I'm sure most horror fans know the unfortunate story of how George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead ended up in Public Domain hell. Apparently the film's distributor neglected to put a copyright indication on the prints, therefore leaving the film without a copyright. So here you have one of the best (and best loved) horror films of all time basically available for anyone to make money on (or just give away). And I'm sure you've noticed around Halloween time all of the cheapo releases of Night of the Living Dead in your local Supermarket and Department Store's dollar bins. I've even seen copies included with Spooky Sounds CDs, as if it's just some cheap gimmick. Though I believe the more people exposed to the film, the better...it still saddens and sickens me to see the Citizen Kane of Horror films treated this way. Ok, now that I have pissed myself off, lets get to the point of this review. A few months ago I heard about a new DVD coming out from MVD Entertainment called Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated. Out of curiosity I looked into the film and the concept really intrigued me. So what is this film? Read on...
Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated takes the original audio track from George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead and puts it to an animated version of the film. Though, it's really not as straight forward as that. The film makers brought together a wide array of talents to animate different scenes of the film. The different mediums used include everything from standard animation to computer animation to claymation to stop motion animation, using everything from puppets to Barbie dolls to Night of the Living Dead action figures (yes they really sell those). Also employed were still drawings, paintings and original footage from the film put through a number of different visual effects.
As expected, Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated took a really neat concept and really delivered. I'll admit that the animation in some of the scenes didn't work for me, but most of the film was creative, well done and very entertaining. Some parts of the film were hysterical (especially the puppets, which pretty much always crack me up anyway). A lot of the still artwork fit great and looked very professional. Though there are few (if any) Public Domain films as great as Night of the Living Dead, it would be fun to see this concept used again.