Night of the Living Dead 1993 title

AKA: Night of the Living Dead 1990, Night of the Living Dead-The Remake, The All New Night of the Living Dead

Tag Line : In 1968 George Romero took you to the edge of terror. In 1993 he's about to push you over....

Night of the Living Dead 1993 In the late 80's, rumours started circulating that George Romero was working on a fourth "Living Dead" movie. However -as fans where later to discover- this was not actually to be another sequel, but rather a remake of the original.

Of course, the big question was could the magic work a second time around? Well, the answer was most definitely YES!

Directed this time by Tom Savini, who is probably better known for his cosmetic effects work in these films, and produced by George Romero. They take the original script and literally turn it on its head.

The story starts as it did in the original with a young couple, Barbara (Patricia Tallman) and her brother Johnny (Bill Moseley), visiting their mothers grave and Johnny larking around the cemetery saying "They're coming to get you Barbara". This is where the story then starts to take sudden twists, as the zombie attack is more sudden, more unexpected and quite different from first film (which I won't spoil for you).

Barbara is forced to flee and seeks refuge once again in a nearby farmhouse, where she meets the drifter Ben (played by the enigmatic Tony Todd). We are then introduced to the rest of the characters, Tom (Bill Butler), Judy Rose and the obnoxious Mr Cooper (Tom Towles) with his family.

The characters are much stronger than in the original, particularly Barbara who is no longer the fearful, weepy, shock ridden girl she was, but is now more like Sigourney Weavers character in Aliens, or Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 and is only to eager to pick up a gun and fight. The interplay between Ben and Cooper is a lot more tense, fraught and indeed violent, when their disagreements come to a head.

Whilst the basic plot remains the same as the original, there are so many twists and turns that it keeps you guessing as to who will survive and who will be turned into a flesh-eating ghoul, right up to the films final moments. There's tons more action, lots more gore and more nail-biting suspense as the survivors are once again held under siege by the zombies, who are starting to overrun the farmhouse.

The battle to keep them out is certainly more gory and violent than before and the most nail-biting scene has to be when Bens truck explodes at the fuel pump and he is forced to fight his way back hand-to-hand with the living dead, after his gun was destroyed in the explosion (he was able to shoot his way back in the original).

Released in the UK in 1993, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original movie, the film received mixed reviews, although was a firm favourite with the horror fans. It wasn't quite the runaway success of the original, or Dawn of the Dead, but faired considerably better than Day of the Dead and became another true zombie classic. There are many great in-jokes in the movie that refer to the original, so if you haven't yet seen Romero's first zombie pic, I would advise you to do so before watching this version.

Overall marks : 9/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag line "There is a fate worse than death".

  • The film was released in 1990 in the US, however it didn't make UK cinemas until 1993, when it was released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original.

  • As mentioned earlier, the film was only a moderate hit at the box office. I am unsure of how much the film has grossed worldwide to date, but upon its initial release in the US it only achieved $5.8 million, its budget was $4.2 million.

  • This is the first of Romero's "Living Dead" films that hasn't cast relative unknowns into the leading roles. Tony Todd is probably best known for his role as the "Candyman" and has gone onto star in numerous fantasy shows, such as Hercules, Xena and even Star Trek. Bill Butler had previously starred in "Ghoulies 2", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3" and "Friday the 13th part 7". Tom Towles had previously starred in "Henry-Portrait of a Serial Killer".

  • The autopsy zombie at the beginning of the film was not in the original script, director Tom Savini added it as an afterthought.

  • Bill Mosely also played the deadite captain in Army of Darkness and is probably best known for his role as "Chop Top" in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2".

  • The nameplate on the front of the house said "M. Celeste", this was a reference to the "Mary Celeste", which is a legend about a boat found adrift at sea where all the crew and passengers had gone missing.

  • Patricia Tallman is probably better known for her reoccurring role as Lyta in Babylon 5. She is actually a stuntman by trade and her credits range from the new Godzilla movie to Austin Powers. She also starred as the Possessed Witch in "Army of Darkness".

  • The news reporter was played by Bill (Chilly Billy) Cardille, who also starred as a reporter in the original film.

  • The shirt Tom (Bill Butler) is wearing says "Iron City", this was the name of the beer being drunk by the Hunters in the original "Dawn of the Dead".

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Other remakes.

  Original Version
Dawn of the Dead (2004) Day of the Dead (2008 remake)  

Night of the Living Dead

 

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