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Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Tom Savini

Starring:
Tony Todd/Ben
Patricia Tallman/Barbara
Tom Towles/Harry
Bill Moseley/Johnny
PLOT-CRUNCH
In this remake of the original 1968 Romero classic, a varied group of folks are trapped inside an isolated farmhouse as an army of the walking dead try to get inside to have them for dinner…literally….
THE LOWDOWN
“We’re them, they’re us.”– Barbara

I haven’t seen Romero’s original in a while, so it wouldn’t be fair for me to compare the remake with it. All I remember from the 1968 classic is that it felt dated and that Barbara was a yelping banshee. I’ll have to hit this remake as a stand-alone.

Sometimes simplicity pays off and this flick is Night Of The Living Proof of that. The story here is character/situational driven and sticks to the basics. The zombies are just "there" and we’re never given an explanation as to why they’ve returned from the grave (I loved that approach). The directing also serves the movie, never standing out to a point of distraction and the makeup effects are kept grounded in reality. Nothing fancy here and it works!

Character-wise, I really got attached to Ben (Todd) and Barbara (Tallman). Ben’s survival instinct and good heart really appealed to me. As for Barbara, witnessing her evolution from a vulnerable young woman, to a strong and resourceful fighter was very engaging. Strong female characters always appealed to me more than the whole “helpless dame” thang. We can now add Barbara to the Ripley, Sarah Connor list of ass-kicking chicks. You go, girl! The film itself moves at an even pace, has a truckload of suspenseful moments, offers mucho zombie/human confrontations and even takes the time to make a statement about the evil that men do at the end. Yes, I started feeling sorry for those poor living chumps.

From a negative standpoint, some of the effects weren’t always up to par. Am I the only guy that thought that the “Uncle Rege” zombie sometimes looked like a huge yellow balloon? And am I the only one that spotted him deflating when Barbara gave him “le coup de grace”? That took me out of the vibe a bit. Then we have the dialogue which for some reason often sounded like it was straight out of the 60s. For example, who calls somebody a “yo-yo”? I mean, you’ve got living corpses wanting to chew your balls outside! I think words like “FUCK”, “MOTHERFUCKER or SHIT would be more appropriate than “yo-yo”. Maybe it’s just me. On a script level, two things really irritated me: 1) Barbara suggests outrunning the zombies early on and it's clearly obvious to me that it’s the best idea. But Ben poorly rationalizes that it would be safer to lock everybody up in the house instead. Didn’t make sense to me and I didn’t buy it. The screenwriter could’ve thought of a more convincing argument to keep the characters at that location and 2) What kind of moron shoots the padlock on a gas tank with a 12-gauge shotgun? He was just asking for that one! 'Nuff said.

But overall, "Night Of The Living Dead" has enough tension, clever twists, action set pieces and engaging characters to satisfy. The film kicks in from the get-go and doesn’t let up till the end. This remake is far from an embarrassment to the original, and from what I remember about Romero’s classic, dare I say that the remake improves on it? Shit, did I say that out loud??? Burn me at the stake!!! To be honest, I’d have to see Romero’s gem again to fully back up my jive. Either way you hack it, this flick is a focused, well-made horror treat. Load up that shotgun boys and girls, it's zombie bashing time!
GORE
The gore isn’t abundant but we still get a few spine-tingling bits like a nasty broken neck, some crowbar action, gunshots to the head and body.
ACTING
Tony Todd (Ben) is very intense here but does go a little too “theatrical” for my liking at times. But overall, he’s solid. Patricia Tallman (Barbara) sold me. She’s very credible as the vulnerable chick that slowly becomes “Rambette”. Tom Towles (Harry) excels at playing a-holes and he’s great again as the tough talking coward in this flick. What an ass! Bill Moseley (Johnny) does what he has to do as Barbara’s teasing brother. William Butler (Tom) is on and off. His scenes with Kate Finneran (Judy Rose) were pretty weak. Kate Finneran (Judy Rose) plays hysterical well, unfortunately that’s all that she does. McKee Anderson (Helen) gives a subtle and likeable show. I wanted more of her.
T & A
Patricia Tallman in her underwear showing off her beautiful legs and the ladies get some male zombie ass shots. Enjoy.
DIRECTING
dug Savini’s debut. He handles tension very well, he keeps the shots simple, which goes hand in hand with the film’s rhythm, he got me often with those damn “boo” scares and offers some nice atmospheric moments. He needed a firmer grasp on his actors though.
SOUNDTRACK
I felt the score didn’t measure up to the picture. It felt dated and failed to suck me in.
BOTTOM LINE
I really enjoyed this film’s simplicity. It just goes to show that you don’t need all kinds of fancy pansy tricks to make an efficient horror flick. Sure, the film isn’t perfect but its heart is in the right place and it delivers the goods. Now I got to get my hands on the original to see how it measures up.
BULL'S EYE
The first cut of this film was given an "X" rating by the MPAA. Several cuts were made to ensure an R-rating.

The budget of the film was $4.2 Million.
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5:14PM on 10/09/2012

A good, sometimes flawed remake.

I just got the now out of print Blu-ray of "Night of the Living Dead". I know, there was some controversy, because the minted blue video transfer. But it didn't bug me, i think, it was the way, the movie meant to look. If they had more time in the post-production back in its original release back in 1990. The plus side, the newly remastered DTS 5.1 HD Sound is excellent. Also the isolated music track is pretty good too. The blu-ray is missing the original featurette from the DVD but it does
I just got the now out of print Blu-ray of "Night of the Living Dead". I know, there was some controversy, because the minted blue video transfer. But it didn't bug me, i think, it was the way, the movie meant to look. If they had more time in the post-production back in its original release back in 1990. The plus side, the newly remastered DTS 5.1 HD Sound is excellent. Also the isolated music track is pretty good too. The blu-ray is missing the original featurette from the DVD but it does have the original commentary track by Savini. It is a good remake, there is some serious flaws in the first two-thirds of the move. It is the last act, it`s the best thing about it. Worth watching, especially if you are a Zombie Fan.
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4:39PM on 10/17/2011
I'm gonna get shot for this one, but I love this remake and I love the original...BUT I actually PREFER this remake xD
I'm gonna get shot for this one, but I love this remake and I love the original...BUT I actually PREFER this remake xD
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1:27AM on 11/01/2010
Good remake, but you should really review the original some day.
Good remake, but you should really review the original some day.
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1:27AM on 11/01/2010
Good remake, but you should really review the original some day.
Good remake, but you should really review the original some day.
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4:10PM on 06/19/2009

Right on...

This is a very well made remake. You're right Arrow,about the dialogue,it didn't look realistic a times,but this baby I could watch over and over. Awesome underrated zombie movie...
This is a very well made remake. You're right Arrow,about the dialogue,it didn't look realistic a times,but this baby I could watch over and over. Awesome underrated zombie movie...
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