Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Night of the Living Dead (1990)Rating:
- Dylan = 7 / 10;
- Eloise = 6 / 10;
- Raoul = 6 / 10;
Night of the Living Dead (1990) Synopsis:
After her brother is attacked by a zombie, Barbara finds refuge in an isolated farmhouse where she will try to survive the hordes of undead.
Night of the Living Dead (1990) Review:
This film is the remake of Romero’s masterpiece of the zombie kind Night of the Living Dead, released in 1968 and now widely considered as one of the best zombie flicks ever made.
This film is also the directing debut of Tom Savini, the ultra-famous actor/SFX wizard/stuntman. Despite a few other shorts before and after, it will also be his only full-length feature film.
Remaking such a classic was meant to be a tough task right from the start, but I think Savini made a good job with it. The story is really faithful to the original, with no major surprises and yet a little welcome change here and there. The biggest change comes from Barbara herself, the main woman character, who is here more of a tough girl rather than the shocked and useless victim from the original movie. Personally, I did not like that change because I always thought that the evolution of the character of Barbara in the original movie is part of what made it such a classic of psychological horror.
This said, the point of this film was probably not to make the story better, but to make the film look better (the special effects in the original were pretty bad). In that, Savini made a master job. The makeup for the zombies is fantastic and remains the best reason to watch this remake.
In the end, this remake is by no means superior to the original, but instead a good-looking and refreshing upgrade that ought to be watched for it simple entertainment purpose.
Night of the Living Dead 1990 Deep Dark Thoughts
There have been very few remakes that can truly capture the magic of the original and even fewer that can surpass it. I think John Carpenter’s remake of Thing from Another World (aka “The Thing“) was better than the original.
The remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring Donald Sutherland was better than the original. Other than that, remakes usually stink. Especially when trying to remake a classic (aka Wolf). One remake that IMHO eclipsed the original (only in “entertainment value” and not in importance to the genre) was the remake of Night of the Living Dead (NOTLD 90). Some will cry blasphemy, but let me state my case before you crucify me.
First of all, the zombies, or as Savini refers to them, the “living dead”. Oh well, zombies to me. I know on the limited budget of the original Night of the Living Dead (NOTLD 68) that was probably the best that they could do and some say that it actually adds to the grittiness of the film. I agree 110%, but that shouldn’t be held against NOTLD 90. The zombie effects were outstanding in NOTLD 90. Optic Nerve Production did an excellent job designing the look of the zombies. Visually, these zombies might be the best since those from Fulci’s Zombie.
For the look, the effects team went to morgues and took photos of the recently decreased. They sat in on a couple of autopsies and even watched film footage from concentration camps. Savini really wanted to capture the look of the recent dead. No need for maggots or decaying flesh here, because these zombies were only supposed to be dead for no more than 3 or 4 days. I would consider these zombies a step or two above Savini’s work in Dawn of the Dead or Day of the Dead.
Second, the characters. Romero really focused on developing the characters. They were not as one- dimensional as in NOTLD 68. The change of Barbara’s character from a timid catatonic to a kick-ass take charge kind of girl was exactly what was needed to pump next life into the storyline. Tony Todd did an excellent job in the role of Ben. All the characters had more depth which helped us (i.e. the audience) root for them and against them.
Third, the ending. I really thought the ending of NOTLD 68 was perfect. It wasn’t the candy-coated Hollywood ending where our hero, Ben is saved. No, Ben is just another victim in the game of life or in this case death. I didn’t think this ending could ever be topped. This was one area that I thought they wouldn’t or shouldn’t change. Boy, was I wrong? Not only did they change it, but they made it even better. It is the perfect ending. I only wish Savini could have taken it to the extent he wanted to, but still, it was right on the money.
Fourth and finally…Tom Savini. After spending years studying the techniques of Romero, Argento, and King, Savini finally got his chance. His accomplishment is as well-crafted as any of his mentors. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see Savini’s true cinematic vision for the film.
So these are the reasons why I prefer NOTLD 90 to NOTLD 68. Both were and always will be classics in my mind. I would really have loved to see the true extent of Savini’s vision for this film and maybe one day we will be lucky enough to see that happen. As always please e-mail me if you have anything you can add to this page, or if you have any comments, criticisms or suggestion.
Night of the Living Dead 1990 Story
“They’re coming to get you Barbara”, but this time Barbara is ready for them. A remake of the original classic “Night of the Living Dead”. A modern retelling based on an updated scripted by George Romero and directed by Tom Savini.
This is pretty much the same story as NOTLD 68, but with better effects and a few new twists. The recent dead has returned to life and now seek the flesh of the living. Seven strangers are trapped in an isolated farmhouse struggling with the horror that awaits them on the outside and the tension that will eventually destroy them on the inside.
Romero re-introduces all our favorite character: Ben (Tony Todd), Cooper (Tom Towles), etc. There are even striking reminiscences between the cast in 68 and 90, and that wasn’t a coincidence. Barbara (Patricia Tallman) has been miraculously been transformed from a comatose broad into a female Rambo. She seemingly being the only one with any grasp of the situation and this time she not waiting for Johnny.
Not overly gory, but the zombie make-up was fantastic. The twists breath new life into this classic movie. Tom Savini did an exceptional job in his big screen directorial debut and maybe someday we’ll be lucky enough to see his director’s cut of this modern classic. Let me know your opinion, which does you prefer, NOTLD 68 or NOTLD 90? E-mail me.
Night of the Dead1990 Frightful facts
- This was Tom Savini’s directional debut on the big screen. He had previously directed several episodes of the TV series “Tales from the Darkside”.
- The final cut of the film was only about 40% of Tom Savini’s vision. Creative differences with producers really hampered the film. Pick up a copy of “Grande Illusions II” by Tom Savini to see storyboards of scenes that were cut for ratings or were never done due to lack of time.
- Tom was required by contract to deliver an R-rated film.
- The reason for the remake was twofold. First, to make money. Second and probably most important, trying to beat to the box-office, a firm out of Texas that was about to embark on their own remake of “Night of the Living Dead”.
- The budget for the film was $4.2 million. It grossed $5.835 million in the US.
- The inspiration for the “living dead” came from numerous visits to the morgue and from watching footage of concentration camps. Tons of photos were shot and a few autopsies were watched. Savini really wanted to get the feel of the recently deceased.
- The NOTLD 90 is out on DVD.
Night of the Living Dead (1990) Cast:
|Tom Towles||…||Harry Cooper|
|McKee Anderson||…||Helen Cooper|
|Katie Finneran||…||Judy Rose|
|Bill Moseley||…||Johnnie (as Bill Mosley)|
|Heather Mazur||…||Sarah Cooper|
|David W. Butler||…||Hondo (as David Butler)|
|Pat Reese||…||The Mourner|
|William Cameron||…||The Newsman|
|Pat Logan||…||Uncle Rege|
|Berle Ellis||…||The Flaming Zombie|
|Bill Cardille||…||T.V. Interviewer (as Bill ‘Chilly Billy’ Cardille)|
Night of the Living Dead 1990 Merchandise
Visit the King of Splatter, Tom Savini‘s
Night of the Living Dead 1990 Extras
- Buy the Special Edition DVD (not 30th-anniversary edition) of the original “Night of the Living Dead” atAmazon.com
- Buy the DVD of the remake of “Night of the Living Dead” at Amazon.com
- Buy the “Dawn of the Dead Ultimate DVD Boxset atAmazon.com
- Buy the DVD of the “Day of the Dead” at Amazon.com
Night Of The Living Dead Pictures
Night Of The Living Dead Sound
|Their us.wav(16kb)||Warning.wav(56kb)||More to come!!!!!|