Monday, June 4, 2012

Film Review: Night of The Living Dead (1990)

Plot : The plot of the film isn't changed too much from that of the original. The basic premise is that there is a group of 7 people in a farm house , struggling to survive the night. Instead of banding together to survive they're split into two different groups : Harry Cooper and everyone else. Harry wants to hide in the basement and the others , Barbara, Ben, Tom,Judy and even Harry's wife Helen want to be upstairs and try to escape as soon as they can.

As humans do , the characters begin to argue , and start losing their fight for survival. In the end only Barbara survives the ordeal as everyone else either gets killed by stupidity or zombies or in Harry's case by anger and revenge from Barbara.

Review - When I first started getting into the zombie film genre, I always heard about the George Romero Classic "Night of the Living Dead". So to my surprise it wasn't until long after seeing the original that I actually learned of this remake.  This is one of the few remakes that not only does the original film justice , but also surpasses the original. The plot was changed in subtle ways and the effects are better done, but it doesn't become a special effects film.

Tom Savini, who worked on the makeup for Dawn of the Dead , and Day of the Dead as well as had a role as a biker in Dawn, is now sitting in the directors chair. Its apparent that Savini has an affinity for the original film as its remake is made with a love and respect for the source material.  Considering his relative inexperience as a director , having at least according to my research only 3 episodes of "Tales from the Dark Side" under his belt before this, He does a fantastic job as director and must be given his praise for it.

The Actors must have had a huge amount of pressure on them in order to perform on this film , with the original being such a beloved classic in many horror fans eyes. I think they did an outstanding job , Especially Patricia Tallman who played the character of Barbara. She has to show a wide range of emotions and is very adept at doing so. We see her looking like she can break down one minute after being chased by zombies, to taking them down with a gun and showing she is stronger than they likely believed she was.

Not to sell the other actors short , they did a fantastic job as well. You believed they were those characters. You could sense that Ben , played by Tony Todd , was a strong willed and determined man who wanted to save these people as well as himself , so he was an easy "good guy" to cheer on. On the flip side of that , you absolutely despised Harry cooper , played so brilliantly by Tom Towles. If anything these are the three major players in the film, and the other characters are just supporting characters. this doesn't mean they were horrible , you just didn't really get enough time to "get to know them"

So I'm gonna say if you're looking for a great zombie film , or are just looking for something different and love a good story , give Night of the Living dead a chance. It's well worth the time to view the film.

Final grade - A

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