The Night of the Living Dead Blu Ray review

The film that launched a thousand imitations, becomes another must have addition from Criterion. When brother and sister Barbara and Johnny Blair visit their fathers grave in rural Pennsylvania, they were annoyed at the time it took from door to door. They live in the big city and it takes 3 hours there and 3 back. However when a man attacks Barbara and kills Johnny, it begins a nightmare of undead humans feasting on the living.

If you know or have watched any horror film from the mid 60s until today, chances are this inspired it. The godfather of the zombie genre and modern horror. From the godfather of horror and nuanced low budget film making. The masterpiece of (maybe) social commentary. Is it about communism? Is is about race?  City versus Town? All I can say is its cinema of skill and style. With physical veracity, Romero fans expect from later films and punch. Well I wont spend my time and yours explaining this classic film. I will instead get to the disc.

The 4K restoration could be the best transfer of the year. I compared it to the DVD and well it is miles above it. Cleaned up that slight wear. Cleaned up the light and dark. Tones the black as jet black. outstanding. 5/5

The soundtrack has also been restored and done so, presented here uncompressed. Also top of the charts. 5/5

Night of Anubis is the working print of the film and an extra which lovers of the film will claw over to see. Its not as tight as the finished film or as crafted but its well worth a watch and feel enough like another film to warrant the time. 4/5

The piece with Darabont, Del Toro and Rodriguex prove three things. One is that the film inspiration ran deep. Two, these film makers are above many others in understanding craft. Three, people in the industry love this movie. 4.5/5

The dailies for me were hit and miss. Some great moments and some, frankly what the heck moments. 3.5/5

The piece on Russo is excellent. It has not only revealed substantial lack of creativity in modern production, but also a generation of talent lost. 5/5

The commentary tracks have been run before. Though great its already done the rounds. 3/5

The booklet is very good indeed (as is the artwork). This is a new piece on the film and its myriad impacts on culture. Well worth a dip in. 5/5

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director George A. Romero, co-screenwriter John A. Russo, sound engineer Gary R. Streiner, and producer Russell W. Streiner
  • New restoration of the monaural soundtrack, supervised by Romero and Gary R. Streiner, and presented uncompressed
  • Night of Anubis, a never-before-presented work-print edit of the film
  • New program featuring filmmakers Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, and Robert Rodriguez
  • Never-before-seen 16 mm dailies reel
  • New program featuring Russo about the commercial and industrial-film production company where key Night of the Living Dead filmmakers got their start
  • Two audio commentaries from 1994, featuring Romero, Russo, producer Karl Hardman, actor Judith O’Dea, and more
  • Archival interviews with Romero and actors Duane Jones and Judith Ridley
  • New programs about the editing, the score, and directing ghouls
  • New interviews with Gary R. Streiner and Russel W. Streiner
  • Trailer, radio spots, and TV spots
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Stuart Klawans

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