Reviews
Night of the Living Dead, 30th Anniversary (1999) half brain
(USA)

I'm going to assume that you've seen the original release before you read this review. If not, then be aware that the 30th Anniversary edition is basically the same movie, except worse. I don't know how much John Russo had to do with the actual writing of the original Night of the Living Dead, but I was singularly unimpressed with his "sequel" Children of the Living Dead. What he did to this remake was even worse.

The original was digitally remastered for this, making a lot of the shots more clear, which is why this film gets half a brain. However, Russo wasn't happy with that. He decided to add some footage. The fact that I'm rating this remake only on the changes from the original and that the half a brain is already used up should tell you something about the new footage.

Russo doesn't replace the original beginning and ending, he just extends them further either way, but to say that he dilutes the strength of the original beginning and ending is the kindest thing you can say. They are filled with acting and writing as bad as some of the worst films I've seen. Not only that, but they add nothing to the plot of the movie, and in the case of the ending, actually contradict what happens in Romero's sequels, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.

I'm hoping that I will persuade you not to watch this, in which case I won't spoil anything if I tell you what happens. I don't want to go into too much detail, since that would be giving the footage more honor than it is due, but it has to do with where the first zombie appearing in the original film comes from and the preacher who presides at his burial. Like I said, though, it adds nothing of interest to the film, and wouldn't have even if had been done well.