Grade B-

A remake of the 1968 classic, “Night Of The Living Dead” (1990) tells virtually the same story in more modern times. Co-written by George A. Romero (the filmmaker of the original movie) and directed by make-up/special effects artist/longtime Romero collaborator/actor Tom Savini, “Night Of The Living Dead” gets off to a quick start when a woman (Patricia Tallman) visiting her dead mother’s grave site is attacked by zombies.   She barely escapes being eaten and runs into a farmhouse where she meets a handful of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse.  Tony Todd plays the natural leader and best fighter of the small group; but his abilities will be tested to their limits when night falls, the walking dead surround the farmhouse, and one member of the group is so uncooperative that he is as much of a threat as the hungry, dead mouths that lays siege to the house.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Night Of The Living Dead” is the scene when Tallman first notices how few and slow the zombies are, and tells her companions that they could just walk past by them easily instead of staying in the house where they could get surrounded and trapped.  Tallman’s idea is probably shared by many Romero-zombie fans; but keep in mind it’s easy to make rational decisions in the safety of your couch while eating potato chips.  It’s a whole different matter when you’re actually in the s@#t facing off smelly, dirty, dead people who want to eat you.  Just one dead person coming back to life and trying to break into your house to eat you alive is a terrifying thought– most people would completely freak out in that situation.  Now imagine hundreds of those things walking around in your town…it’s not so easy to just say “Hey, they’re slow, we’ll just walk past them.”

With the talents of Romero and Savini, it’s no wonder that this is a good offering of a zombie flick.  By no means is it great — no bits of great dialogue; shenanigans like a character who shoots the lock off a gas pump and causing horrific consequences — but it should satisfy the appetites of zombie movie fans.   And so, as of 1990 and today, the original “Dawn Of The Dead” (written/directed by Romero) still reigns supreme as the best zombie apocalypse movie…and it was made on a low budget!  Amazing.

— M