Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 1/23/2011...
This is Night of the Living Dead 1990 and was made by George A. Romero, John Russo & Russ Steiner in order to keep the copyright. The original became Public Domain when the company who released it failed to include a copyright notice. The filmmakers didn't make anything off the film. Over the years Night of the Living Dead's influence upon other movies continues to strengthen (it introduced the modern zombie).
Tom Savini (effects artist on Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th, Creepshow) was picked by Romero to direct.Savini does a masterful job of remaining true to the overall concept of the original while adding enough effective changes to make the film stand on it's own. That's a rare occurance when it comes to remakes in general. Tony Todd (Candyman, The Crow, Voodoo Dawn), Tom Towles (Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer, Fortress, House of 1000 Corpses)& William Butler (Leatherface) star.
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"They're coming to get you, Barbara!"
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 04/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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.Cookieman108"
The Proper way to Remake a Movie!
Gunther Haagendazs | Up High in the Trees | 04/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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. "
thetoxicavenger | Brewer, ME USA | 01/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""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."
Held together by good action, suspense, and Todd's acting
N. Durham | 01/28/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'll admit that I have never seen the original version, but this Night of the Living Dead remake is not bad, although it undeniably could have been better.Fans of the original know the plot. Johnny (Bill Mosely) and his sister Barbara (Patricia Tallman) are visiting their mother's grave in a cemetary isolated in a rural area. When they arrive, everything is normal. It's a sunny day and it's bright and warm until Johnny is attacked by a dead man. He's killed and Barbara takes refuge inside a house. A man named Ben (Tony Todd) arrives and along with five other people in the basement of the house, they must hold off the cannibalistic zombies that have somehow awaken and refill the gas to Ben's truck, the only means of transportation they have.The first fifteen minutes of Night of the Living Dead are truly frightening. The film wastes no time into getting into its action and immediately we are plunged into a peaceful world that's turning dark and claustrophobic quickly. There's the eeriness in the whole house when Barbara enters and the fact that there are zombies lurking inside is even scarier.This film has no lack of action as we continuously watch Ben, Barbara, and the other hold off the zombies with rifles and anything they can use to disable the zombies' brains, which is the only way to kill them. The film moves at a very fast pace, yet has time to develop the characters, thus making us care for Ben and Barbara, and making us hiss at the zombies and Cooper.The make-up and special effects are pretty good. They may not live up to the standards of the technology we have now, but the zombie design is easily the best since Day of the Dead.The real problem in this film lies in the acting. Most of the actors are stale with the major exception of Tony Todd. He delivers a good performance as the likeable hero Ben. He's a brave and strong guy who doesn't panic in a situation, but instead takes charge. Ben is definitely one of the best heroes in horror film history, thanks to Tony Todd's performance. This is a man who deserves better work rather than horror sequels like Candyman 3. Patricia Tallman is okay in her role as Barbara. The main problem in her performance stems from the fact that her character change from coward to amateur zombie slayer is a bit difficult to swallow. The rest of the performances, coming from Tom Towles and company, don't fare as well. At times, they try so hard to look scared they come off almost laughable. If better performances (or actors for that matter) had been placed beside Todd and Tallman, this film would have been considerably better.While the last 30 or so minutes of the movie has a large amount of frantic tension and action the ending is a disappointment and lacks some logic behind it. Even if the acting didn't live up to the suspense, at least the ending could have been made with more intelligence and logic. It's not a dumb ending if that's the feeling I'm conveying, it's just the fact that it could have been improved or even changed significantly. If you don't want to know how it ends, then by all means, do not look at the box cover of the VHS version of this movie. Either just rent it quickly or watch the DVD rendition.Night of the Living Dead is full of action, suspense and good scares, and if the acting and the ending could have lived up to all those good qualities, this would have been considered an excellent remake, if not a horror classic itself. As it is, this film is pretty good and decent and it probably won't disappoint most horror fans."
"They're coming to get you Barbara..."
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 03/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gorehound Tom Savini remade George Romero's classic 1968 movie with some good results. Patricia Tallman plays Barbara, and this time she's not a scared fruitcake like in the original, she's a female Rambo reminiscent of Ripley of the Alien movies and Sarah Connor of the Terminator series. Tony Todd (the Candyman himself), plays Ben, and plays him very well. Now for the real stars; the zombies! The makeup is pretty well done, but surprising to me, its not gory at all, but it is effective in keeping a creepy atmosphere. All in all, this is a good remake that is on par with the original, and I suggest seeing both versions so you can decide which one you like better."