Thursday, October 24, 2013

Repost of the Living Dead: Night of the Living Dead (1990)

***Since people love Re-Dubbing the original 'Night of the Living Dead,' I figured that I can 'Re-Dub my own Review of the Remake.  Why not***

This was a review that was intended to be in October during my pure horror month, but it is now.  So that's where we are. This film has sort of an odd place in history, as it comes over twenty years after the original film, nine years before the big re-release and another seven years before the 3-D remake in 2006. This is not counting all the many re-dubbing mixes of the film for 'comedic value.' At least the Rifftrax DVD offers you the chance to watch it with or without commentary.   Oh and their live show is tonight.  Go see it (unless this review is being read much later.  The other big thing to note is that the film was directed by Tom Savini, who has only directed one other movie (in 2004) since this. I'm sure that there is a story there. Well, enough talk- more zombie killing. This is...
Do I really need to tell you the plot of this movie? It's the same, really. Well, one thing or two is different about it...

-Tony Todd plays our black lead. This sort of goes against the casting logic of the first film (casting a black man just because he was the best actor), but okay.  In fairness, he is also the best actor here too.
-The lead heroine does not go comatose and stay that way for 80% of the film.

After a talking to by Todd, she actually becomes assertive and strong. This feels like Savini did this on purpose, especially if you hear the way Todd's speech goes.
-The man who plays the husband from the cellar is less one-note than the original actor, although he is mostly rage and dissent.

-Naturally, the zombie make-up is great. Plus, no CG blood. Hurray!
-One small plot-hole: our heroine loses her coke-bottle glasses in the initial attack and never regains them. However, she is still a crack-shot for the adventure...somehow.

I should try that out...and I just shot my foot.  Moving on...
-The way the young couple dies is less stupid than in the original. This time, they can't find the key to the gas tank and try to shoot it off. Later, our hero finds the key and feels really bad about it.

-The big thing is that the ending is changed. Tony Todd's character gets bitten and turned, getting killed when the hick farmers show up. Instead, our heroine shoots the older guy and covers it by saying that he was a zombie. This is because he abandons Todd's character earlier. See- you can use different, ironic twists for your endings, makers of 2005's War of the Worlds and 2006's The Wicker Man!
The movie was good, although it was not so different that it necessarily warranted a remake. Mind you, there are some noticeable improvements in the writing and acting. The thing you will notice most about it is the use of color and the gore effects. That's fine and good, but how many people were complaining about either of them in regards to the original? The direction is fine, but nothing really stands out about it that makes you either go 'man, that guy should never work again' or 'that guy is great!' Fun fact for you though: this movie co-stars Bill Moseley and the 3-D remake features Sid Haig. It is interesting to look at this movie in comparison to the video game 'Left 4 Dead' and see just how similar the black character is to Todd here. If you have never seen any of the Dead films (some of you must exist somewhere), this is not a bad place to start. Of course, anything is better than Night of the Living Bread. Yes, that is a real film title.
Up next, the teaser from before.  I don't feel like re-typing it.  Stay tuned...

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