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281 of 314 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE!! Stay away from the 30th Anniversary edition!
The five star rating I gave Night of the Living Dead is, of course, for the original, uncut, unadulterated edition. The original is, quite simply, the most terrifying movie I've ever seen, even when compared to horror classics like Diabolique (the original French version), Psycho, Rosemary's Baby, Halloween and The Shining. I saw NOTLD when I was 9 years old on Creature...
Published on October 10, 2004 by Michael K. Beusch

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87 of 98 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: This is NOT the movie you think it is!
When I first saw the packaging for this Special Edition of Night of the Living Dead it said there was 15 minutes of new footage and a new score. Well, GREAT I thought. 15 minutes of new footage that must've been cut out from the original release! New score, well, that could be a good thing too!
Until I opened the box to see the little booklet that revealed the ugly...
Published on January 13, 2000


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281 of 314 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE!! Stay away from the 30th Anniversary edition!, October 10, 2004
By 
Michael K. Beusch (San Mateo, California United States) - See all my reviews
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The five star rating I gave Night of the Living Dead is, of course, for the original, uncut, unadulterated edition. The original is, quite simply, the most terrifying movie I've ever seen, even when compared to horror classics like Diabolique (the original French version), Psycho, Rosemary's Baby, Halloween and The Shining. I saw NOTLD when I was 9 years old on Creature Features at midnight after a funeral. I had nightmares for the next two nights. The film still gives me the chills whenever I see it (usually at Halloween).

When the 30th Anniversary Edition came out, I bought it on VHS as I was curious to see what they termed as "new footage." What I got was a horrible mess that butchered the original film, removed the original music for a terrible synthesizer score and added pointless footage that makes the viewer want to grind his teeth down to the gums. One of the additions is a new character: a fire and brimstone preacher. While the acting in the original is amateurish, at best, the "actor" who plays the preacher makes the original cast look like Oscar winners by comparison. He snarls, and howls and gnashes his teeth like he has rabies. Even more ridiculous is the extra footage of Bill Hinzman -- the "cemetary zombie" in the original. The extra footage shows Hinzman's character emerging from the grave, then cuts to the original 1968 opening footage with Judith O'Dea and Russell Streiner. It's absolutely ridiculous as Hinzman looks 30 years older in the new footage. In addition, there are more zombies and a new ending to the film that makes no sense whatsoever. This "new" version is a piece of trash that desecrates the most frightening film of all time. Avoid it like the plague!

ORIGINAL VERSION: *****

30 Anniversary version: No Stars
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166 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Millennium edition is really good., July 14, 2002
By 
D. Mok (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review pertains only to the Millennium Edition DVD of Night of the Living Dead.
Okay...as I'd feared, my negative review of the John Russo-massacred "30th Anniversary Edition" of Night of the Living Dead has been lumped unwittingly into this product's review, so I' m writing this one to clarify.
This DVD edition is the best edition I've seen of the film yet. Anchor Bay may have raised the ires of legions of Living Dead fans by releasing the sacrilegious 30th Anniversary Edition, but Elite Entertainment did right by this new edition.
George A. Romero's personal appreciation appears in the back of this DVD -- this immediately restores our faith. And the contents don't disappoint -- the picture and sound are good, and though this doesn't exactly contain the richest batch of bonus materials (sets like the excellent 3-disc edition of Dario Argento's Suspiria and the recent double-disc Re-Animator both feature loads of extras), it is a nice solid collection. You get a Duane Jones interview (sadly with only audio and no image, but still great); an on-camera chat between Judith Ridley (Judy) and Marilyn Eastman (Helen); the hilarious student-film spoof "Night of the Living Bread" by Kevin S. O'Brien (which also appeared in the double-cassette VHS edition); two commentary tracks with Romero, Russo, Russ Streiner, Eastman, Karl Hardman and others. One very illuminating portion of this DVD for non-film-scholars is visually boring but informative -- several histories outlining the beginning of Romero's Latent Image company, on Hardman and Eastman's company, and how the two were married to produce Night of the Living Dead.
THIS is the right edition of Night of the Living Dead, the one to get for both fans and non-fans alike. It includes all the necessary people (notice that Russo, Streiner and Bill Hinzman were included in this release, despite their criminal participation in the 30th Anniversary Edition), and it presents the film the way it wants to be seen.
Now I'm waiting for a deluxe release of Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead...
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87 of 98 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: This is NOT the movie you think it is!, January 13, 2000
By A Customer
When I first saw the packaging for this Special Edition of Night of the Living Dead it said there was 15 minutes of new footage and a new score. Well, GREAT I thought. 15 minutes of new footage that must've been cut out from the original release! New score, well, that could be a good thing too!
Until I opened the box to see the little booklet that revealed the ugly truth... There are new scenes alright. New scenes made by new people TWO YEARS AGO! The new scenes are badly acted, badly written, and badly edited. Scenes that subtract from the overall impact of the film and do nothing but taint a true horror classic. The new music is a cheesy synthesizer score that does nothing but irritate and distract throughout the film. (Cheesy synthesizer is good for other horror films, but it does NOT work well here.)
I originally bought this at a store, got it home and didn't even sit through the whole thing. I zipped through various chapters to see the HORRIBLE new additions in all their glory. The next day I took it back and told them it skipped because I was so determined to get rid of it.
STAY AWAY!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A great film butchered., July 4, 2002
By 
D. Mok (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review pertains only to the "30th Anniversary Edition".
I had been collecting George A. Romero's "Living Dead" trilogy on DVD and had purchased this without paying enough attention. Big mistake.
Night of the Living Dead has had some colossally confusing release patterns thanks to a copyright gaffe which had enabled every company under the sun to release the film and profit from it. But of the 'rogue editions' I've seen, nothing is worse than this one.
Notice the list of personnel involved in this project: John Russo, Russ Streiner, Bill Hinzman...anybody missing? That's right: George A. Romero himself. This "30th Anniversary" edition is a collaborated effort by Romero's former colleagues in the Night of the Living Dead crew to rip off Romero's work and make a profit from it.
The result is disastrous indeed. The new footage written and directed by John Russo serve to butcher the original film. Not only do the new scenes not contribute to the story, they look amateurish, mostly due to horrible writing. Russo had always wanted to claim more credit for the success of Night of the Living Dead than was due him; this attempt at appropriating credit for the original film only shows that Romero is the only one who understands the concept of the Living Dead films. Russo's heinous, childish writing and direction -- which are no better than that of the tongue-in-cheek soft-core videographers of, say, Seduction Cinema -- barely rise above the level of beginner film students. And his claim that the new footage matches the old is just ludicrous. Basically Streiner, Russo, Hinzman et al. have raped Romero's film, trying to use their involvement in the original to steal credit from Romero's work, desperately trying to put as much of their handprint onto the original as possible with this 'new footage'. Well, one minute watching Dawn of the Dead will show you that Romero was the filmmaker, and the others were the hacks.
Yet another guilty party in this whole enterprise is Scott Vladimir Licina, who had composed a new score for the film and plays a priest in the new scenes. The new score jars terribly with the old footage, and Licina's acting is atrocious -- reflective of the all-around low quality of the Russo footage.
Skip this one, crucify it, and leave it out for the zombies to chew on. This edition is a disgrace to Romero's legacy. Night of the Living Dead is one of the greatest horror films ever made; don't allow this sacrilegious edition to mislead your perception on the original film.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elite is the only way to go!, January 24, 2001
By 
michael r. webb (elkton, maryland United States) - See all my reviews
There are many versions of "Night of the Living Dead" on DVD but there is only one that you should buy! The Special Collectors Edition put out by Elite is the ONLY version of this film that's worth anything. The transfer to DVD is so sharp and clear that you'll feel like you're watching it for the first time. One word of warning to anyone out there shopping for this DVD, there are many online auction sites and online stores claiming that this DVD is "rare and out of print"...DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT! This DVD is still being produced by Elite but not many online stores keep it in stock. Go ahead and order it...you'll get it. Don't be fooled into paying double for something that you could buy right here at Amazon.com. Oh ...and another thing...stay away from the 30th Annivesary Edition. This DVD is a shameful attempt by the "other half" of the folks who made this movie, to milk more money off it. I think that everyone who bought this horrible thing should break it in half, mail it to John Russo and write a note telling him that this is what you think of his and others attempt at desecrating a horror masterpiece. Russo, Hardman, and Striener need to understand that if they we're really as talented as George Romero then they wouldn't have to keep trying to make money off this film. Romero moved on to bigger and better things (Martin,Dawn of the Dead,Creepshow,Bruiser) but these other guys are still trying to nickel and dime everybody off thier ONE claim to fame.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He said "They're coming to get you Barbara," and they were, May 14, 2004
By 
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead (DVD)
Once upon a time a young girl and her brother traveled three hours from home to place flowers on the grave of their father. The brother started teasing his sister, telling her in a creepy voice, "They're coming to get you, Barbara." However, the joke ended up being on him because they were coming to get Barbara, only they got him first.
I first saw "Night of the Living Dead" when I came home one afternoon and discovered that the Iowa City Public Library Channel on cable was showing the film. I have to admit, I was rather surprised that this cult classic horror film would be on at a time when kids could come home and discover it on television (one of the living dead is naked and they do like to eat human flesh), but Iowa is a state that thinks caucuses are a good way of selecting presidential nominees, so what can I say? But this is a horror movie that is even scary in the daytime with all the lights on.
"The Night of the Living Dead" is a horror classic, which is rather surprising when you take into account that director George A. Romero made the film in 1968 for $114,000 without a cast of first time actors (extras who playing the zombies were paid $1 and a t-shirt that said "I was a zombie on Night of the Living Dead"). Filmed in black and white with Romero as the cinematographer, this film has a technical proficiency that is missing from other low-budget classics like "Dementia 13" and "Carnival of Souls." You can take or leave the various sequels to this film, but this one has to be on everyone's Top 10 list when it comes to horror films.
The horror comes from the situation and the simple effectiveness of the slow moving, silent zombies in their growing numbers, their arms reaching out to find human flesh to eat. Barbara (Judith O'Dea) runs to an abandoned house, where she is joined by Ben (Duane Jones). After fending off the first attack of the living dead, they discover five more people hiding in the basement: Harry Cooper (Karl Hardman), his wife, Helen (Marilyn Eastman), and their daughter (Kyra Schon), along with a young couple, Tom (Keith Wayne) and Judy (Judith Ridley). Harry wants to hide out in the basement, but refuses to be trapped down there, and the two spend more time arguing about what to do than doing anything. They listen to the radio and watch the TV, learning that the dead are rising to eat the living, and try to figure out a way of getting out of the death trap in which they find themselves. Meanwhile, the little girl in the basement is getting weaker.
The only real weakness in the film is the attempt to explain why the dead are walking around as flesh-eating ghouls (which is, I believe, redundant), which has something to do with a satellite and scientific mumbo-jumbo that really does not mean anything to the people trying to survive against the growing horde of zombies. Fortunately, the "why" does not matter in this story; just the "how" in terms of taking these creatures down. Besides, if anything clinches this one it is the end of the film, both with its final twist, and the use of grainy still photographs to show the end of the tale. Few horror movies, whatever their budgets, have an ending this memorable.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no no no, don't buy the 30th anniversary edition, December 31, 2004
By 
Yes, Night of the Living Dead is an excellent, classic zombie movie, but the 30th anniversary edition is a sham with new footage, sound effects, and music haphazardly sandwiched in along with the original film. I have no problem with remaking a good movie. The 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead was fantastic. Remakes or remasters are one thing, but adding brand new scenes to such a beloved film makes no sense. The producers of this final product (George Romero was not involved) should be ashamed of ruining a classic movie.

The new footage, and when I say new, I mean new, shot 30 years after the original, has little to do with the original and really disturbs the flow. New sound effects and score are so heavy handed that they distract you from actually enjoying the movie.

Please be aware that you are not buying a remastered Night of the Living Dead, but a remastered Night of the Living Dead with several new unrelated scenes, music, and sound effects. I just don't want anybody else to get burned on this like I did.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The absolute best edition of this movie available on DVD, June 26, 2003
By 
Michael Pappalardo (Ronkonkoma, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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There are quite a few versions of zombie classic Night of the Living Dead '68 lingering out there. Those of us that were unfortunate enough to score the 30th Anniversary 1998 edition are probably still cringing at the new soundtrack and awfully acted brand new scenes, filmed exclusively for the 30th anniversary edition. Millenium edition, however, makes up for the past mistakes.
With absolute crystal clarity on the picture, Millenium Edition delivers probably the cleanest and sharpest picture I've ever seen for this film. Scenes that were in pitch blackness in the movie are now alive and bright with great detail. The sound has also been considerably improved, with crystal clarity and very minimal distortion. I've never seen a black and white movie look or sound so good.
As for the film itself, this is the original classic that we all know and love. Probably one of the scariest movies of all time, Night of the Living Dead hit in 1968 with alot of shock. When it went on to become a cult classic, it ended up becoming one of the most popular horror films ever, spawning spin offs and lesser known and appreciated sequels that never lived up to the original. Millenium edition gives us that very same film, with none of the extra garbage thrown into the 30th anniversary edition.
As for extras, this DVD is very well treated. There are video interviews with some stars, as well as an interview recorded with star Duane Jones, which would unfortunately be his final interview not long before he unfortunately passed away in the late 1980's. In this interview Duane Jones talks about his favorite moments from the film, as well as some personal experiences he had as a professor at Old Westbury college here on Long Island in regards to the film. Other features include the hilarious parody 'Night of the Living Bread' and a clip from one of Romero's early movies.
Overall, this is the absolute best version of Night of the Living Dead that you can own. If you own any other version, don't hesitate to pick this one up as well...it is well worth the money and stands out as the best edition of this movie currently in circulation. Don't miss it!!
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74 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the rest--go with the best!, July 14, 2000
There are plenty of DVDs out there for George Romero's original classic "Night of the Living Dead," most of which are just as nasty as those VHS versions you used to find in the discount bin at your local video store: scratchy, grainy, unfocused video with muddy, muffled audio. There is also the now-infamous "30th Anniversary" DVD, which needlessly jams new scenes into the original movie (kind of like George Lucas's "Star Wars Special Editions," but with more flesh-eating).
But the only--I repeat, ONLY--DVD of "Night" worth touching is one released by Elite Entertainment. This gorgeous DVD is essentially the same package as the one Elite released on VHS through Anchor Bay a few years back: a pristine print of "Night," along with trailers & an amusing parody film called "Night of the Living Bread" (get it? get it?). This DVD also includes two audio commentary tracks featuring various members of the cast & crew & commercials that George Romero directed back in the '60s! All in all, this is far superior to anything else on the market. Seek it out--it's well worth the effort!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the edition you have been looking for!, December 29, 2001
By A Customer
If you are a fan of "Night of the Living Dead", you are already aware of the potential hazards in trying to purchase a copy of this great film. There are literally dozens of editions to sift through (some colorized -- yech!). Adding to the confusion is the (pointless) remake of the same name that was released in the 90's, and the (unforgivable) attempt at a "special edition" for the 30th anniversary, which cut & pasted new footage and sound effects into the 1968 original, (it is universally hated by all who have seen it.)
I am here to tell you the search is over. If you are buying a copy of "Night of the Living Dead", look no further than the Elite Collector's Edition DVD. The transfer is absolutely beautiful, with nary a scratch on it. The audio is THX certified. There are TWO commentary tracks (both entertaining and enlightening) by mixed groups of cast and crew. Of course, both theatrical trailers are attached as well. This is absolutely the best presentation I've ever seen, and well worth the price.
Throw everything else on the fire!
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Night of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero (DVD - 2008)
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