When I first read ANOTHER "Night Of The Living Dead" re-make was being made (this time in 3D), I was none too pleased. I find the constant barrage of re-makes to be not only pointless, but a waste of perfectly good money that could go towards exciting and original projects. Thankfully, it turns out "Night Of The Living Dead 3D" isn't a full-blown re-make, but more of a life-imitating-art film. With that said, the movie is still stale and empty-headed and is only saved by the 3D gimmick.
The story: On her way to a funeral, Barb discovers the dead are coming back to life. Narrowly escaping death at the hands of a few zombies, she finds sanctuary and help at a nearby house. Unfortunately, the zombies soon begin to swarm around the house making survival more complicated.
The real reason for watching this movie is of course the 3D. I'm surprised a zombie film hasn't been made in 3D prior to this. The two are a match made in heaven. For the most part, the 3D is fun to gaze at. The 3D scenes of a flaming zombie, joint smoke, squirting blood, opening scene from the original NOTLD, and even sex all appear as if you were on screen yourself. Unfortunately, the 3D is too lifelike at times, most notably when we see an overweight naked zombie feasting on a priest. No one needed to watch that.
Even the nifty 3D can't overcome a brainless script written by Robert Valding. Aside from some clever nods to the original masterpiece, the script is plagued with weak characters whose actions are completely and utterly moronic. For instance, the character Henry Cooper shoots through a window in his own house thereby letting a horde of zombies have a way into the house. Brilliant!
The script also has virtually no themes and or issues. Gone are the poignant and topical issues of paranoia, race, and the dark side of human nature. Here, we have a story of a bunch of stoners and a mortuary owner who causes the epidemic. Not exactly high art.
The 1.78:1 widescreen 3D picture
is lifelike and detailed especially when focused on background items like paintings and fog. However, as 3D technology hasn't been perfected yet (aside from Disney Digital 3D that is), the picture still has the red and blue 3D tint that might bother some folks...not to mention hurt a few eyeballs.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital track does a great job of highlighting dialogue and sound f/x (such as flies buzzing and zombie growls), but unfortunately the horrendously bad tension killing music score is also blaring throughout the film. Granted, the audio track isn't to blame for the screeching score, but the music level could have been toned down a tad.
1. A forgettable 5 1/2 minute blooper real with the actor's goofing off between takes.
2. 3D still gallery.
3. Trailers for "Fido," "Zombie Nation," "Return Of The Living Dead: Rave To The Grave," "Holla," and "Captivity."
4. A theatrical trailer, tv and radio spots for "Night Of The Living Dead 3D."
5. A nearly 12 minute Q&A with the writer, director, and Sid Haig at the New Beverly Cinema. Most of the information mentioned here is found on the other extra features. However, there is an interesting tidbit about how the film's story was based on a mortuary owner in Georgia.
6. English and Spanish subtitles.
7. A commentary track with director Jeff Broadstreet, DP Andrew Parke, screenwriter Robert Valding, and actor Sid Haig (who appears mid-way in the track). The track is lightning fast as the gang speak about everything from technology, a crew member playing a zombie, post production fixes, etc. There isn't a quiet moment in the track. Well worth listening to.
8. A nearly 6 1/2 minute featurette titled "Filming In 3D: A Behind-The-Scenes Special Look." The extra mainly discusses how this is the first film to fully use steadycam/handheld cameras for a 3D film.
9. A 19 minute "Night Of The Living Dead 3D Behind-The-Scenes" featurette showcasing set footage, interviews with the director, writer, and actors, and makeup f/x. A fairly standard featurette.
10. 4 pairs of 3D glasses are included with the DVD.
"Night Of The Living Dead 3D" isn't a film you will be buzzing about, but the 3D gimmick is enough to warrant a rent.
Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.