Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990)

Back in the late 80's the makers of the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD decided, because of some ongoing copyright issues, to remake their 1968 classic.  I use the term "classic" loosely because while it was hugely influential (and super scary when I saw it for the first time as a child...late night on PBS of all things) it hasn't aged well at all.

Anyway, this remake is kinda weak.  It's not bad.  It's definitively watchable, but compared to so many other superior zombie movies out there (including two made by some of the same people: DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) and THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) it's underwhelming.  The story is practically a straightforward retelling of the original: zombie outbreak, woman attacked at a remote graveyard runs through the woods until she and some other survivors hole up in an isolated farmhouse and fight off the attacking zombies while at the same time bitching at each other nonstop.  As far as improvements go, most thing are actually better on this film than the original...special effects, acting, violence...but since we've already seen the original a million times you already know everything that's going to happen.

NOTLD (90) was a great opportunity to make an improved and exciting update of the original, but instead it honestly brings nothing new to the table.  Maybe the unedited version (which I've never seen) is a different story, but I can't imagine that some extra blood/gore would really improve things that much.  As it is, it's a mildly entertaining look at early 90's horror but nothing to get excited over.  I wish Bill Moseley had had a bigger role.