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Long lost Night of the Living Dead workprint unearthed?

10.19.2015by: Cody Hamman

This October has been a huge month for George A. Romero's horror classic (and one of my all-time favorite films) NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, which celebrated the 47th anniversary of its premiere on October 1st.

Coinciding with the Living Dead Weekend celebration, which was held during the second weekend of the month in the town that served as the film's primary shooting location, Evans City, Pennsylvania, Evans City fully embraced its place in cinematic history by putting up a sign announcing that the town is "Home to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD", with plaques surrounding the sign that give information on the movie and a nod to the fact that Romero also filmed THE CRAZIES there a few years later.

As if that wasn't cool enough, Romero was a guest at the Monster-Mania Con in Hunt Valley, Maryland during the first weekend of the month, and attendees have reported that he dropped a bombshell during his Q&A panel, saying that an original 16mm workprint of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD has been found.

Until now, it had been believed that any NOTLD workprints had been lost for good, destroyed when the basement storage room of Romero's old company Image Ten was flooded. The discovery of this intact workprint apparently came about when elements were being gathered for a new restoration of the film that is being overseen by a film historian who has made a movie or two of his own, Martin Scorsese.

Anyone familiar with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD has probably noticed the very obvious jump cut that occurs in a scene where the characters of Harry and Helen Cooper are talking in the cellar of the farmhouse where everyone has sought refuge from the walking dead outside. This jump cut happens because several minutes were cut out of the film at that point, minutes of dialogue (the distributor felt there was too much talking going on) as well as a cut away to the largest group of zombies ever caught on film together during the production. According to Romero, this cut sequence, which has been said to be around 8 to 10 minutes long, is in the workprint that has been found.

While this is very exciting news for LIVING DEAD fans, those behind the scenes caution us not to get too excited just yet. All we have to go on at the moment is a quick comment made during a Q&A, but an official announcement will be made soon that will reveal exactly what the situation is and what lies ahead for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

Extra Tidbit: Do you want to see those long-missing minutes?
Source: Monster KidFacebook

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