Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: Night of the Living Dead (1990)

As is so often the case, this remake is inferior to the original, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a worthwhile zombie flick.  In spite of what you may have heard about Tom Savini's version of the George Romero classic that started it all, I rather enjoy it.  It's not groundbreaking and it doesn't bring anything new and inventive to this particular sub-genre, but that's okay.  It is a solid update with nifty effects and a good cast.  The score works for me, the mood is suitably grim, and I do enjoy it a lot.  In a rare role as the hero of a horror flick, Tony Todd is absolutely terrific, and Patricia Tallman also shows a great deal of range with her performance.  Most importantly, I thought Tom Towles was a bit of a revelation as the dick.  Most good horror movies have a dick and this Night of the Living Dead has one of the most irritating dicks you'll ever encounter.  Ideally, you don't spend a lot of time with irritating dicks to begin with, but you know what I'm saying.  Towles seldom fails to piss me off with his performance, yet there are a handful of occasions (most notably his "options" speech) that greatly amuse me.  The fact that Tony Todd has to deal with this dude makes him as much of a hero as his zombie-bashing exploits in this picture.  Additionally, I think Tom Savinia did a good job as the director.  There are no major shortcomings to complain about and his Night of the Living Dead doesn't deserve the bad reviews some have given it.  Now, if I make a list of the best zombie movies ever (been there, done that: link) you won't find this 1990 effort on the list, but I'm still going to recommend it.  It is not as shocking as the original and it isn't as wild or creative as many of the zombie movies that Romero's 1968 surprise hit has spawned, but it is an entertaining and well-made horror movie.

Final Grade: C+
Drinking Game: take a shot every time you want to punch this guy in the mouth.

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