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Revisiting the Classics: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1990

As we continue to persevere this unprecedented (in our lifetimes) pandemic lockdown, socially distancing ourselves—which applies to museums, movie theaters, Broadway, dine-in restaurants, amusement parks, and everything else that makes life livable but apparently does NOT apply to freakin’ Walmart, which was packed like a tin of sardines when I had to go get groceries yesterday, filled with a bunch of lunks with no concept whatsoever of maintaining a six-foot distance—but anyway, as we continue through this, expect lots of movie reviews and revisits.

Last night I watched the remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD for the first time in 30 years. Has my opinion changed? At the time of its release, I was firmly in the “why?” court. Why remake a movie that is the veritable definition of a classic, a movie that you can’t hope to equal, much less surpass? And no, the 1990 remake does NOT equal the original. It doesn’t have the same primal punch, the raw power of the original. But you know what? NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1990 is a damn fine film. It’s isn’t being disloyal to the original to say that I loved it—especially since George Romero produced and wrote the screenplay for it!

Tom Savini plopped down in the director’s chair for this one, at Romero’s prompting. He does a fine job, despite reportedly having to fight the producers—who thought they knew better how to make a Horror film—every step of the way. And a pre-Candyman Tony Todd is really terrific.

TheCheezman • April 5, 2020

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