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NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - 30th Anniversary DVD Special Edition

I have had some pretty awful experiences in my life. As well as quite a few wonderful ones.

The worst, I always thought, would be having to stand in the room while the authorities pulled the melted jewelry from my mother’s burnt corpse. That was a bad experience.

Then there were the two rusty nails that slammed into my knee to the hilt.

Oh yeah... and not being able to move my legs.

I always thought that nothing I could see in film could even approach the misery of these personal moments.

But then, I could never in a thousand years imagine the creative still-birth of the 30th Anniversary NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD DVD.

Now I know what you are thinking, or at least I think I do. You may be thinking that I have grossly overstated the level of personal offense with which I take this DVD, but I swear to you I am having to control myself sooo much right now from merely ranting... How can I tell you exactly how they pissed on this film?

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of my first favorite movies. Every week, for the first 6 years of my life, I watched NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD projected in 16mm. It was the first film that I had memorized.

It scared me away from wanting to ever frequent cemeteries. And it made me ask my Dad how they make movies. And he handed me my first Famous Monsters of Filmland, along with a book on LON CHANEY... a little thin blue book.

And that is how it began. Also at the time I was addicted to KING KONG, GORGO and THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. I was seeing each of those... constantly alongside LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Corman version) and REEFER MADNESS.

In fact earlier this day I had watched the Alamo Drafthouse’s last night of the Cannibal fest where they screened NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. I was in a great mood. I’d been saving watching this 30th Anniversary edition till after I saw this screening at the Drafthouse.

Quint came over to watch it with Father Geek and I... and my god... the horror.

I feel as though I have just watched a personal family member gang-raped by a pack of super sodomites.

If you love NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD don’t even pick up the box that encases this dung heap.

First off, John Russo should be buried alive and fed through an IV and given adequate oxygen for the next 30 years. He has butchered, defaced and ruined one of the greatest horror films of all time. From his additions (as well as subtractions) to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, I can say with the utmost confidence that talent does not in any way reside within this shell of a so-called writer.

He has created something that at it’s best moments perhaps achieves the utter stupidity of ‘GREEDO FIRED FIRST’, but mostly resides with floating turds in a city sewer system.

There is not one instance in the entirety of the DVD that even begins to be good. And I’m even talking about the original footage. They have ruined every single second of the film through laughably awful sound effects and mixing, through a HORRENDOUS new bit of noise shat out by talentless hack, Scott Vladimir Ligina. They have erased all grain from the film, making it stark and crisp and in focus where it was once gloriously creepy and atmospheric.

Sigh... Perhaps I should just begin... at the beginning.

Gone are the opening shots of the film. Instead we begin upon the Chevy truck, that we later see Ben driving. But for now, it is driven by two redneck types hauling the body of the ‘cemetery ghoul’ in a coffin in the back of their truck. Terrible dialogue about how he was a child murderer has been created as if to give some sort of backstory to the first zombie we ever see.

This is HORRIBLE. REALLY REALLY HORRIBLE. The dialogue and acting between the two corpse handlers is terribly written and delivered with all the subtlety and nuance of a kindergarten play about butterflies and toast.

When we finally arrive at the cemetery we get a look at this abominable tone deaf synthesizer addicted skinhead, Scott Vladimir Licina. Not only did he piss on the entire film with the single most offensive score I have ever listened to in my life, he and his gigantic teeth, have decided to bookend this film with an overbearing and painfully awful portrayal of a Reverend.

They have the cemetery zombie attack the two drivers and then we cut straight to Barbara and Johnny parked at the cemetery. All the foreboding shots of the drive... gone. Now, new thunder sounds pounding the entire scene. Drowning out their dialogue. This is... awful. I really have never known the meaning of that word till I witnessed this atrocity.

Let’s cut forward a bit.

Remember where Ben and Barbara have first gone into the house together? When he tells her to go turn on all the lights, and then he begins searching for nails and hammer and wood? Well... we see him find the toolboxes. We no longer see him put the screwdriver in his back pocket, gone is the search for wood... he no longer looks under the sink, the initial nailing of wood is gone.... Oh yeah... as a matter of fact... When Barbara leaves the room here, it instantly cuts straight to her at the music box. All of the in-between and dialogue has been cut.

Remember Ben relating to Barbara what happened to him? Remember him talking about a tanker truck... describing that? GONE. Remember Barbara telling the story of Johnny and her? Well, they got to the cemetery... but all of her fantastic hysterical fits... GONE!

Gone. So much character development. Gone gone gone. Remember the scene between Harry and Helen in the basement where Harry talks about the Radio up stairs and Helen begins screaming at him about that. About how they don’t like one another.

Well now... Harry goes down in the basement. Does his initial bit about , “We’ll see who’s right. We’ll see when they come pleading for me to let them in” And then... cut to our all around swell guy, Tom pleading with Harry to come on back up... a mere minute and a half after he’s entered the cellar... there by making it seem as if... Tom instantly had a change of heart. Gone is the development between Harry and Helen about their marriage problems, the issues with Harry’s superiority complex.

If fact... throughout the entire film all of this basic fundamentally important to the story work is GONE, to be replaced with Reverend Wide Teeth and his bunch of morons.

Also... all the radio broadcasts are now different. It no longer feels like a radio broadcast from the period, but now feels like someone trying to impersonate a radio broadcast. Gone is most of the Venus probe stuff. Gone is the information about the Rescue Centers. Gone Gone Gone.

They hacked the hell out of this film. Remember the naked zombie? GONE!

Instead we have additional stumblers. No useful or even intriguing zombie additions.

You remember how the film ends?

Well, Ben still does what Ben does, but the instant still photography stuff is gone. Now. Oh boy... Now we get this insanely stupid...

“ONE YEAR LATER” bullshit where Reverend Big Teeth begins ranting about how GOD has saved him from the plague sweeping the nation like St Michael before him, and yada yada yada. See Reverend Big Teeth gets bit on the cheek by Cemetery Ghoul... and now it seems as if the whole film is a religious sermon about God.

What bollocks! This wankerous piece of shite should be burned like the dead.

All extras on this piece of shit DVD are created Extras. Annoying newly created trailer. Awful DANCE OF THE DEAD music video. Interviews and documentary footage with a bunch of nimrods and idiots that took a shit on this great film.

The sound effects alone should be enough to sentence them all to jail. Combine that with the utter contempt with which they treat the original film.

IMAGINE: if in addition to the little things George Lucas did to Star Wars, he cut out the scenes between Luke and Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Imagine if half the dialogue between Luke and OB1 was removed. If a third of all dialogue between R2 and 3PO was removed. If all new sound effects were brought in. If additional music written by Christopher Young was added (In a Different Style). If Light Sabers sounded DIFFERENT. If Darth Vader’s heavy breathing was done by an asthmatic with a microphone. THEN they added in scenes with a new character called Voltent and Wodstar, and they were on another planet all together where everything was fine. Then they added additional Stormtroopers running around halls and bumping into one another.

GOD, this is the most repellent evil thing ever created. George Romero should be allowed to sue and win the master negative for this shit heap and then set it ablaze. It is an abomination to the eyes of mankind.

It ruins not only NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, but fucks up the entire arc of the trilogy.


Beware. If you have to see it.... DON’T! It will hurt you. You’ll froth at the mouth and you are likely to break something. If you tried to ruin a film. Set out to destroy it. You could not do a worse job. I promise you that. This is unbearable and unwatchable.

I tried to leave 4 times during the showing, and Dad wouldn’t let me. Said it wouldn’t be fair for me to rip it apart if I didn’t watch the whole thing.

I did. I not only want my money back, but I want compensatory damages to my psyche by this... this sin to man. I HATE EVERYONE THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS THING!

I am not kidding. I’m not ‘being funny’. I’m deadly serious. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of my favorite all time films. When you read the review of watching the old scratched to hell print that was screened in 16 mm at the Alamo Drafthouse... you’ll see my love for this film. But this is not that movie. Not for one single second. This is another, bizarro world adaptation made by a bunch of evil frat rats that wanted to be in a classic movie and somehow got the chance to live their fucked up dream then spit it into our stores for us... Lovers of the film to be soiled with.

Never in my life have I been more angry. Nothing that Joe Farrell or Jack Valenti or any studio head or any human on the planet in history has done anything that has angered me more. SURE... My priorities are pretty much OUT OF WHACK. I should probably be far more upset about that sicko up in Ft Worth that killed those people.

BUT I don’t know those people. I know NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. I love this film. It’s one of the first films that made me love filmgoing and film fandom. And these perverted fucking assholes have fucked that, and I goddamn bought the piece of shit, and I’m broke right now and I’M PISSED CAUSE I WOULD RATHER BUY AN EXTRA 100 PACKETS OF TOILET PAPER AND TAMPONS FOR MY SISTER. I would rather own those things... hell.... even keep em once they are soiled, than own this piece of shit. It is festering in my house and getting me into a fit of anger just knowing I’m sharing the same house as it. In fact, I am going to tell Dad to go put it in the Brown Van. A vehicle that is DEAD... Worthless..... The place where worthless shite should be stored. THIS IS ABOMINABLE!

Beware. I will ban anyone that likes this piece of shit from my talkback. WHY? Simply because If you like this piece of shit abortion of a product, I could really give a shit if you ever read my site. No nice words will be spoken about John Russo or that Reverend Big Teeth in any place that I have created. Those intellectually deprived, artistically bankrupt hacks should be shunned from society. ANY magazine that has promoted this festering pussbucket of a product should be BURNED! It is terrible in the ways that ... I don’t know what way. Cause I’ve never experienced anything that sucked this hard. STAY AWAY!

Do not order it. Don’t buy it for a dollar... 50 cents or even a penny. That shiny coppery Lincoln will be worth more someday than this.

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