99 of 108 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "They're coming to get you, Barbara!"
So you're George Romero, writer and director of one of the most influential horror movies ever, Night of the Living Dead (1968), and it's some twenty odd years later and you're executive producing a remake of said movie. Who do you get to direct? How about special effects master Tom Savini, the man responsible for the horrifying effects in Dawn of the Dead (1978) and...
Published on April 8, 2004 by cookieman108
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Taking the word "Blu-Ray" way too literally.....
No one was more excited than me when I heard that this movie would finally be released on Blu-Ray. "The Night of the Living Dead 1990" is a minor classic, very worthy of cult status and deserving of all of the accolades fans have heaped upon the film since it was released. However, during the twenty plus years since the release of the film never did I hear anyone say...
Published 13 months ago by Thomas Gamache
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99 of 108 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "They're coming to get you, Barbara!",
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This review is from: Night of the Living Dead (DVD)So you're George Romero, writer and director of one of the most influential horror movies ever, Night of the Living Dead (1968), and it's some twenty odd years later and you're executive producing a remake of said movie. Who do you get to direct? How about special effects master Tom Savini, the man responsible for the horrifying effects in Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985)? Seems a pretty good choice to me...
Night of the Living Dead (1990) stars Tony Todd and Patricia Tallman as Ben and Barbara, respectively, two individuals who seek refuge in a farmhouse as a legion of hungry corpses descend upon them and soon find the house not so much a haven as a claustrophobic nightmare. They also discover they aren't the only ones in the house, as there are five people locked in the basement. Emerging from their hidey-hole are Harry and Helen Cooper, a married couple, and Tom and Judy Rose, a younger couple, Tom's uncle being the owner of the house. Also in the basement is the Cooper's daughter, Sarah, who has become ill after being bitten by one of the undead (guess where that's going). A diverse group, for sure, and one that finds itself at odds in if it's better to fortify the house or retreat to the fairly secure basement. Harry thinks it's best to go into the basement and bar the door, but Ben would rather board up all the doors and windows, using the basement as a last option, as there is only one way in and out and he doesn't want to trap himself down there unless he absolutely has to...Harry, who is quite vocal throughout, thinks this plan foolish and says once he goes into the basement and bars the door, he won't open it for anything, regardless. As tensions flare, night falls, and the dead begin arriving in greater numbers, I guess sensing the warm, living flesh they so crave to be inside the house. As the situation grows worse, an escape plan is formulated, but the plan soon falls apart, and it's back to the house. Who lives? Who dies? Is rescue in the wings, or should they just put their heads between their legs and kiss their hinders good-bye?
It's always a sketchy affair remaking a film, especially one that's deemed a classic and definitive representation of its' genre. Look what happened in 1998 when director Gus Van Sant released a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. A total and tremendous flop...Yes, I am sure there was a awful lot of apprehension to redoing a movie that really didn't need to be redone, but the end result turned out an interesting update, remaining true to the original while adding a few surprises along the way. Tony Todd is excellent as Ben, and is definitely the strongest characterization in the film, bringing a lot of what Duane Jones did in the original, while adding personal nuances to make the character his own. Patricia Tallman's character of Barbara starts out the same as the original played by Judith O'Dea, but goes through some serious changes by the end, allowing for the a modernization of the character to fit more along the lines of the strong female lead, as seen in the Alien films with Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver. Was this for the better? I am still undecided, but it certainly made interesting viewing. The character I found most annoying was that of Harry Cooper, played by Tom Towles. His portrayal was overblown to the point of being silly, with his constant yelling, screaming, and berating of other characters. The Harry Cooper in the original was a jerk, for sure, but at least you got the feeling it was a jerkiness borne of overriding desire to protect his family, even if his plans were at odds with the rest of the group, allowing for viewers to develop some empathy for the character. Here, the character is played as a bonehead to the nth degree, and it only served to, in my opinion, disrupt the flow of the film. The biggest difference between the original an the remake is obviously the color factor, but one will also notice that the undead are much more detailed than in the original, due to a much larger production budget. You can tell a great amount of effort was taken in this area, enhancing on the original film. The film wasn't quite as gory as I thought it was going to be, but that's pretty well explained in a making of featurette. Seems in order to avoid an X rating, these scenes were either removed or toned down. Savini didn't seem too upset about it, as he felt, and I agree, that sometimes what you don't see is just as effective as what you do see.
The disc has the wide screen presentation on one side and the full screen on the other, and includes some good special features like trailers, production notes, commentary by Savini, and a 25 minute making of featurette called `The Dead Walk' that highlights a lot of interesting facts about the movie, along with comparisons to the original. Also in this featurette are some of the scenes that were deleted to get an R rating, along with alternate, more visceral scenes that were toned down in the release. If you liked the original, chances are you'll get a kick out of this film, as I wasn't disappointed, and I usually despise remakes.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Proper way to Remake a Movie!,
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead (DVD)Tired of the poor remakes released today that completely butcher the originals by comparison? Tired of some unknown director putting his own personal twisted and butchering a classic film, throwing too many new elements into it? Were you angered by the remake for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Well then you will love this remake from 1990 of Night of the Living Dead!
With only one major change and several minor ones, this movie pretty much follows the original exactly. Why was this movie done so well? It was directed by none other than Tom Savini! For those of you who don't know, Tom Savini is a legend in the special effects/gore/makeup department. He's worked with George Romero before in Dawn of the Dead. Tom Savini is a man who knows how to do things right and knows how things should be done. This remake is an example of it.
While I don't consider it to be better than the original, its still is very entertaining and it never angered me. It contains more gore but I was somewhat disappointed. I felt that there wasn't enough gore, but that's probably because my favorite zombie film Dead Alive has spoiled me. Anyways, the one major change is that Barbara quickly turns to a traumatized expendable into a heroine wielding a shotgun. It works rather well.
If you enjoy the original and have seen all four of Romero's Dead films (or at least the original), then go ahead and buy this because the price is only Seven Bucks!!! I doubt that a special edition will be released anytime soon because it's a remake, but its definitely worth the price which almost make s me want to give this five stars. Holly Wood needs to compare the originals with the remakes so they can then realize either the right way to remake a movie or to just leave them alone all together. Alright enough with this review; just go out and buy or rent it, you won't be disappointed. Hoped this helped.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly entertaining remake,
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead [VHS] (VHS Tape)Roger Ebert once told me that the secret to making a good thriller is to make sure that it can't age. The best thrillers never get old, and never lose their edge. Movies like "Halloween," "The Silence of the Lambs," "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer," and of course "Night of the Living Dead" have never lost their death grip on the collective jugular of movie goers. Back in 1990, George Romero wanted to remake his 1968 cult classic with brand new make-up effects from the man who assisted him on his previous zombie pictures, Tom Savini, in the director's chair. Age has been kind to the original version of this film, and I anticipate the same will be true with its surprisingly effective and well-acted remake.
I was really impressed with Tom Savini's (The King of Splatter) work on the "Dawn" and "Day of the Dead" films, along with his work on "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" and "Friday the 13th (and Part 4)," so when I saw his name stenciled after the words "Directed by" on the video box, I immediately rented it. The most obvious changes in the film lie within the newer, state of the art make-up effects, which range from a man broken in half from a car collision to a man walking around with the Y-incision from his autospy displayed to the world at large. There are other little differences in the film, which mostly reside in the performances (bravo to Tony Todd), the demeanors of the characters (Patricia Tallman's character is much tougher than the timid, frightened woman her predecessor played), and an all-new ending. The film still incorporates the trademark Romero satire, but it's much subtler and more understood than it was in "Dawn of the Dead." The characters in the remake are more engaging than in the original, and I think the new make-up helps the film work well on the horror level. Sure, it doesn't have the grainy, documentary feel that the original had, but the movie still works. I like it a lot.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Taking the word "Blu-Ray" way too literally.....,
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead [Blu-ray] (1990) (Blu-ray)No one was more excited than me when I heard that this movie would finally be released on Blu-Ray. "The Night of the Living Dead 1990" is a minor classic, very worthy of cult status and deserving of all of the accolades fans have heaped upon the film since it was released. However, during the twenty plus years since the release of the film never did I hear anyone say "Gosh, I really love this movie, but why couldn't it be much darker and be much more blue in color?"
Whether or not you wanted it, that is exactly what happened.
What used to be an enjoyable, watchable movie has become a dark, murky, hard-to-see blue mess, a travesty of a high defintion transfer foisted on an unsuspecting public by someone that obviously is not a fan of the movie. Is this a case of someone looking for a solution to a problem that didn't exist ("Gee, who wants to watch a movie where there is enough light to see everything and there are all of these other distracting colors aside from blue!") and thought that their solution would be appreciated by fans of the movie, or is it a situation where someone, somewhere, simply did not have a clue to what they were doing? Seriously, this should have been the easiest thing in the world to do, and they messed it up. Here is what should have happened:
Step One: Transfer the print of the film to High Definition.
Step Two: Resist the temptation to tint the movie blue and darken it so much that many scenes are virtually unwatchable.
Step Three: Release the movie on Blu-Ray to an adoring public.
Seriously, where was the benefit in releasing this movie on Blu Ray in this shoddy state? Who did they think they would please? If you are a fan of a movie, any movie, and you want to see it in High Definition, you just want to see the same movie you love and have always loved without any changes except for the fact that the picture is now in High Definition. I don't want to see the movie trampled and changed in ways that make it hate it, and hate the people that altered it and the company that released it. Why some filmakers and companies insist in "improving" their films for home video release is beyond me, but in this case it really goes too far. Thankfully I still have my DVD, and suggest anyone interested in this film buy it in that format, and avoid the Blu Ray at any cost; the pain is just not worth it.
For some reason now I hate the color blue.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Remake!,
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead (DVD)"Their 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 a 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 have 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 Tallmen) 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's 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.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT remake... dare I say better than the original,
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead (DVD)Now, I'm not trying to hate on the original. Obviously, it's a classic. But, come on. It's boring. It's black and white and slow. And I'm sure it scared your parents and was shocking and all that good stuff. But it needed to be updated.
The two main characters (including the CandyMan) deliver some great acting. I'll admit the other characters are a bit weak, but that's made up for by the zombies being incredible.
This movie really shows (by driving the point home a few times) how humans don't know how to treat each other. It's not just a horror movie. It actually has a point to it and makes a humanitarian statement. Rent it, buy it, whatever. But check it out. It's a great movie.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tony Todd was the best actor in this movie,
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead (DVD)Yeah I said it, this movie probably would be okay without Tony Todd. But I probably would have only gave this movie 3 stars, for some reason he does a lot low buget horror movies like "scarecrow" (which hes the best actor by far in the movie) but anyway he brought the intensity into every scene, and if something like the living dead would ever to actually happen his
character his role in this movie would be ideal to have in your group of survivors. It sucked he had to die in the movie, but his role in this movie is the only reason why I watched this movie so many times.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Savini's remake of Romero's classic is good.,
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead (DVD)Tom Savini gives his motion picture directing debut with Night of the Living Dead, a 1990 remake that tries to add some more gore, but is ultimately hindered by the MPAA's strict R policy, which has lightened up since, considering films like DOTD 2004 is much more grisly than this one, which cuts away after a half second of gore to satisfy the MPAA. Would have given this four stars had Savini created an unrated director's cut.
Still, he stays true to Romero's classic, adding color and a few new concepts here and there, like a strong heroine rather than Barbara being a squeamish little mouse like in Romero's original.
The zombies look good, but this could use more gore and guts for zombie fans to feast on. Nonetheless, a solid, though somewhat repeated entry into the zombie genre. The original still rules, but this is a nice compliment worth noting.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ONLY remake that can surpass the original,
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead (DVD)I've seen all three versions of Night Of The Living Dead; the 1968 original (in glorious black & white and beautiful color), the epic 1990 remake (this one), and the nonsensical 2006 version (avaialbe in 2D and headache causing 3D). The 1990 Night Of The Living Dead is the best (or is at least equal to its 1968 counterpart). While the 1968 version has its merits, this version has those and more. One improvement is Barbra (portrayed by the lovely Patrica Tallman) actually does something more in this film after the opening, in this one she takes Ben's advice and rises to the occassion. Ben (Tony Todd) is as heroic as he was in the original, if not a bit more and his rage seethes just as much with loud mouth Harry Cooper. This time instead of just being suspenseful, it actually has a feel of raw horror to it. My only complaints are that it wasn't directed by George A. Romero (though Savini does an excellent job) and then with the DVD, the deleted scenes are not it, it just seems like a tease in the featurette to show two of them and not include the rest. If you want to see a great film buy or rent Night Of The Living Dead (1990), but make plans to view the sequels of the original and the original itself.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So you wanna be an extra in a George Romero film?,
This review is from: Night of the Living Dead (DVD)Tom Savini's Night of the Living Dead has some of the most interesting extras on film. This is a great movie! It is frightening on many levels, the cast is wonderful and the rewriting brings the movie into the present in a terrifying way.
I prefer this version to the original, mostly because Barbara is not a catatonic fruitcake. Also, the ending of Romero's film just makes me so mad I want to scream!
Patricia Tallman makes her character real. She plays a frightened but strong and rational person dealing with an insane situation. She is definitely a predecessor of roles like Alice in 2002's Resident Evil, even if she does not have the amazing kung fu skills that all our modern genre heros seem to come with.
Tony Todd is an amazing actor, and any director is lucky to have him. His description of events offscreen is eerie and sets the perfect tone for the story until later, when things get a little more desperate.
Tom Towles makes a wonderful creep-I love to hate him! He's a cad, a jerk and worse as the family man who just wants to hide instead of accepting the truth.
The best thing about the DVD version is the really neat commentary by director Tom Savini. It's just him and the mic, but he has alot of interesting things to say about every aspect of the production. The story of how he came to direct this film is recounted, and Savini seems to have something fascinating to say about each and every actor, extra and crewperson on the set.
A featurette about the film is included in the disc with more good stuff to watch. The extra cost of the DVD is totally worth the money, and a must-have for living dead fans everywhere.
I am always finding more reasons to love this film!
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Night of the Living Dead by Tom Savini (DVD - 1999)