Video Review

Night of the Living Dead (1991)

MPAA Rating: R
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Movie Rated: R; Genre: Horror; With: Patricia Tallman and Tony Todd; Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Good news, flesh-eating-zombie fans. This remake of Night of the Living Dead isn't just a stillborn attempted reanimation of the original, as one would expect. Produced by George Romero (director of the 1968 flick) and directed by his longtime special-effects specialist, Tom Savini, the movie is rumored to have been made solely so Romero could make some big bucks off Living Dead, having lost rights to the original in lousy business deals. Luckily, nothing so cynical shows on-screen. While Savini closely follows the first movie, he adds lots of shocks and twists of his own, not to mention more splatter. The many rehashes in plot and character (including the use of actors who resemble their predecessors) only make Savini's changes that much more fun to watch for loyal followers. One significant switch is the female characters; they're far more assertive — and appealing — this time. The movie can't rival the first for no-budget inventiveness, but its brand of no-nonsense terror will still stir zombie devotees to eat it up.

Originally posted Apr 19, 1991 Published in issue #62 Apr 19, 1991 Order article reprints