Night of the Living Dead (1990) (Umbrella Entertainment) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Tom Savini
Starring: Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, Tom Towles
Rated: 18/Region 0/1:77/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Umbrella Entertainment (Click Here)
A remake of George Romero’s 1968 black-and-white classic that begins in a cemetery, as the recently dead return to life – from an unknown cause – and attack the living as their prey. One woman escapes the frightening zombies to take refuge with others in a farmhouse, as every cadaver for miles around hungers for their flesh. Will they make it through the night…that the dead came back to life?
I may get some rocks threw at me for saying this, but I like the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead more than I do the original. Don’t get me wrong, they are both great, but if you have seen the original enough times and just watch the 1990 version you can spot and appreciate the twists on stuff they did differently from the first film. In this movie, the character of Barbara (played here by Patricia Tallman) goes from a blonde, fragile, and somewhat catatonic character to a red headed more in charge character. She has her moment to which she is experiencing and getting over the shock of what is going on, but by the end, she’s a character in charge with a plan and a much more useful character. Ben here might not be as cool headed, but he’s just a stubborn and more animated with the legendary Tony Todd taking over the role for the 1990 version. Everything else is basically the same, as Tom Towles plays a very hateful Cooper and the others are as they basically were with some tweaks. The movie is spooky and remains spooky now. I can recall being a kid and seeing the poster for the movie before the original VHS release in my local video store. I waited for it to come out having never seen the original film and I really dug what I saw and it also freaked me out a bit at that young age. Some like to harp on this movie because it is a remake, but I find it to easily be a Top 5 horror film of the entire 90’s. With perhaps the only negatives to it the cuts made by the MPAA. I still dig it. I like the pace, I like the acting, and I like the pure sense of dread and doom the movie has rolling off of it from nearly the very first shot. That’s why I was always waiting and hoping for a Blu-ray to be released of it. Then we got the Twilight Time version and we got a very dark and blue-ish looking disc. To say that release was a letdown would be an understatement. It left fans like myself looking for another Blu-ray release and I truly believe I have found the best version here.
The version I watched here for this review comes from Umbrella Entertainment. The version we have here from them of Night of the Living Dead ’90 is the hands-down most complete and best-looking release you will find for the movie outside some well-known bootlegs out there. But the fact this is a legit release and will play in a Region A player should be enough to make the collector’s of the world happy. This release makes me REALLY happy as the movie does look great here and seems to be in its natural ratio of 1:77. Of course, you probably know that means all the annoying things we got from the Twilight Time version of the film isn’t here thankfully. If you were lucky enough you had the chance when this came out to get a limited version that also came with the original Night of the Living Dead but if you’re only option is this version then you won’t be letting yourself down at all by getting it. This is a great movie and I’m happy to see it out there officially and looking as great as it does here. I think this movie as a whole is a hidden gem of the 90’s and I think anyone who hasn’t seen it might be very happy with this version of the film if you want to pick it up to see for yourself. Umbrella is a great company and has been knocking it out of the park not for just their region but for anyone in the world who is looking for great releases of some great horror movies.
– Director Tom Savini’s Commentary
– “The Dead Walk” Making-of Featurette
– New Tom Savini Interview
– New John Vulich and Everett Burrell interview
– New Patricia Tallman interview
– Behind the Scenes featurette
Quality of Transfer: 100%