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Night of the Living Dead
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Reviews & Ratings for
Night of the Living Dead More at IMDbPro »

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84 out of 109 people found the following review useful:

Romero and Savini create a horror masterpiece.

10/10
Author: classmouse from Canada
29 June 2005

Wanting to re-visit the genre he created, George Romero approached Tom Savini to direct a remake of his 1968 masterpiece, Night of the Living Dead.

While the film follows the original closely, it does have some important changes. Notably the character of Barbara is no longer a gibbering vegetable but now much more balanced. Other changes help blend the film much better into Romeros Dawn and Day. The use of tools by the zombies for example, is lessened and removed at times, creating more continuity between Night, Dawn, Day and Lands time-line of the undeads abilities.

Some seem to automatically shoot down the remake in favor of the original, I've watched this version almost as many times as Dawn and Day, and believe the film tops the original in almost every way.

Although the groundbreaking nature of the original will always remain, Savini's Dead is a without doubt a classic Zombie flick and in my opinion a perfect first chapter in the Romero Dead series.

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49 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

"This is pure hell on earth."

Author: Backlash007 from Kentucky
17 February 2002

"This is pure hell on earth." Actually, what Tony Todd meant to say was "This is one hell of a movie." Tom Savini and George A. Romero have succeeded in recreated a classic (which is quite hard to do). Night of the Living Dead '90 is faithful to the original, but still manages to scare and surprise you by throwing in a few unexpected twists. Director Savini creates a great atmosphere. This is one of my favorite claustrophobic films. It has the feel of an old, secluded farmhouse, and thankfully lacks that Hollywood gloss. The characters feel real as well. The cast is perfect. Tony Todd, William Butler, and Tom Towles are the re-incarnations of the original Ben, Tommy, and Harry Cooper. And longtime Romero collaborator, Patricia Tallman, revamps her character Barbara for the nineties. And you gotta love Bill Moseley ("They're coming to get you Barbara. They're horny Barbara."). All of the classic elements (the feud between Ben and Cooper, the claustrophobia) and a few new ones (a smarter female lead, new ending) make this one unforgettable.

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46 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Remake of something that didn't need to be remade, but it's still alright

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
31 October 2001

George A. Romero turns over his classic horror film to be remade, and it's in the hands of Tom Savini (who did brilliant makeup for Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead). Now, I do have some mixed feelings about this movie. While in some aspects it's well made (er, for a remake), it can not match the original, if only in tone and style. But it also doesn't match up with the original because until the end, most of the movie is a shot for shot remake. More style is added, to be sure, but Savini and Romero (who scripted this one) could've gone farther.

With that said, Night of the Living Dead (1990) was an enjoyable horror flick experience, one where it's a good time with color and gore and all (plus more full frontal zombie nudity) and as long as you don't think too deeply about what you are watching (and certainly don't try to compare the 1968 and 1990 versions together), you'll have fun. B+

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39 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

A Very Good Remake Of A Classic Horror

Author: Big Movie Fan from England
20 August 2002

A lot of remakes of classic films rarely live up to their predecessors. The original Night of the Living Dead was a classic horror and this adaption did the original movie justice. There were a few changes but it generally stayed faithful to the original.

Tony Todd as Ben and Patricia Tallman as Barbara do a wonderful job. Ben is the character who is trying to hold everything together in the face of insurmountable odds. Barbara is the female who initially encounters the zombies but soon turns into an ass-kicking heroine. This differs to the original where Barbara was a timid little madam.

The tension builds throughout the film. Perhaps there would have been a bit more tension if it had been filmed in black and white but it was very tense throughout.

The ending is also different as well but good nonetheless.

If you liked the original, then I recommend this version as well.

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25 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Not bad, but could have been better...

8/10
Author: Mulliga from United States
30 March 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've seen every "Dead" movie many times, and I've even written a spec script for "Dusk of the Dead." Here's what's right and wrong with this remake of the 1968 classic.

***SPOILERS AHEAD *** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

1. RIGHT - Barbara getting strong. Looking at Romero's other films - "Dawn" and "Dusk," strong females like Fran and Sarah play tough, believable characters. The catatonic Barbara in "Night" '68 was way too weak, especially for a Romero film. Although the execution wasn't as good as I would have liked (more on that later), it was the right decision.

2. WRONG - The music. Though the original used library samples for its music, they were very well-picked and added a chilling side to the action, with very few hitches. Here, though, an annoying score sometimes takes the viewer out of the picture. Better to leave the music out altogether.

3. RIGHT - Playing on people's expectations. The opening cemetery scene is one heck of a shock. Shooting at a gas pump? Not a good idea:).

4. WRONG - Harry Cooper. The point of this film was to make Harry out to be a complete a--hole. He hits his wife, drinks, argues, and doesn't even sound rational. The original made Harry an angry, nasty guy, but he helped some (throwing the cocktails, etc.) and made some good arguments for staying in the basement. Here, all he does is shout at everyone - not fun.

5. RIGHT - Effects. Great makeup here, absolutely convincing. Much better than the average horror film.

6. WRONG - Pacing. When the house is being boarded, the zombies attack constantly, and overpower the humans several times. You'd have to be an idiot to stay up there if the zombies were THAT strong. The first one made staying upstairs a viable option.

7. RIGHT - The third option of just getting the heck away. With a rifle and a shotgun, it shouldn't be too hard to get everyone past the zombies and into the open.

8. NEUTRAL - The ending. Certainly a radical change for Barbara's character, but it makes sense in context of Harry's behavior.

9. NEUTRAL - Decreased role of TV/radio reports. It's nice to focus on the matter at hand, but seeing the wider view of things is fun, too. It's good that they didn't explain WHY the dead were rising.

There you have it. Comments from a die-hard "Dead" fan. The film is about a 6-8/10, depending on how you like the series in general. It's comparable to "Day," in other words.

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

An interesting twist on the old formula.

Author: Jon Liming from Mesa, Az
4 January 1999

You can't help but feel a tingle of deja vu while watching the color remake of Night of the Living Dead. It is essential for full enjoyment to have seen the original since the remake takes the same story and twists and tweaks it to bring it into the 90's. People are divided into two camps on this film. They either absolutely hate it or they have been enraptured by the change-up's that it pitches at you. I am of the later camp. At least Barbara (played by the beautiful Patricia Tallman) has enough of her wits about her to point out how irrational everybody else is being instead of being the catatonic victim like the first time around. "They're so slow. We can just walk right by them." She remarks to Ben (Tony Todd) who is adamant about staying in the house. Perhaps this version isn't socially relevant like the first, but it's nice to see that Romero can add a twist ending that can stand on it's own merits, but really is amusing in light of the former movie.

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31 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Much better than I expected, but the original is still the best.

Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia
13 February 2003

I'm always wary of remakes of horror and science fiction classics as they are almost always inferior to the original versions, in many cases REALLY inferior. There have been a few successful and worthwhile attempts, especially John Carpenter's 'The Thing' and David Cronenberg's spin on 'The Fly'. Tom Savini's 'Night Of The Living Dead' is another good one. Even though Savini is a legend in the special effects world I really expected this to be awful. It wasn't. While not as literal as the misguided 'Psycho' remake by Gus Van Zant, Savini sticks very close to the source material, and doesn't mess with it as much as Carpenter or Cronenberg did. George Romero scripted, adapting his original screenplay co-written with John A. Russo, and both men co-produce. The main difference in this version, apart from obvious ones like being filmed in colour and with some more sophisticated special effects, is the expansion of the Barbara character, who is much less passive and more important to the plot. Barbara is played by Patricia Tallman who worked with Savini on Romero's cult favourite 'Knightriders'. She is probably best known for her recurring role on 'Babylon 5'. Tony Todd ('Candyman') plays Ben, and is very good, and the underrated Tom Towles ('Henry:Portrait Of a Serial Killer') is excellent as the slimy Harry Cooper. The scenes between the two are really strong, and add a lot to the original. I also enjoyed seeing Bill Mosley (Chop Top from 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2') playing Barbara's brother Johnny in the opening sequence. My only real gripe about the movie is the surprising lack of gore, and also the new ending which to me is nowhere near as good as the original. Apart from that it is much better than I expected, and I highly recommended it to anyone who enjoys Romero's "Dead" trilogy.

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32 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

A faithful remake of a classic

10/10
Author: col. Bat Guano from New York City
11 January 2001

Another zombie movie? How could there possibly be another variation on this tired horror theme? These were my thoughts as I slipped my money through the window at the ticket booth back in the fall of 1990. After all, I was a poor college student who had to take prudent measures in order to ensure that I had beer money when its all said and done. Not to mention the fact that I was quite a horror fan, in particular a zombie fan who was very familiar with the original Romero film. Needless to say this movie had a lot to prove in order to win me over. Well, it did. What Tom Savini and company were able to do out in the Pennsylvania countryside was nothing short of masterful. Of course I'm talking about horror here. This is no Cassablanca, but within its genre Night of the Living Dead is a standout. This film basically faithfully retells the original Remero story with the benefit of better make-up, special effects, cameras, lighting and cinematography. Notice I did not say better casting or acting. Aside from the actual story these are two areas that are partly responsible for the original's lasting success.

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45 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

Politically correct remake of George A.Romero's classic.

8/10
Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
22 October 2001

Make-up maestro Tom Savini's color remake of Romero's 1968 classic follows the original almost shot-by-shot,but it's of course not better film.This remake was clearly made for younger viewers who refuse to watch black-and-white films,no matter how good they may be.The result is passable,but it lacks dark atmosphere and mood of the original.If this version has anything to offer,it is Patricia Tallman("Army of Darkness")in an engaging lead performance as a tough,independent heroine.This is only my opinion,but I'm really fed up with "strong female lead" concept that every new horror film seems to have.The next thing I dislike in this picture is the lack of gore.For God's sake this film was directed by gore wizard Tom Savini-the man behind such hard-core splatter flicks like "Maniac","Nightmare" or "The Prowler".The violence is very tame-even by today's standards.However the acting isn't bad,the zombies are pretty scary and the film is never boring.Recommended for horror buffs all around the world.

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Not needed--but OK

7/10
Author: preppy-3 from United States
18 January 2006

The dead come back to eat the flesh of the living. A small group of people are holed up in a farmhouse. They have to fight the dead from getting in...and each other.

There was no reason (that I can see) to remake the 1968 classic "Night..." but George Romero (director and co-writer of the original) wanted it. He scripted it and got makeup artist Tom Savini to direct. The results are OK. It could have been a disaster but wasn't. It's not a scene by scene remake but it does have some of the original dialogue. Still it makes some pretty extreme changes.

Barbara in the first movie was little more than a basket case. Here she is strong and intelligent and can hold her own. It's never really explained how she became such a crack shot though. Tony Todd is a good actor--but not here. He has the unenviable job of playing the part that Duane Jones played so well in the original. He is good...but not enough. The other actors are all pretty OK--the same as the originals were.

There are some cute visual and verbal references to the first film and the gore has been upped drastically (though not as much as it could have been). There is also an eerie and very effective music score throughout the movie. I found this a little slow but that's because I've seen the first multiple times in the past. And this one tacks on a screamingly obvious "ironic" finale.

It's OK--but the original is still the best. I give it a 7.

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