Movie Review: Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Everyone fine from the first one? Good, so lets get into the remake. This one was made by Action Star Tom Savini, with over 40 times the budget.

Can this one be better than the original? Is that possible?

We start off the same way, and get the same first line “they’re coming to get you Barbara” and we continue the same path, the fight with the Brother and the Zombie is a bit different, and runs a bit long, but we get to the farmhouse. Ben is a good bit angrier, and the gore is a pretty well done.

The main difference is Barbara is much more of a hard-ass. When we get to the farmhouse, she is a third point in the Ben vs Cooper fight, and this does add to the movie. Of course, I get a major Jamie Lee Curtis vibe off this character, and it goes from being a strong female character to an over the top badass. If she was this tough, why was she such a wuss in the beginning? Her being a third voice is fine- her going Sarah Connor is unearned.

The Farmhouse eventually goes the way of the original, and true to her third party roots, Barbara leaves on her own after realizing that these are the slow zombies and as long as there are not a bunch of them, you can Shaun of the Dead your way through. Again, she’s the smart one. She finds some rednecks, because there are ALWAYS rednecks unless you are in the middle of Times Square, and they return to the farmhouse for our finale.

So I really cannot get past all the original here, but lets focus on the differences. Again, Cooper was CORRECT, so that stays the same but the result is the end. Barbara has the biggest change, as she becomes pro-active instead of a wilting flower on the ground. Tony Todd is amazing as the angry man, and the rest of the cast is an upgrade, other than Cooper. The effects are better, other than the charm of Black and White.

I’ll go a 5 here. If you cannot stand B&W, then this is close enough to pass if you are doing a Night of the Living Dead marathon to get the gist, and it’s honest to try and go the same direction, other than Barbara. On one hand you could see it as lazy, on the other hand, it’s sticking with the source material.

Is it better? In a word, no. The original is grimier, and there is real pain, and a good bit of hope. If we stay here, help will come, until they decide not to wait, and then crap hits the fan, I think that is what Romero does with his films.

 

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