ghastly story began developing two days ago with a report of a slaying of a family of seven in their rural home near Gallpark, Louisiana. Since then, reports of senseless killings began snowballing in a reign of terror which has hopscotched in an erratic disconnected pattern throughout much of the eastern and midwestern United States.
- radio announcer

That was a huge surprise. The movie take place on Day Three! It took three days for the virus to explode onto the populace; from outbreak to epidemic. *nods* How the hell did I miss that fact all these years?

- - -

One last thing before I close.

An update...

The CGI animated motion picture, "Night Of The Living Dead: Origins 3D" has a new release date, October 2014. Mentioned in the January 26th, 2002 entry. This project was started in early 2010. I thought the voices were already in the can (stars Danielle Harris, Tom Sizemore, Tony Todd, Alona Tal, Sarah Habel and Bill Moseley among others, such as Joseph Pilato). Nope. Bollywood actor R. Madhavan has been added to the cast. I saw the early teaser years ago. The animation looked similar to "Hoodwinked" (2005), cartoony. I can only assume it looks more realistic now. It takes the story and moves it into the present, set in New York city. It's directed by Zebediah De Soto who co-wrote it with Warren Davis II and David Reuben Schwartz.

Quote:
An American-style anime.
- De Soto

What the hell does that even mean?

Last edited by JohnIan; 10-17-2013 at 04:24 AM..
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2013, 03:53 AM
Tangent: NOTLD Epiphany

I'm always thinking about topics to write and titles to acquire. On Monday, I had a realization. It took a month to hit me - I stumbled onto something, potentially huge.

On October 10th, 2013, part of the "Limited Edition Horror" 2013 entries was "George A. Romero’s Diary Of The Dead". On part 2, I laid out a time line for the events in the Romero ghoul universe; which film installments belonged to which iteration. There were three by the way.

I wrote the following...

Quote:
"Dawn Of The Dead" (1978); three weeks have passed since the events of "Night", the undead crisis is getting out of hand, the authorities are overwhelmed. We are witnessing the fabric of civilization come undone.
Let me take a step back and present the source...



At the start of "Dawn" there is an interview between Dr. Foster (David Crawford) and TV host, Mr. Berman (David Early). The reveal happens at 2:22 minutes. I'm speaking of the theatrical cut. It's a short line mixed with the studio chaos.

The thing is, that line changes NOTLD's perspective. Up until I digested that line, I believed that "Night" took place in 1968 - the movie's release. Foster's comment changes it.

It means that "Night Of The Living Dead" was set in the FUTURE, not 1968, but 1978!!!

The things depicted in "Night" was the tipping point, when all hell broke loose - containment through isolation broke down. The first recorded attack happened two days prior in Louisiana (as written in the last entry above).

Now some of you may argue that this is conjecture, stating there is a calendar in the farm house.



You're right, there is. And it doesn't matter, it reads, December 1966. Once Ben (Duane Jones) starts boarding up the house there's a quick shot of him in the kitchen (gathering supplies) - there's a calendar on the wall.

Let me paint a picture. As mentioned in previous Past Tense entries, I'm an atheist. My mom on the other hand is a Catholic, fortunate for me - not old school.

In the dining room there are two calendars; current (landscape imagery for each month - from 99 Cent Only store) and one from 2004. Why?

The '04 calendar has a single image with the individual months, pull a-ways. The picture is of the Virgin Mary. My mother won't trash that calendar because of that drawing. So it's perceptually December 2004 on that wall.

This appears to have happened in "Night". The owners of the home left an old calendar standing. It could be something to remember, a beloved memory perhaps.

What is it?

The calendar is from Allison, Inc., a real company, still in business today. They do construction equipment leasing and rental well as structural steel erection contractor, structures, building, construction, manufacturing components and supplies. They're in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

It could be that the owner used to work there, a place where he had great memories and kept that calendar as a reminder of good times, a momento. It's not that improbable, as I wrote, my mom is doing a similar thing.

- - -

So lets do a revision...

On PART IV: THE 1968 CLASSIC RELOADED - B, I extrapolated a date for the downfall of humanity; based on the time change comment made by Barbara (Judith O' Dea) at the cemetery. Then believing the year was 1968. Now...

October 29th, 1978

Looking online (www.timeanddate.com), Fall Daylight Savings happened on that Sunday at 2:00 AM. Which means the events in "Dawn" occurred in mid November '78.

I double checked; Fall Daylight Savings, you gain an hour with the clock setting back. Spring Daylight Savings, you lose an hour when you move the time forward.

- - - - - - - - - -

ADDITIONAL NOTE

This does not have to do with "Night", but "Dawn". A connection I didn't make until looking up which screen snaps to use. I'll admit - I can be slow.

After watching and participating in the atrocities in the low rent complex, separate SWAT team members, Roger (Scott H. Reiniger) and Peter (Ken Foree) take a break in the building laundry room; taking a smoke and pondering their immediate futures.



A one legged Priest (Jese Del Gre) breaks their thought, coming up from below. Painted on the wall, next to the door reads "Please Lock Cellar When Finished". It didn't hit me until now. He says to the men:

Quote:
Many have died last week on these streets. In the basement of this building, you will find them. I have given them the last rites. Now, you do what you will.
That's what the text was all about - lock the door, 'dead inside'. Yes, you probably got it on first viewing. Whatever dude.

One last thing - also about "Dawn". A question asked in a different message board; why did Roger get all looney?

Quote:
Roger was a soft touch (as evinced by his attempt to stop the resident of the housing project from going out where he'd be shot). As the situation deteriorated, he just couldn't cope with what was becoming, in a wider sense, a no-win situation. No matter what they did or how many they killed, the dead were taking over the world, and Roger couldn't handle a reality where he couldn't win. As he died of his infection, he kept asking Peter, "we whipped them, didn't we?" Holing up in the mall wasn't a win, it was simply a break from the inevitable losing fight. Roger's mind snapped after his near-death fight with the blond chick zombie and he retreated into a fantasy where he was invulnerable and in control, and it proved to be fatal.
- OsborneDFormed

That's the best answer I've read.

Last edited by JohnIan; 11-14-2013 at 04:29 AM..
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  #19  
Old 03-05-2014, 02:02 AM
Upcoming...

I'll write up a new post for later this month, another entry for the compendium. Can't nail down a date, I ordered the DVD last Thursday. Monday got an email saying it was shipped.

There you go.
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  #20  
Old 03-20-2014, 03:58 AM
PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - C

Songs in the air; birds are chirping and the rustling of animals in the woods - this should be the noise of comfort and joy, now an early alarm. It's Spring, life begins anew as it does for THEM. You awaken to such sounds, somewhat comfy in your hammock, suspended fifteen feet above the ground in a tree. Time to break camp and search the wilderness for more supplies. Then your heart stops... silence. What starts as low grumbling increases in volume. It's a flock of the undead moving below you. Your presence remains unnoticed. But for how long? All it takes is just one ghoul to look up and you'll be trapped. Doomed...



This time out we have something other than a movie to talk about, a documentary. Now some may ask 'why another?' It's a valid question. But before we get into that, lets address the stats for "Birth Of The Living Dead".

This chronicle had a very limited theatrical run in Los Angeles, CA (October 18th, 2013) and New York, NY (November 6th, 2013). It grossed close to 5 thousand during its big screen showings. You can pretty much say this was a direct to video release. Sorry, I do not know much much it cost to produce. I can say it was originally titled "Year Of The Living Dead".



Released on January 7th, 2014 from First Run Features (UPC# 7 20229 91580 9) for $24.95.

The DVD streeted against "The Following: The Complete First Season", "Archer: The Complete Fourth Season" and "Thanks For Sharing".

The release came with no slipcover nor any kind of insert(s). It has ten chapters.

The motion picture is seventy-six minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* Extended interview with George A. Romero (December 2006, anamorphic, 32:44 minutes)
* Romero At New York's Museum Of Modern Art June 16th, 1970 (audio only from the after screening with Gary Pullin art from the doc, 9:39 minutes)
* Bill Hinzman and the world-breaking "Monroeville Zombie Walk"; October 28th, 2007 Pittsburgh, PA (1,124 participants, anamorphic, 7:08 minutes)
* Additional Trailers: "The Pleasure Of Being Out Of Step" (anamorphic, 2013), "Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story" (anamorphic, 2012), "In Search Of Blind Joe Death: The Saga Of John Fahey" (anamorphic, 2013) and "Happy House" (anamorphic, 2013)
* First Run Features bio with web link

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are no subtitles, though the back of the case indicates there should be.

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).

It is presented in anamorphic widescreen.

The documentary isn't shy; it uses graphic stills along with footage of violence and death from the Vietnam war as well as the race conflicts at home to illustrate the era. Which I suppose was off putting for some. Man, this quite polarizing; those who love it and those who think it's a waste of time. I love this doc.



While the documentary on 40th Anniversary, "One For The Fire: The Legacy Of 'Night Of The Living Dead'" is ALL about the filming and its copy right history, this new doc isn't so much about the making - it concern the environment which brought about the horror classic. The United States as it was in 1967 when filming began - headline making events. *nods*

I guess that subject wasn't made clear enough on the wraparound and trade advertisement, some felt cheated.

By the way, scenes from the movie is from the remastered edition, though it begins with footage from the scratchy print trailer.

Something I didn't know, until now - the "Mr. Roger" connection. Romero did a couple of shorts for the long running PBS series (1968 - 2001), "Things That Feel Soft" and "Mr. Roger's Gets A Tonsillectomy". Wow.

Oh god, 'Won't you be MY neighbor?... Why there's a knock at the door. Lets go see who it is. Why it's Mr. McFeely. Are you all right? You look ill. Is that blood on your chin? *lunges forward* *screams* Trolley help!!! Get me my sniper rife!'

Lady Elaine locks up the castle and goes into the fetal position. The Purple Panda People is seen by everyone now and are getting gutted by the zombified Prince Tuesday and Betty. King Friday starts killing random staff, believing everyone is infected - including Henrietta. 'Meow Meow MEOW!!!'

I'm not right in the head.

*smile*

Let me take a step back. This write-up is gonna be heavy on quotes.

I became aware of this documentary in October of last year from Ain't It Cool News, they showed the trailer. I was very curious. Silence, no new news. Then in December, reading in a home video trade publication, I learn about its release. It's where I read about upcoming DVDs and plan accordingly. I knew I had to have it.

Bought this on February 28th, 2014. It arrived on March 7th from a seller on Amazon. I paid fourteen bucks plus shipping.

Okay back to the subject.
Quote:
Before "Night Of The Living Dead" there were movies like "I Walked With A Zombie" [1943], they were sort of the tribal characters, very different. Now arguably the 'zombie' is as important as the werewolf, but right below the vampire. Is probably the most important horror monster in the history of scary movies. All of these zombies, all go back to Romero. There is no movie director that's responsible for the vampire. There is no movie director that's responsible for Frankenstein. There is no movie director that's responsible for the werewolf. There's people who have made key movies, but those are much older characters which have this kind of literary pedigree. And while there have been undead and zombies, et cetera - what we know of as a zombie; the kind of 'it's alive' moment of it was 1968, George Romero in "Night Of The Living Dead" in Pittsburgh.
- Jason Zinoman (The New York Times critic)

I think this fact is missing on so many viewers, especially the younger ones. The concept; the undead feasting on the living, cannibalizing - is something that only came into being in '68. There was no prescient in books or film before that. Romero created something so horrific; an original, not voodoo based. Your foe is your mom, it's your sibling, your spouse, your lover (I've said that before). To quote the tag line from another zombie movie, "Resident Evil" (2002) - "Nobody is immune".
Quote:
This film and the structure, the morality - who lives and who dies? It's not based on whither you're a good person, whither you work hard or fight hard.
- Larry Fessender (filmmaker)



That was the first thing I picked up when I saw the film as a child. Rich, poor, old or young; the zombie apocalypse was the global equalizer. None of that stuff mattered, just your wits and cooperation. That's it. How will you behave? Be like the Coopers?; bicker till it kills the both of you.

Man, it hadn't occurred to me until I heard this.
Quote:
It felt like such a modern movie in that obviously it was never remarked upon that he was Black. Nobody said anything about it, the way it did in other movies. And you keep in mind, this is a time when a hugely popular TV show, "The Andy Griffith Show" [CBS], taking place in the South. And there were no Black people in it. So to have this mainstream culture refuse to acknowledge any kind of Black catalyst and have it there and not be remarked upon - it really felt like a brand new day.
- Elvis Mitchell (film critic)

I was never interested in the show, even as a child. I couldn't put accurate words for the reason - I can now.

"The Andy Griffith Show" embodied all the elements of banality and lacked any kind of teeth/edge. I can understand what pooled viewers each week, they wanted that kind of fantasy 'White Male' utopia. But as the saying goes, cuteness has the power to both attract and repel. For this subject, I am definitely the latter.

I can say that I only watched a couple episodes. The one that stands out, made me furious - "Howard's New Life" (December 18th, 1967).

In it, the character of Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson), county clerk wants to experience a better life; out of his daily rut and leaves Mayberry for a tropical paradise in the Caribbean. Once there he finds things are the same just a different location. He returns home defeated and begs for his old job back. The lesson told here is; you should know your place. And be content as a drone. It PISSED ME OFF!

There should've been a plan, not just arrive and expect all his baggage to unfurl. Man, I really dislike that series. Such a vanilla existence without any spice or conflict; not such that it's in your face, screaming and fighting, but rather lite discord. People should not agree on everything, that breeds conformity and worse, intolerance to those who think different.


Quote:
Particularly when you saw the vigilantes getting prepared and stuff; made me think of the stuff I would see on the television stuff, the Newark Riots - of Watts - it was all happening then. You saw National Guard on the street. You saw looting and stuff. So it all was reminiscent of that stuff. I mean, it was obviously of those times.
- Sam Pollard (Professor, NYU Film)

This is another good example; controversy over an NBC special that aired in prime time on April 2nd, 1968...
Quote:
We had Petula Clark who is the top British singer at the time and they had a number together. And at one point towards the end Harry [Belafonte] links arms with Petula and they sing the final verse. And we finished dressed rehearsals and the man in charge of advertising for Chrysler said 'Belafonte can not touch Petula Clark'. And we were sort of in shock. And Belafonte said 'I'm not sure I understood you, what are you saying?' He said 'there will be no touching of Ms. Clark, remember we have to sell cars in the South'. And Harry said 'Give me just a minute'. And he call the president of Chrysler. And he said, 'You should know I'm calling a press conference in ten minutes to say that Chrysler will not allow me to touch Petula Clark'. We went into airtime, the taping - Harry and Petula linked arms. But that was not unusual, that was the atmosphere of the time.
- Chiz Schultz (film and television producer)

That feels so weird. But that was a thing then. And to a certain extent is still alive. I'm still trying to get my mom to stop calling children she sees, pickaninnies. There is no malice here, it's just her default word for kids, all kids. She's sixty-nine. So far, so far, I've been lucky. But one of these days there's going to be a fight with some stranger in public. *deep sigh* That will be a nightmare. My mom by the way is Mexican-American.

- - -

This is something cool. During the '70 Q&A portion of the New York screening, someone asks about the NOTLD's alternate endings. Romero answers...

1) Ben lives. The posse comes around, Ben walks out to the men and says, 'It's been a rough night'.
2) Ben and Barbara survive the night.

Too bad all that footage and other deleted scenes were lost to a flood. The trims were stored in a basement of The Latent Image offices. It got filled with water during a particularly bad storm.

This is a great documentary on the U.S. of the late 1960s, but "Birth" give us a long sought after answer...


Quote:
God changed the rules. You know, that's the only explanation that I need. No more room in Hell. Doesn't matter to me. [laughs] It's happening and it's probably at least in my mythologically, it's probably some sort of permanent condition - I don't know. Unless we redeem ourselves somehow.
- Romero

About as good of an answer as we're ever gonna get.

The negative? All the portions involving the elementary school kids' film class (Christopher Cruz, teacher). That had NOTHING to do with the subject matter. It was unadulterated filler. Just cut that crap out. What I would've liked to have seen in its place is an interview with Max Brooks. His feelings on the film. He made his name for himself from the Romero genre. That would've been quite interesting.

While I may be in the minority; I'm a fan of "Diary Of The Dead" (2007). It was nice to see behind-the-scenes footage in the extended Romero interview. It features actress Michelle Morgan. I like her.

There was an inside joke; I didn't get until now.



In "Diary" the student filmmakers are shooting a Mummy movie. Romero in the 1990s was in development for Universal trying to fashion a remake of "The Mummy" (1932), things kept getting in the way. It did get green lit by the studio (starring Brendan Fraser, 1999), but without Romero attached. In "Diary" the students are making the movie he wanted to do a decade earlier. That's pretty sway.

There is a Past Tense entry for the Romero-verse reboot ("Diary Of The Dead"), click here for Part 1 and Part 2. Above - that's actress Amy Lalonde as Tracy Thurman, she looks like Jaime Pressly in the pix. And Philip Riccio as the undead, bandaged Egyptian.

- - -



This was something that I noticed while doing research. Kinda surprised I didn't make the connection until now. The cover for "Severed: Forest Of The Dead" (2005) is very similar to NOTLD 1990 DVD art. As they say, imitation is...

That's it.

Another entry comes to a close, but this won't the the last. There are other rumblings afoot. *nods*

For example... there's another 'Night' remake. It has an alleged August 12th, 2014 release. Directed by Chad Zuver, who co-wrote the script with Sean Gallagher. It's the first movie made by Shattered Images Films. It stars Gad Holland as Ben, Kayla Proffitt as Barbra, James Fite as Johnny, Sarah Bertz Thomas as Helen and Layla M. Thomas as Karen. Where's Harry? Looks like the character is now called Jerry played by Lee Godwin. Will it be any good? Well, it couldn't worse than "Night Of The Living Dead: Resurrection" (2012).

Then there's "Night Of The Living Dead: Genesis", it has a 2014 release too. What is interesting is that Judith O'Dea stars (or has a bit part), yeah, that O'Dea, she plays 'Barbra Hamilton (Older)'. Color me curious.

All right, I'll leave with one more quote from the documentary.
Quote:
The image of the zombie in the cemetery is a key image; we all felt was so iconic and we patterned our zombies for the series, "The Walking Dead" after that zombie. We patterned both in terms of his kind of gait, his speed. Not only is it creepy, but it just seems like its unrelenting. You know he's not gonna stop.
- Gale Anne Hurd (executive producer, "The Walking Dead")

Last edited by JohnIan; 03-20-2014 at 04:02 AM..
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  #21  
Old 05-29-2014, 03:51 AM
PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - D

This used to carry the sounds of playing children, joys and pleasant memories. Those days have been replaced with the Reaper's own gothic angels who have painted the world with screams and sorrows. But for now this kindergarten is your haven, raiders hadn't thought about coming here for supplies. You DID. And was rewarded with canned food and a cornucopia of small bags of various chips and snacks, not to mention tons of boxed juice. You have puzzles to assemble, books that need coloring, and Legos that need building. It's not bad, life is okay. Those pleasantries come to a halt... a low moan is heard. This most definitely wasn't your stomach. The question; did that noise come from outside or within the building? Life might not be okay today.

*deep sigh*

I took a bullet for you guys.

This update features the worst, crap on a cracker I've seen in a long time. Man, I lost hours off my life on this DVD. Hours since I had to rewatch to take notes for this post. I didn't the first time around since I was... surprised at how bad it was. Can this get worse? Yes it can.

There is no stats since this is a re-release of a VHS title from 1993.



"Zombie Jamboree" - formerly known as "Zombie Jamboree: The 25th Anniversary Of Night Of The Living Dead" was released on DVD on October 14th, 2008 from Sub Rosa Studios (UPC# 6 74945 12623 3) for $29.98. The title in the video reads, "Zombie Jamboree '93"

The DVD streeted against "Dance Of The Dead", "Capricorn One" and "Chaplin".

The release came with no slipcover nor any kind of insert(s) in a transparent DVD case. It has six chapters.

The video is fifty-eight minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* Home Video Ads: "The Period" (anamorphic, 2007), "Strawberry Estates" (anamorphic, 2001), "Aspiring Psychopath" (full screen, 2008), "Satan's Cannibal Holocaust" (non-anamorphic, 2007) and "Bizarre Lust Of A Sexual Deviant" (full screen, 2001).

- - -

Audio:

* Digital 2.0 Stereo

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are no subtitles.

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).

It is presented in full screen.

The DVD's wraparound has double sided printing. The underside was NOT for this release. No. It was for an ultra low budget flick, "Ski Wolf" (2008), I wish I was kidding. The tag line is "Hairy palms are the least of his problems!". *sigh*

Stay away. Stay far away!

I gotta talk about this. All of those trailers are for cheap looking, shot-on-video productions. And yes, "The Period" is exactly what you think it is. The only thing good from the trailers is finally seeing "Strawberry Estates". I've heard about that found footage, haunted house flick for years. Now that I've seen scenes, I never have to think about it again.

Anyhow, I've known about the "Jamboree" DVD for a few years. Haven't had the itch to buy it until now; wanted to do another entry for the retrospective and remembered the title. Looked at Amazon and saw someone selling it, new - for a penny. I should've taken that as a warning.

Well more than a cent since postage is $3.99.



My jaw dropped when I saw the original retail price (researching). Why the hell did Sub Rosa think this product was worth thirty bucks? Dude, I AM sorry I bought this for a penny! The video has had zero remastering. It looks and sounds like muted garbage - as you can see from the various screen snaps.

Normally I take snaps and work on the images, making sure they looks the best it can. I just don't care here, no sense polishing a turd.

What is this?

This is a video pretending to cover 1993 "Zombie Jamboree: Night Of The Living Dead - 25th Anniversary Reunion & Horror Exposition" convention. It was held in Monroeville, Pennsylvania (at the Radison Hotel across the parking lot from the Monroeville Mall) on August 27th, 28th and 29th, '93.

I say pretending since so much of the hour program is on everything BUT the actual convention. What hell?! I'm not joking.

What I wanted to see was the various panel discussions that happened, not momentary blurbs. I wanted to see the people who attended; what kind of costumes were worn? I wanted the vendors, what were folks selling that weekend? Get a real atmosphere of the event, no such luck.

Instead we get prolong clips from NOTLD 1968 (from a poor public domain print), "There's Always Vanilla" (1971) and "The Majorettes" (1987). As well as the trailers for NOTLD 1990 and "Midnight" (1982). Plus the TV spot for the colorized version of NOTLD - at least that was interesting.

This stuff eats up serious time on the fifty-eight minute program. Plus more time consumed with the below television ads.

The video starts with various Latent Image commercials - all but one hasn't been issued/seen before. The rest can be found in FAR SUPERIOR condition on Elite Entertainment's "Millennium Edition" DVD. These are Iron City Beer, Guiness Book/Chevy Dealers, Awrey, Magic Lantern and The Calgon Story.

New is a late 1960s inner city political ad for George McGovern (Democrat) about black babies having high mortality (how McGovern would do something about it).

I did like this quote from "There's Always Vanilla" (a.k.a. "The Affair") which stars Judith Ridley (she couldn't make it to the convention; a family commitment) and George Kosana...
Quote:
Try to relax, you're a little nervous - you're gonna have a little miscarriage. Have A Drink.
Things were different back then.



The first panel shown is with horror starlets, Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley. Which kinda became an ad for "Scream Queens Illustrated". Call it what it was - amateur Playboy with horror girls (nudity). A magazine which is published by John Russo (who organized the event). Unless I'm mistaken, I have all the issues. My favorite was with starlet, Julie K. Smith (issue sixteen), she's pretty.

You should know there was competing magazine; "Femme Fatales" which was WAY better.

The 1990s mag had articles written by various women who have appeared in horror flicks, they're not just boobs. My favorite write-ups were from actress Debbie Rochon. It had glamour photography (no nudity), interviews, film reviews and industry news - remember this was before internet.

The recent, but former Cinemax series which bares the same name IS based on the late magazine (both seasons are on DVD, special editions).



Man, it's missed. The publisher, Frederick S. Clarke died in 2000 (a suicide - clinical depression). His wife, Celeste kept up the magazine until 2002. The following year the publication was sold to Mindfire Entertainment who turned "Femme Fatales" into every other men's magazine - like Maxim. I hated the revamp, its heart was gone. I guess I wasn't the only one, the new incarnation didn't last long. You can see the differences above; left image, original publication on the right the pod people version.

By the way, when will the HBO series, "Perversions Of Science" (1997) come out on DVD? It lasted one season, ten half hour episodes. It was the "Femme Fatales" show of its day. *nod* Looked, yup on DVD, but in Japan only - released in 2001 (by Pioneer Entertainment), out of print. How about releasing the other HBO show, Ralph Bakshi's "Spicy City" (1997). Oh well, back to the subject.

The ladies talk about being typecast and how they turned that into their brand. Linnea talks about the make-up she had to endure in "Return Of The Living Dead" (1985) and being in a band (music video clip shown with nudity for her song "Scream Queen").

We get another clip from the effects panel with Tom Savini, Michael Burnett and Jay Holland. Conversations about "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978) and "Creepshow" (1982). How Savini had a hard time getting the make-up on Stephen King, the author turned actor was difficult. Other topics include where to learn to become an effects artist and filming "Martin" (1976).

Quick clips of two additional panels, one with Bill "Chilly Billy" Cardeille, the other with Adam West.

The only bright spots was seeing some of the stars. We get short moments with Kyra Schon, Judith O'Dea and Lori Cardille (Sarah from "Day Of The Dead" [1985]).
Quote:
You do this movie and you sort of forget it. Not forget about it, but you sort of go on with your life for five years, then you come and this is - there's like a life it sort of takes on.
- Lori Cardille



Here are a series of snaps; clockwise 1) Kyra Schon, 2) Marilyn Eastman, 3) Lori Cardille and 4) George A. Romero.

The other problem I have is with NOTLD alumni Russo. He wrote and directed this video as well as narrate it. Look, he may very well be an super nice guy. But he should at best, only produce this venture.

He talks

so slow.

I'm pulling hairs. Talk faster!!! Give the narration to someone else - anyone, give it to Marilyn Eastman.

Granted Russo does provide commentary for the NOTLD clips, but it's stuff that nearly every fan already knows.



The main spot was the reunion panel which became a Q&A session. In attendance was Romero, Karl and Marilyn Eastman, Schon, Russo, Russ Streiner and Bill Hinzman. This should've been the center piece of the release, nope - even this was too short. A brief talk about NOTLD - Duane Jones, "Monkey Shines" (1988) and "There's Always Vanilla". How can this be such a let down?

The release is a farce.

As mentioned, O'Dea was there, but she and Keith Wayne did not attend the panel. By the way, Wayne's appearance on the video is a blink and miss it moment - a few seconds. Again, not joking.

I did like Romero talking about "Monkey Shines", how the studio (Orion Pictures, his first studio picture) took the movie away from him since it didn't test well and recut the feature without his approval. The original ending severed.

We get a short clip of a scream contest; ladies give their best scream. Clips of attendees getting zombied by make-up film students.

There's a short moment, shot from a distance; famous pin-up artist, Olivia signing prints. That's something I would've liked to have seen more. An small interview would've been nice - nope.



Another semi-good part was Tom Savini giving a tour at the Monroeville Mall where "Dawn Of The Dead" was filmed, again much too short.

- - -

So who else was there?

Kane Hodder (Jason), Gunnar Hansen (Letherface), Conrad Brooks (he appeared in several Ed Wood films) and David Prowse (the guy in the Darth Vader suit). And the previous mentioned guests.



Above were some of the famous cars on display.

The endeavor cost $120,000.00 (over a year to bring together); spent on securing the venues (hotel space and later a theater screening of NOTLD '68 with limo for stars), guests attendees and their transportation, displays, river boat rental and advertising. Look, I'm not bitching about the event. From what fragments they showed, it seems like a cool three day exposition. I would've like to have gone. But this presentation - the highlights are so poorly executed.

C'mon, the event was suppose to be about the 25th anniversary. But you're covering celebrities and panels which have nothing to do with the beloved horror film; show THESE in short clips. I must repeat, thirty bucks for the DVD!

Don't even bother watching this. You can spend way better time sorting out your utensil drawer, cleaning your refrigerator's condenser fan (I'm dead serious, that can be expensive when it breaks - was lucky, mine could be fixed [8/11/13]), sorting out your coin jar, cleaning under the rim of your toilet, changing the bed linens, washing your car, sort out your browser's bookmarks. All of these things are better for you and time well spent.



Just avoid the DVD and should you run into it, the original VHS too.

I'll close the review with a quote...
Quote:
The people who really make movies today are the teenagers in Orange County who preview a film and get to turn in cards and say what they think should happen to it. And then the studio executives respond to that. And unfortunately they don't go across the country with it, they generally with most films - unless it's a really big picture, show it right there in California. And you know, the kids in Orange County complain about the cars you have in it. You know - why did you use a Beamer, you know? And ahhh, unfortunately that's what happens to films today.
- Romero

The sad thing is nothing has changed in the intervening two decades. And it's probably gotten worse.

- - -

I do have some other NOTLD news.

The Chad Zuver remake (mention last post) now has an October 24th, 2014 release (from its reported August 12th, 2014). Now with synopsis...
Quote:
During a visit to see their wife and mother's grave. Jerry and his daughters Melanie and Barbra are going to experience a night they will never forget.
I have zero updates for "Night Of The Living Dead: Origins 3D". The CGI animated flick still has an October 2014 release. And squat on "Night Of The Living Dead: Genesis" - some time in 2014. *shrugs*

There is a new version to report on - "Night Of The Living Dead: Contagion".

This is in post production; directed and written by Jason Morisette. It has an alleged October 2014 release. And stars Travis Boswell, Kane Hodder, Michael Berryman, Meagan Eager, Jessica Leonard with J. Kevin O'Conner.
Quote:
Michael Turner returns from war to his small town, a relieved family... and a legion of the undead. When a flesh-eating creature is unleashed, turning scores of townspeople into cannibalistic undead, it's up to Michael to save the town.
I'm slightly curious, just a bit. Michael Turner is the name of a famous comic book artist, known for drawning very fetching ladies. He had the eye; had since he pass away in 2008 [bone cancer], he too is missed.



So ends another entry. I want to finish with something to wash away the bad taste. So here's a behind-the-scenes pix of the gang preparing to shot the posse getting ready for their zombie hunt. You can see George Kosana as Sheriff McClelland in the center (with hat). *nods*

Last edited by JohnIan; 06-01-2014 at 10:25 PM..
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  #22  
Old 07-24-2014, 03:56 AM
PART IV: THE 1968 CLASSIC RELOADED - F

Rain.

It has poured hard these past three days. Something like this should be soothing, taking away the scorching Summer heat. The loud ambient noise covering up any sounds you could make. And hassle free access to clean water, just have bucket.

A time to take a shower, outside - but the temperature is warm enough and you have a bar of soap you've been waiting to break in.

But all of these things are inconsequential at the moment.

You've been seen in the worst possible way by an undead horde!

Living in the sticks has served you well since they rose; keeping away from the death traps that the cities have become. But right now that lack of urbanization is just as bad of an enemy as THEM. Your feet frantically move through the muddy earth, fighting to keep both your balance and traction.

You hope for escape by rushing up a hill, perhaps loosing them... somewhere - anywhere, but here. A quick glance behind reveals dozens of them, arms outstretched with mouths agape - loudly moaning. You are truly living in a horror movie.

There is a small consolation, unlike yourself they are not coordinated; they fall and rise up to resume comical pursuit. A few might give you pause to catch your breath and watch the spectacle, have a good laugh. But their number are too great. And some of them have begun walking atop the fallen masses - giving their feet hard grips.

Scream?

Would it help?

No.

But such a thing might expend valuable energy you need for flight.

You inch your way to the summit and a distrubing thought surfaces - what if there are more of them on top? Has the rain covered the undead rousing and sloshings behind you???

You will find in a moment...

And then, if you need - you'll scream.

Well it appears that Cohle is correct, "time is a flat circle" - what's old is new again. This update, I'm covering a book rather than a DVD - it's relevant.



Getting lost online (once again) I found out about a new publication from The Creative Stock Market - "Night Of The Living Dead: 2014 Screenplay".
Quote:
Barbara and her brother Johnny drive to the countryside to visit the gravestone of their late father when Johnny is brutally murdered by a mindless old man. The murderer then turns to Barbara who manages to hide in a small farmhouse where she meets Joe and a few others who are hiding from what appears to be an attack on the living. The dead keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for human flesh!

This is a 2014 edition of the original screenplay written by George A. Romero and John A. Russo. It was rewritten, edited, modernized and formatted by Jimmy Edmonds.
- press release

The question is why present this work as a screenplay and not as regular novel? Hell, why not as a better audio dramatization than the 1988 Simon & Schuster production? I have no answer.

This is a softcover book with a $14.99 price tag and is ninety-four pages long. It streeted on April 10, 2014.

- - -

An excerpt; the siblings at the cemetery, before madness bites...



They start in his suggested direction. John is trying to catch up with Barbara.

John: Why are you walking so fast?

Barbara: (Looking ahead, trying to spot the gave) Hmmm?

John: What's the hurry?

Barbara: You've been bitching the whole way here about how this trip is a waste of time, and now that we're here, you walk like a snail.

John: Whatever.

Their jibes at each other are not really in anger, but are the typical of brother-sister annoyance. They walk through the row of gravestones in the growing darkness. Barbara pulls out her iPhone and uses it as a flashlight to read the names on the stones.

- - -

I don't know how I should feel about this. Did somebody ask for it? Was Edmonds hoping that somebody might read his screenplay and buy the rights from him to shoot the movie?

The last true modernization happened twenty-four years ago, the Savini remake.

Wait!

Ben was renamed 'Joe'? I hate when they do that. *sigh*

That's it folks.

This is a short update. I have no new news on the previously mentioned remakes (last post).

What can I say before closing?



That very same bloody hand image was used for another book, a zombie softcover novel; "Days With The Undead: Book One" by Julianne Snow from Sirens Call Publications. It streeted on February 29th, 2012 for $12.99 (258 pages). Based on Ms. Snow's Canadian web serial of the same name; edited by Kate Monroe.

By the way, Julianne Snow looks like Natalie Green (played by Mindy Cohn) from "The Facts Of Life" (1979). *shrugs*
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  #23  
Old 10-23-2014, 04:13 AM
PART III: ANTIPATHY - C P1

The bottle is nearly gone, just a few random drops of generic whiskey remain. Not much of anything more than a reminder of what once was and a phantom scent. But the glass container has weight to it - enough to chuck onto a nearby wall for a distraction.

There are two of them; slow moving, decayed and all alone. This might be a great day for you.

They linger about in front of a former convenience store. One is slender, the other is portly and is shorter of the two; both are dressed in torn, long bloodied black outfits with ratty baseball caps. The tall one is gnawing at the air, making lite moans, the other is silent. You think for a moment - about your own body odor, but you know it's not you. The breeze is blowing your whiff away from them.

From the looks, the store appears to be intact; no broken glass or scattered merchandise on the asphalt. The same goes for the adjacent video store. You've been scoping this location for the past few days, minus those nerderwells, this place seems secure. And potentially still stocked, at least that's the hope.

You get into postion to throw the whiskey. You pull out your wooden bat and with heart racing - toss the bottle on the back of the video store.

The corpses hear the shattered noise and wonder onto its general direction. The store's front is available, you already have your latex gloves on. One of the smart decisions you've made since the calamity - you've seen first hand what happens when touching something potentially smeared with infected blood. A simple thing as grabbing bags of disposable gloves from a dollar store can save yourself a bullet to the brain.

The dash begins.

You do your best to remain as quiet as possible without much huffing. You reach the front and do a quick examine of the glass door. Since your stakeout, you have not seen or heard any movement inside. You pull - nothing happens. You pull once more, no. The door is locked and is making noise as you rattle it in frustration.

There is a moan; the thin one has come around the corner; there is more shuffling heard, the large one is trailing. The bat is in your hand - two quick moves and be done with them. Just then a partially eaten face slams against the glass from within, knocking a box of beef jerky from the nearby counter. He's missing half his mustache and part of a goatee. You can see his throat has been torn open, no moans from him, just the sounds of teeth grinding against the glass. The dead duo is moving closer. This is a lost cause.

There is a deep sigh as you flee. You stop for a moment to see if you're being followed, nothing. Confused you slowly walk back the store. The duo is back in the front, doing... nothing. The thin is is gnawing at the air once more, the portly fellow beside him. They've lost interest in you, once you were out of sight. A fragment of memory linking them to this place? Oh well. At least you're safe for the moment. You pull out your county map and see what is best described as a dirt mall on the other side of town. You might have better luck there.



This retrospective offering is an oddity; call it inventive or just unnecessary - "Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated".

There was a very limited theatrical screening on September 1st, 2009. So limited I can not give you any box office stats. I can't even give you the budget on this flick or how much it made domestically, which wasn't much.

The feature opened against "The Final Destination", "Inglourious Basterds", "Gamer", "District 9" and "Halloween II".

So for the most part; this was a direct to video feature.



Released on September 21st, 2010 from MVD Visual (UPC# 7 60137 50159 6) for $17.99.

The DVD streeted against "Community: The Complete First Season", "Alien Autopsy" (movie, not Fox TV special) and "Falcon Crest: The Complete Second Season".

The release came with no slipcover. It did come with a two page insert; an essay "They're Still Coming To Get Us!: Reanimation, Media, And Horror Fandom" by Peter Gutiérrez.

The DVD has six chapters.

The motion picture is a hundred and two minutes long.

- - -

Extras:

* Introduction and outro by Count Gore De Vol from www.countgore.com
* Commentary 1: Project coordinator Mike Schneider, author Jonathan Maberry, journalist Peter Gutierrez, moderated by Wild Eye's Rob Hauschild
* Commentary 2: Schneider, Corpse S. Chris from Horror Host Graveyard and Hauschild, moderated by filmmaker Keith Crocker
* Artist Call-In Commentary
* Extended/deleted scenes
* Behind-the-scenes video, Ryan Siggs his stop-motion contribution (full screen, 5:07 minutes)
* Behind-the-scenes video, Calum MacAskill his abstract animation contribution (full screen, 5:02 minutes)
* Behind-the-scenes video, Mike Boas his rotoscoping contribution (full screen, 5:46 minutes)
* "The Zombie Encounter Panel" from "Zombie Encounter & Film Festival", a live New Jersey panel discussion from October 10th, 2009 featuring Schneider, Maberry, Hauschild, Gutierrez, doctor/author Kim Paffenroth, author John Joseph Adams and moderated by author David Barr Kirtley (anamorphic, 79:12 minutes)
* FearWerx retro action figure promo (full screen, 1:22 minutes)
* "Night Of The Living Box Art" featurette (non-anamorphic, 32:03 minutes)
* "Night Of The Gaming Dead" fake video game (full screen, 1:18 minutes)
* "Silo" short film by Anthony Amos (full screen, 4:49 minutes)
* "Dawn Of The Ape" short film by Andres Silva (full screen, 3:13 minutes)
* "NOTLD: R Coloring Book Contest Winners" (slide show gallery, full screen, six images)
* "NOLD-R Artist Gallery" (slide show, full screen, 109 images)
* Trailers (full screen)
* Additional Trailers: "Every Other Day Is Halloween" (non-anamorphic, 2009), "Gold" (full screen, 1968), "Blitzkrieg: Escape From Stalag 69" (non-anamorphic, 2008), "The Bloody Ape" (full screen, 1997), "The Electric Chair" (non-anamorphic, 1976), "Gothkill" (non-anamorphic, 2009) and "Horror Host Graveyard" website promo (full screen)
* DVD-ROM: "Zombie And Horror Comics By NOLD: R Artists" (PDF)
* DVD-ROM:"1968 The Year That Changed Horror" article by Peter Gutierrez (PDF)
* DVD-ROM:"NOLD: R Liner Notes (PDF)

- - -

Audio:

* Dolby Digital 2.0

- - -

NOTES/REVIEW

There are no subtitles

The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).
Quote:
Now I'm running in times that are frighting. But I won't let that break me.
- Billy Idol

What is this?

Homage, I suppose.



Mike Schneider had the idea; take the audio from the classic and recreate the film from that framework, the visuals. Roughly a hundred-fifty artists from around the globe contributed elements or rather scenes making a whole. There were 500 submissions made for the project. And took eighteen months to complete.

We get a collage of moments, ranging from sock puppets, toys, acrylics, crude stop-motion animation, video game graphics, sketches, motion comics, rotoscope and everything in between. Including panning on still images. The constant is the audio from the film. As you can imagine the end result is... different.



The biggest problem I had here was the mixed media presentation. Some were actually quite good and rest looked amateurish. I did like the quick shot of three Furbies munching on a dead one, this happens after the gas pump explosion.

I speak for myself - it was a major chore to finish. Not helping was the poor video quality; whoever mastered the DVD set the bit rate far too low (like watching a poor YouTube video). Anyhow, the idea here is a solid notion. It's been done before and done quite well, as in Oscar winning well. Yeah.

I'm speaking of the five minute, 1989 United Kingdom short, "Creature Comforts". It won the 1991 "Best Short Film - Animated" Academy Award. This was directed by Nick Park. Simple concept. Interview a bunch of folks, kids included from a housing development on various topics; build animation around that audio. In this case, all the people interviewed were turned into claymation animals. It's damn cute and funny - bizarre stuff happening in the background.

This took a life of it's own in 2003 when the idea was relauched as "Creature Comforts", a TV series in the U.K.; it lasted two seasons. A total of twenty-six, nine/twelve minute episodes were made. But it didn't end there. In 2007 it was re-re-launched in the States as "Creature Comforts America" on CBS (premiered on June 4th); it lasted one short season - it bombed. The network pulled the show after five episodes. A total of seven half hour programs were made.

These were all made by Aardman Animation, the company responsible for the "Wallace & Gromit" shorts and movie (along with "Chicken Run" [2000], "Flushed Away" [2006] and "Pirates! Band Of Misfits" [2012]).

What I would love to see is Nick Park, animating NOTLD as a full length claymation (you know what I mean) feature with that brand of off-kilter humor. That would be excellent and a step up from Reanimated. I would totally buy that on release day.



Season one of the U.K. series came out in the States (region 1) on September 27th, 2005 (for $19.94). Season two came out on October 24th, 2006 ($24.96). And the America version was released on October 9th, 2007 ($29.95). I own all three titles which were bought years ago at Big Lots! for three bucks each, a great deal for a grand show, very recommended. There is a Christmas Special, don't bother with it; that DVD is a repackage of an extra on a season set.

Sorry, gotten off topic.

Lets cover some of the extras in better detail.

The intro by Count Gore De Vol. It start in color that slowly desaturate until it's black and white. That was a nice touch. Who? The Count was or rather is a horror movie host, much like Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark. Anyhow, the Count had a show on WDCA in Washington, DC ("Creature Features") that ran for over a decade from 1973 to 1987. Then returned in 1998 as a internet program, streaming movies and shorts. Let's just say the Count was East Coast as Elvira was West Coast. Yeah, I never heard of him until this release.

But there's more; Dick Dyszel who played the Count was also the guy behind the make-up on the kid's show, "Bozo The Clown" - well one of they guys who played the clown. I saw reruns when I was real little in the 70s. He was also "Captain 20", another kids program, never saw this. There is a trailer on the disc for a documentary, "Every Other Day Is Halloween" on Dyszel's colorful life. Man, that looks fascinating, I'll pick that up.

The panel was cool and would've been way better if it weren't for the poor audio and amateur camera work. The guests were handed a microphone, but whoever was working the sound board was not doing their job. The audio hadn't changed much. You could hear them before the mic was used. I don't understand. You have to crank up the sound to hear them. As for the camera, it's on a tripod, I'll give them that. But it's not filmed centered, but rather far on the side (there are zooms as needed). This could've been a lot better. On top of that, the audio is muddled - not clear.

Putting those woes aside, the discussion was fascinating. Intelligent Zed talk with published authors on the legacy and continued contribution of the Romero classic. Z Fanboys like myself crave stuff like this. Here's something also interesting; the location. It was held at Lutheran Church Of The Redeemer (8PM that October with the event starting at six in the evening) on 55 Wyckoff Avenue in Ramsey, NJ. It began with a screening of NOTLD: R, then the discussion. That's a progressive church.

I liked Peter Gutierrez comment about how the Zed problem could've been manageable - just have Ben (Duane Jones) go out every half hour and wack a few zombies to death; he's good at that. It wouldn't have gotten so out of hand. Also have Tom (Keith Wayne) go out too, wack-a-zed.

The action figure ad is for Mego-like toys of Cemetery Ghoul and Ben. If you're into collecting toys or were old enough to be a kid in the 1970s then you know all about Mego. If not... they made large action figures (roughly eight inches tall), not just pure plastic - they came with cloth clothes. I would love to own those FearWerx figures, they cool damn sway. They come in Mego-like retro packaging.

"Night Of The Living Box Art" is all about Rob Hauschild's hobby; collection VHS cover art from various home video releases of NOTLD. Man, that is quite the nitché and fascinating. Some of the covers shown were impressive, others were just an embarrassment. *shakes head* Some of the video descriptions were so off - like the distributor didn't know what they were selling. Others had the ending image right on the cover.

"Night Of The Gaming Dead" is just lame as hell. It imagines the movie if it were turned into a 1980s video game, "Pac-Man". This was made by Voodoo Velvet, just avoid it. The same with the two shorts, both are bad filler - no ALL THREE are bad fillers.

The "Artist Call-In Commentary" is exactly as you guessed, the DVD producers called the artists to give their thoughts on their contributions. You get to chose from twenty-eight artists. The full run time is 29:04 minutes, but you can't view them all together just as single entries.

I could not access any of the DVD-ROM features. As in... I can't find them on the disc.

This came in a white DVD case. The disc art shows multiple side profiles of a zombie, skull exposed around the hub. Turn the disc and see the skull open up and his brain popping out to be consumed by the mouth and shoot out of his head, a forever loop.

The menus are in anamorphic widescreen, if your curious. And the function highlighter is a red hammer and a red trowel, cute.
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  #24  
Old 10-23-2014, 04:16 AM
PART III: ANTIPATHY - C P2

This is one of those odd bits. I don't really care for this interpretation, BUT I do love some of the extras on DVD. It's is very apparent that a lot of affection and appreciation was put into the production. I give no ill towards that - overall, it's an impressive labor of love. And the commentaries were fascinating too (too bad the audio was poor). This release turned out far better than it should. So yes, I'm keeping this title as part of my library. I say this, since I have a sub-section of releases that are loose. That is to say - I don't like them, but they have an element or moments that rise it above crap. Not good enough to be part of my official collection, but not poor enough for me to sell off or trash.

The reason it's longer than the regular film is because of the protracted animator credits.

And there's a stinger at the end, a skinless Furby saying "Need food; me hiding, need food". Then laughs and gives a kiss.

- - -

Some NOTLD news - a bombshell.

This is something that came out of nowhere; I knew he has kids.



His daughter, Tina has a bit part in his 2005 motion picture "Land Of The Dead" (a Past Tense entry from 2013).

There's a brief mention of his son on the laser disc commentary for "Dawn Of The Dead: Special CAV Collector's Edition - Director's Cut"; released in 1996 from Elite Entertainment. This commentary is exclusive to the dead format. How he locked himself in his room while his dad, mom and Tom Savini were recording the LD lecture.

The adult son is stepping in his father's footsteps...



George Cameron Romeo announced on October 16th (this year) that he hopes to make an prequel to NOTLD, called "Origins"...
Quote:
Set in the turbulent late sixties, the film tells the story of a brilliant scientist - Dr. Alan Cartwright - who strikes a deal with the military that will give him all the resources he needs to finalize his work in exchange for what he later learns is a price all mankind will have to pay.
- official synopsis

The year is 1962; Cartwright is working on a way for humanity to survive a nuclear exchange, the Cold War is on full blast. Years go by, his well funded quest takes him around the world which lead him to the discovery. An answer which brings about the end of human race. It is hinted that the doctor is dabbling with voodoo for his solution.

Cameron is using Indiegogo, hoping to raise $150,000 to cover pre-production cost. The project will be produced by Darrin Reed with some producing by George senior himself. The film will be directed and written by Cameron.

Okay. I have to address this.

I just have to.

A problem here.

There is a Vimeo (video) pitch. He talks about hoping to raise the money to film this prequel. The thing is - no. He keeps saying 'pre-production cost'. That's not filming... at all. What does it encompass?

* Having a final script for filming or nearly locked down
* Scouting locations and securing found sites for later filming (from permissions to signed contracts for an explicit window of availability)
* Getting the filming equipment rented, also signed for a limited window
* Deciding what will be shoot on site and what will be lensed on a soundstage
* Production visuals from what the costumes will look like to the designs of the zombies to the look of the sets
* Creating blueprints and possible set constructions
* Securing special effects houses (digital and/or practical) for the many visuals
* Doing camera tests and creation of the Zed gags and props
* Securing catering
* Finding and securing the filming crew
* Talent search for actors and signing them for particular roles

This is a just small sample of what 'Pre-Production' is. Nowhere in this demarcation is actual filming. This happens BEFORE the movie is even shot. Cameron keeps talking about raising the money to make the movie, but that $150,000 does not include a single second of actual feature.



It could be that he's deliberately keeping it fuzzy. That once he can raise those greenbacks - investors will see the viability of the property; that is the say, there is considerable interest in the project to throw money at... into filming.

This bugs me. Dude, I know what you're trying to accomplish, I would love to see that happen too. But if this fails to bring additional funds to complete - EVERYONE who donated will feel you cheated them out of their dollars. I'll just say it; scammed them. That is unless you show in videos and pixs, step by step how you're spending that money, it's gonna end bad for you and your reputation. Plus it will forever sully the project.

The other issue I have is misinformation. The it's been widely reported that Cameron will write and direct the prequel. BUT on the video pitch for donations he says the screenplay is already written.

Which is it? Why the discontinuity? There could be an easy answer and a press release should say, you have written it. But that missing bit, compounded with the above gives me serious second thoughts on "Origins".

The video informs that there will be gifts to those who donate, the more dollars - the more substantial it will be; signed scripts, signed storyboards, signed props, becoming a featured zombie in the film and "The Brain Trust". Where contributors will be have a say in the things spoken and seen in the movie. What would they like to see?



Look, I am curious and I DO hope it come to fruition. But all he's shown (at least on the pitch video) is some concept art that Cameron drew (samples above). I'm pointing this out.

This all could be simple misunderstanding and it's all quite legit. But not talking about it would be remiss. Okay.

Before you ask; I have no information if "Origin" will be shot in color or black and white. This would be his second feature if made; he's made a living directing TV commericals... just like his dad in the 1960s.

The Chad Zuver's remake "A Night Of The Living Dead" still has an October 24th, 2014 release date. The first review has come in by Rickey Russell (October 17th, 2014) from A Southern Life In Scandalous Times, a blog.

It's mixed, quotes below from Russell. The story is okay, but not much else.
Quote:
The plot takes place during a visit to see their wife and mother's grave, placing Jerry and his daughters Melanie and Barbra at the beginning of a zombie apocalypse.
The film is in black and white, the effects is... lacking. Zero budget on the gore.
Quote:
Overall, "A Night Of The Living Dead" misses at creating an original retelling of the film because too much of the Romero film is present when it comes to scene set-ups and structure. The acting is pretty low quality with the exception being the few actors that do offer quality performances. This is homemade horror and at times proves worthy, unfortunately the amount of line flubs from some characters and inconsistent use of practical effects drag the director’s intended vision down.
I'll give this a look once it hits DVD, but I'll be honest. I'm waiting for five dollars or less. I'm not paying more.

Looking about online, I find stuff.

George A. Romero was interviewed by Nelson Wyatt which appeared in The Gazette, a Canadian newspaper (on September 11th, 2014. The interview happened on October 21st, 2011 in Mexico City. This and that. But something was dropped that I didn't know. You might recall on the March 20th, 2014 entry, I wrote about Romero's "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" connection. What I didn't know was how much influence it had on him.



The director wanted Betty Aberlin in his horror flick. Aberlin played Lady Aberlin on the kid's show. One of the human characters in Neighborhood Of Make-Believe. This did not sit well with the gentle, sweater wearing TV personality...
Quote:
He wouldn't allow that. I originally wanted to use her in the role of Barbra and Fred put his foot down and said no.
Romero continues...
Quote:
He loved the film. He came and loved it. He was always a huge supporter over the years.
That's kinda charming, would Aberlin have played her different? Could this Barbara be more normal and less catatonic? We'll never know.

Nothing new to report on "Night Of The Living Dead: Origins 3D", "Night Of The Living Dead: Genesis" or "Night Of The Living Dead: Contagion".

Here's a good quote from the panel. The question is whither the zombie genre has topped off; become over-saturated...
Quote:
For the most part zombies don't have personalities in the story - they simply represents that threat. And it allows the characters then to be in a story where there is a constant threat; constant stress and pressure which warps normal behavior. And it's the warped normal behavior that forms the basis of most story telling. We don't tell stories about people living ordinary lives and doing ordinary things with nothing happening because that would be boring. We write stories in almost any genre about some crisis, some event that comes along that forces the characters out of normal being. And that is true with "The Wizard Of Oz" [1939] as it is with "Night Of The Living Dead" [1968]. Characters taken out of normal behavior by a crisis - well the zombies allow for that without intruding into the story because we don't have to give them, pages so to speak. We don't have to define their characters, tell their histories. We don't even necessarily need to tell how they became zombies, you know? Romero didn't waste a whole lot of time on it. They're there! And then we see how that warps the characters, warps their interactions - and we get to tell endlessly creative stories about people in pressure, people under stress. It's not going to get old.
- Jonathan Maberry



There you go folks - that's all for now. More will come; the cinema infection can not be halted, Ben would attest to that and a hillbilly grievance.

Last edited by JohnIan; 10-23-2014 at 04:18 AM..
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