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  1. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    PART IV: BOOKS - A4 P4

    There is zero news to report on that aborted George A. Romero novel about the cause, "The Living Dead".

    Last mention in the December 17th, 2015 post, "PART IV: BOOKS - A2".

    There is however is another book; no, not like that.

    I wish.

    On July 11th of this year (2017), St. Martin's Press will release "Nights Of The Living Dead: An Anthology" for $17.99. A four hundred page collection.

    It will be on CD too for $29.95 from Blackstone Audio, Inc., an unabridged MP3 CD, the same day.

    Here's the book cover.

    In 1968 the world experienced a brand new kind of terror with the debut of George A. Romero’s landmark movie Night Of The Living Dead. The newly dead rose to attack the living. Not as vampires or werewolves. This was something new...and terrifying. Since then, zombies have invaded every aspect of popular culture.

    But it all started on that dreadful night in a remote farmhouse...

    "Nights Of The Living Dead" returns to that night, to the outbreak, to where it all began. New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry teams with the godfather of the living dead himself, George A. Romero to present a collection of all new tales set during the 48 hours of that legendary outbreak.

    "Nights Of The Living Dead" includes stories by some of today’s most important writers: Brian Keene, Carrie Ryan, Chuck Wendig, Craig Engler, David J. Schow, David Wellington, Issac Marion, Jay Bonansinga, Joe R. Lansdale, John Russo, John Skipp, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Max Brallier, Mike Carey, Mira Grant, Neal Shusterman & Brandon Shusterman, and Ryan Brown. Plus original stories by Romero and Maberry!
    - back cover

    I like this concept book. And will probably pick this up.

    - - -

    Some weeks back I got into an online fight over the movie, "Night" '68.

    That Harry was correct - he wasn't. Thought I'd share.

    Ben was right. What failed was unity. How much time could've been saved had Harry helped right from the start? The undead number would be manageable - get to the pump and not be in an absolute rush; which lead to Tom's and Judy's death.

    Harry screwed them all over.

    Just to feel important.

    The fire at the pump was the result of the rush. Imagine the gun being used as before, but now with focus - the torches not in the line of the stream. No fire.

    They would've filled the tank and drove back to the farm house. During this time the rest would have the radio on and hear about nearest rescue station.

    A dash to collect the food for and hop on the truck.

    Man, the Coopers were in the cellar all this time. And none of the people down there took any stock of their environment? Why wasn't there a check on the house for supplies first? Bring food to the basement? Find the shotgun? Get bedding supplies for his sick daughter?

    Nope on all - just get in the basement without any real thinking.

    Ben was right. But sometimes being right isn't enough.

    The real outcome would be the little girl. She could die in the back and resurrect - infecting everybody in the flatbed.

    This would also be a dark ending too.

    - - -

    One last bit before the head shot.

    The Answer.

    At least from Japan.

    Minor back story, in April 17th (2017) I was doing various research for this post, but I'll be honest, it was more about goofing off.

    I came across something huge, not known to most American audiences. This was new news to me and I've been a fan since I was a kid. When "Zombie: Dawn Of The Dead" had its theatrical release in the land of the rising sun on March 13th, 1979, they added a short prologue.

    The Japanese distributor, Herald Films felt the people there would never accept the concept unless there was an explanation for the zombies.

    A short opening was filmed with an explosion in space and white text appearing on screen with a telex sound effect (like a typewriter) overlayed.

    In 19XX, an exploding planet in a far off galaxy beamed strange rays across space to Earth. It cause the transformation of the dead one after another into resurrected zombies seeking the flesh of the living...
    Yes, it actually said "19XX", are we to fill in the blank??? By the way, the Japanese release is a censored version of Dario Argento's cut, "Zombi" (1978).

    The next entry will happen soon enough I suppose, can't give you an exact date. But it will happen, see you then.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 06-14-2017 at 06:35 AM.

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    I knew this day would eventually come. But kinda thought it would be years from now - not meant to be.

    George Andrew Romero has died, he was seventy-seven.

    February 4th, 1940 - July 16th, 2017

    The zombies, they could be anything. They could be an avalanche, they could be a hurricane. It's a disaster out there. The stories are about how people fail to respond in the proper way. They fail to address it. They keep trying to stick where they are, instead of recognizing maybe this is too big for us to try to maintain. That's the part of it that I've always enjoyed.
    - 2008 The Associated Press interview

    He died peacefully in his sleep (Toronto, Canada); though he did suffer from lung cancer - the man loved his smokes. He died with a score.

    Romero left our world listening to the soundtrack "The Quiet Man" (1952); his favorite film. When he passed, it was at home with his (second) wife Suzanne Desrocher Romero and daughter, Tina at his side.

    Romero is also survived by his sons, Andrew and "Cam" Cameron as well as his Christine Romero, first wife.

    His passing was confirmed by his manager Chris Roe.

    George with Tina on the set of "Day Of The Dead" (1985).

    - - -

    In late January 2015, Cameron announced that through Indiegogo - crowd sourcing, he had raised over $30,000.00 for a "Night" prequel he was working on.

    The plan was to raise $150,000 to cover pre-production cost.

    Tentatively titled "Night Of The Living Dead: Origins". Because of interests, the project was fast tracked with backing of Radar Pictures. And Robert Kurtzman signed on for special effects.

    The project was to be produced by Darrin Reed with some producing by George himself.

    Would've been directed and written by Cameron.

    He did a video pitch with some artwork.

    Kurtzman has done effects for such classics as "The Faculty" (1998), "Night of the Creeps" (1986), "Tremors" (1990), "Bride Of Re-Animator" (1990), "Army Of Darkness" (1992), "Scream" (1996) and "The Demolitionist" (1995) to name just a few.

    The film was first announced by Cam on October 16th, 2014.

    Set in the turbulent late sixties, the film tells the story of a brilliant scientist - Dr. Alan Cartwright - who strikes a deal with the military that will give him all the resources he needs to finalize his work in exchange for what he later learns is a price all mankind will have to pay.
    - official synopsis

    The year is 1962; Cartwright is working on a way for humanity to survive a nuclear exchange, the Cold War is on full blast. Years go by, his well funded quest takes him around the world which lead him to the discovery. An answer which brings about the end of human race. It is hinted that the doctor is dabbling with voodoo for his solution.

    Then squat - nothing. What happened? Good question Cameron.

    Before you ask; no information if "Origin" would have been shot in color or black and white. This would be his second feature; he's made a living directing TV commercials... just like his dad in the 1960s.

    - - -

    There is an error in the Rolling Stone obituary; there is four films in the series, not a trilogy.

    "Night Of The Living Dead" (1968)

    "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978)

    "Day Of The Dead"

    "Land Of The Dead" (2005)

    - - -


    My first ever movie job: I was an art department intern on DAY OF THE DEAD. I made zombie vomit for Bub. RIP George Romero, one-of-a-kind.
    - effects man Greg Mottola

    Goodbye George A Romero. We laughed through 50 years and 9 films. I will miss him. There is a light that has gone out and can't be replaced.
    - effects man/actor/director Tom Savini

    Sad to hear my favourite collaborator - and good old friend - George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.
    - Stephen King

    RIP George Romero! Had the pleasure of working with him on Savini's NOLD remake, enjoyed his company at many horror cons. A huge influence!!
    - actor Bill Moseley

    You made me want to make movies, and helped me to find meaning in monsters. Thank you. I love you.
    - writer/director James Gunn (writer of "Dawn Of The Dead" 2004 remake)

    Romero used genre to confront racism 50 years ago. He always had diverse casts, with Duane Jones as the heroic star of NOTLD. Very few others in cinema were taking such risks. He was both ahead of his time and exactly what cinema needed at that time.
    - writer/director Eli Roth

    No one mined the zombie metaphor like Romero. (After he invented it.) No one has come close. RIP & thank you to a Great Film Artist.
    - writer/director Joss Whedon

    There are so many things to say about this man, my friend, my mentor and my inspiration. For what he gave us all with passion and fire, his unrelenting spirit will live forever. Blessed that I was honored to present him this award late April [2017] in Pittsburgh where IT ALL F-ING STARTED!!!! Never ending love to him and his family.
    - effects man Greg Nicotero (executive producer of "The Walking Dead" and "Fear Of The Walking Dead")

    The world has lost a master. Thank you for the inspiration. You changed my life with your art. You will be missed.
    - writer/director Zack Snyder (director of "Dawn" '04)

    Romero has passed away. Hard to find words right now. The loss is so enormous.
    - writer/director Guillermo del Toro

    George Romero was a great director, the father of modern horror movies. He was my friend and I will miss him. Rest in peace, George.
    - director/writer John Carpenter

    Damn... rest in peace, George Romero. Every single zombie show/film owes you their gratitude for paving the way in this genre. Thank you.
    - actor ("iZombie") Rahul Kohli

    A fond farewell to charming, legendary zombie king George Romero. is one of my favourite horrors. An honour to have met him. RIP.
    - Mark Gatiss (co-creators of "Sherlock" and "The League Of Gentleman")

    RIP George Romero. Zombies, yes. But... go watch MARTIN. Teenage isolation mutated into vampirism. Online culture as plague.
    - comic/writer/actor Patton Oswalt

    Love and respect to dir George Romero, without whom the Dead could not walk.
    - television/film composer Bear McCreary

    R.I.P. George Romero. A true legend. Started a new genre on his own. Who else can claim that?
    - comic/actor/writer Kumail Nanjiani

    George Romero is one of the artists who had a profound impact on my life. There was so much more to his work than just zombie movies. RIP.
    - comic/actor Richard Lewis

    Rest In Peace George Romero. A great artist, innovator and creator. He changed everything.
    - chef Anthony Bourdain

    George Romero was an icon who created a cinematic universe of loosely affiliated sequels forty years before that was a thing. RIP to a genius.
    - writer/director Max Landis

    All zombies, bow your wonderfully disgusting heads. Rest In Peace to the legendary George Romero.
    - film critic Richard Roeper

    Could someone please call the police? George Romero is eating my leg. RIP George Romero... if he truly is resting.
    - comic/actor Gilbert Gottfried

    We always sort of refer to Night Of the Living Dead as the Holy Grail of zombie movies. All of the rules - you've gotta shoot it in the head to kill it - before 1969, that little piece of folklore didn't exist. Now it's part of popular culture. So we owe a lot to George's vision and the world he set up.
    - Nicotero

    RIP George Romero. Your groundbreaking contributions to the genre are unparrelled. We will miss you and are made better for your brilliance.
    - scream queen Barbara Crampton

    A genuine sadness. And thank you for saying he invented “the modern zombie genre,” unlike your competitors, who left out the key word "modern."
    - (a fan) Cadavra

    - - -

    The man has fueled so much of my terrors and imaginations. Because of him when I enter a new place; I look for places to hide, places that are defendable, places to avoid and what can be used as makeshift weapons.

    Just in case.

    And unless Cameron picks it up mantel; there is no more sequels for "Diary Of The Dead" (2008). Or that prequel film for "Night".

    The universes created is only what exist. That saddens me.

    I think, the best thing I can convey is the lyrics to "Nightmares" by C-Spot Run...

    You're in my nightmares. You're in my bad dreams. You're in my darkest fantasy.
    George, man, you will be missed.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-20-2017 at 03:27 AM.

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - L

    Lush is the area before you. It once was someone's huge backyard garden. Quiet observations revealed the reason. The former owners of this property had set up a solar pump, attached to their well. It continued to do it's job long after the proprietor or proprietress had fled or... joined their ranks.

    Right now, that kind of speculation is pure trivial. You have a garden of fresh fruits and vegetables all to yourself. This is why keeping that clothed bag was a great idea. It's somewhat safe at the moment, the best action is to grab as many as possible and leave it as you found it - a derelict.

    This way should anybody come and find this too, they won't get the idea that someone was here before and lay in wait for your return for more. That kind of carelessness can get you killed.

    And apples too!

    You pluck a few to add to your sack when a knocked over tin can catches your ear. Breath held and ears, full Vulcan. Hard to tell, the brick and wooden fence around this place is ricocheting the noise. Not that it matters, the hand which grabbed your shoulder did the trick in record time.

    A tumbled and a near gnaw on your right ear - yup the owner is here; complete with her now so literal garden apron "Green Thumbs". She has been bitten on both legs, each showing bone through the darkened wounds.

    At that point you notice there's an axe on her back. A gift to "Green Thumbs" by another visitor or an acquaintance? Either way, very handy. A shuffle here and there with a serious tug and hard swing - the former lady falls down one final time.

    Looking about while calming down... nothing. This was so muted, hardly a sound from either of you. Now what?

    A nearby tarp to cover the body and a return to your gathering. Why not? This is still a great opportunity, "Green Thumbs" and all.

    Welcome back to Turd City. No matter how often you try to leave its memory behind, it reels you back in. Like a constant backed-up toilet.

    This time out, a public domain print was given a HD release. Oh joy! As pointed out earlier, I'm not into BDs so as to be expected, I don't own this. This post is the result of many hours of research.

    "Night Of The Living Dead: 50th Anniversary" streeted on October 3rd, 2017 from Mill Creek Entertainment (UPC# 6 83904 63300 2) for $14.98. It's SKU is 63300. The region A (1080p) came in a common BD case. Do not know if it's locked, but seriously why would you want???

    The Blu-Ray streeted against "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales", "Cult Of Chucky" and "Sharknado: Global Swarming".

    No slipcover was issued, but it appears to have come with an insert, the instructions for the Digital Copy (don't know the expiration). No idea how many chapters; can not find that info online.

    The motion picture is ninety-six minutes long.

    - - -



    - - -


    * LPCM 2.0 uncompressed

    - - -


    There are subtitles in English.


    A short entry since it IS unanimously - crap on a cracker.

    This was my favorite quote from an unlucky buyer...

    Horrible. Absolutely horrible. Looks like a 240p web video upscaled to DVD and then upscaled again to 1080p.
    - J. S. Harbour


    Here's another from a Blu-Ray reviewer Martin Liebman from

    No clean-up has been performed, and the print is riddled with wear, pops, and scratches. It's unrelenting, and there's not a shot, scene, or sequence in some severity of deterioration, which is often thick and the presentation's most noted quality.
    Here are some assorted comments.

    Complete rip off. Not remastered, not in any way downloadable. Not the remaster that was advertised.
    - Vincent K. Guagenti

    No special features. Not an HD remaster or restoration. No features at all. 50th Anniversary Edition my ass.
    - Disposable420

    The VHS in the back of your closet probably looks better than this "HD" version. I hesitate to use the term remaster. That would imply an effort was made to produce an acceptable product.
    - Vince Duggan

    It's not worth your time. Instead, try and get a copy of the DVD 2008 version, or 40th Anniversary Edition, which has George Romero's signature on the cover. It was restored and remastered in HD.
    - Eleuterio Soto

    You get the point.

    I've seen screen snaps, it looks so much like the video for the BCI Eclipse 2005 DVD. A December 22nd, 2016 entry - click here, should you want. Yes, not the same, but same difference.

    And that's it. No seriously.

    Well, rumor has it that Criterion will be releasing their version sometime next year of the 1968 classic. But no real news at this time. It's on my radar - would buy the DVD edition if it happens.

    This was not the entry I wanted to give for Halloween month, but I guess this will have to do. *shrugs*

    Here's a behind-the-scenes pix and quite appropriately - poor. Here's a question I don't know - is that Digital Copy given just as bad?
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 10-21-2017 at 05:57 AM.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - M

    It's been a long stretch of silence, but not for lack of trying. This two leveled car park's entrance was sealed off when multiple cars pulled out, racing towards the exit/entrance in rapid fury. That resulted in a climax of fused metal, crushed cars - one hell of a barricade, unintentional, true. But damn solid.

    You had found this place in a rather lazy day of wondering.

    High enough and requires effort to climb over walls, not so much trouble for you. You were quite careful to make sure there were no zeds inside to case you found yourself in a morbid Benny Hill skit. Those two were easy enough to put down from a distance.

    This was your immediate sanctuary; concrete, metal and burnt plastic.

    Did your time and now are ready to move on once more. But the way is blocked by what is similar to a 1980s arcade game - new and not something you want to find out.

    A single zed is your warden. A former guy who must have been dead serious about weight lifting, that's a lot of muscles for a zombie. His lower jaw and tongue are gone, throat gashed too. It's trying to moan out, but nothing is coming out, not even a gurgle.

    While quite true, the fellow can't bite you, but - look at those frackin' muscles! He can open you up, even if he can't chew, it will be...

    1) Very painful.

    2) Might break some bones.

    3) So very painful.

    4) Death.

    You look down at him in his bloody, tattered Camp Snoppy tee. WTF? Just add this to the ever growing list of things that don't make sense.

    Each time you try to jump off or move to another part of the wall, he is there - like deja vu, ready to catch you in a death embrace.

    Wait him out in hiding? Hope he goes elsewhere. You did that yesterday, come morning he was still there. Almost like staking you, eye of the tiger kind of thing.

    This is getting annoying. So now, you're gonna to jump off the wall with your metal pipe in hand; the force of the blow plus your gravity too. How hard can his skull be? Right?

    *long pause*

    Man, this guy is buffed.

    3 - 2 - 1!!!

    Holy crap, you just can't escape Turd City. Like some kind of chloroform, keeps in place.

    A real short entry.

    This is not an official release, but a fan edit of the classic, presented as a concept video.



    This popped on YouTube on April 20th, 2017 by Jeffool - "Ghosts Of The Living Dead".

    It takes the movie and condenses it into one hour, using select tracks from Nine Inch Nails' 2008 album, "Ghosts I-IV".

    Don't ask which ones, I don't know and I don't own this CD set (two discs; 36 tracks). That album isn't songs but Dark Ambient offerings.

    How's the image?

    You're not gonna be impressed, this is from a non-remastered, public domain print. This concept video removes all the dialog and sound effects. I didn't bother doing any image work on these. What's the point?

    Okay - in short, the video is watchable and in high def, 720p.

    I'd occasionally pestered a musician friend of mine to score a public domain film because I thought he could do something cool with it. I even looked up a few options for him. But he just wasn't into the options for the time it would take, so I thought I'd do it with some music that was legal to use.

    Fanedits are usually difficult to share due to copyright issues, but using a public domain film and Nine Inch Nails' Creative Commons release "Ghosts", as long as there's no charging for it, it's completely legal to distribute this. So I thought, it's October, why not throw up a link to my zombie film for anyone looking for "background viewing" material while they browse the web?
    - Jeffool (quote from October 20th, 2017, Reddit)

    Anyhow, it's something different to watch this Halloween.

    Go to YouTube, type in "Ghosts Of The Living Dead - A Night Of The Living Dead Fanedit Scored With Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts" in search. Or if you know how, "tVdh8a_Dk4s". It's still there (as of writing), checked.

    Just a reminder - a great fan edit is "Dawn Of The Dead: Extended Mall Hours", 139 minute version cut from all three editions of the 1978 feature.

    A Halloween favorite of mine, much richer with greater characterization and of course more gore. Also on YouTube and on bootleg DVD (DVD-R). Man I still need to find that.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    On October 25th, 2017; George A. Romero will get his star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Good. Too bad he isn't alive to have seen it. Romero is on the far right, above.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 10-26-2017 at 04:12 AM.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Reunification Part II

    Bereft in deathly bloom. Alone in a darkened room.
    - Bauhaus

    After a long silence on the matter, we are no longer on the precipice - it's on the horizon, coming at you.

    Back on October 22nd, 2015, I posted "part one" of Reunification.

    News of something amazing had been unearthed.

    George A. Romero revealed at Monster-Mania [32] convention that a 16mm work print was discovered. The result of a restoration project with fellow director Martin Scorsese on finding the best NOTLD negatives to remaster the classic.

    Hidden/lost in co-writer, John Russo's collection was the first cut. The news went viral among horror fans since nine or so minutes were cut out by the film's distributor Walter Reade Organization in 1968, favoring less talking and more action.

    Those deleted scenes were destroyed when the Monongahela River overflowed on March 7th, 1974. The flood hit downtown Pittsburgh. The location of the offices of The Latent Image; their basement became a giant bowl. The place where they stored all their archive. All of it lost to the muddy waters.

    For forty-seven years considered beyond reach until that convention announcement, amazing!

    It had been rumored for months that Criterion was going to give its touch the horror classic. This became fact last week when they announced that "Night" '68 was coming out early next year; release #909.

    Given was the cover art and early specs (more to come).

    Before he died, Romero worked on the 4K restoration (audio too); supervised by the himself, Russo, Gary R. Streiner (sound engineer) and producer/actor Russell W. Streiner.

    Available for both formats; DVD (three discs) and BD (two discs) for $39.95 each on February 13th, 2018. Sway cover Illustration by Sean Phillips.

    Criterion will have the work print version, back when this was titled "Night Of Anubis". Deleted scenes NOT incorporated back into the film.

    New bonus features, like interviews, featurettes and 16mm dailies reel are here. Plus a booklet essay by critic Stuart Klawans.

    Since this is still not set, I'm not going into the details of bonus features. But rather will focus on things NOT part of the collection.

    Do not get rid of your older "Night" DVDs, you will miss out.

    Not here...

    The eighty-four minute documentary "One For The Fire: The Legacy Of 'Night Of The Living Dead'" on the "40th Anniversary Edition" from Genius Products in 2008.

    Nor is the sixty-five documentary "Chronicles Of The Living Dead" on Nerd Block's September 2015 Horror Block box, DVD release of "Night".

    Also not here - stand alone documentaries.

    The 2014, seventy-six minute doc, "Birth Of The Living Dead" (Part I and Part II) from First Run Features or the 1993 (remastered for 2015) doc, "Reflections On The Living Dead" (Part I and Part II) from Tempe Entertainment; seventy-nine minutes long. Or "Autopsy Of The Dead" documentary (Part I and Part II) from Zero Day Releasing, one hundred forty-four minutes long.

    You will need to keep those for the full "Night" experience.

    This will be mine next February!

    There is something I haven't read anywhere (at least not yet) online - has "Night Of Anubis" been remastered too? Not something that is just barely watchable.

    And one other very important thing.

    Mentioned in Part II, the entry for "Birth Of The Living Dead" documentary.

    On June 16th, 1970 - "Night" was shown at New York's Museum Of Modern Art. After the screening, Romero gave a Q&A for the attendees. 9:39 minutes were saved of that evening in audio form - a bonus on that release.

    Things revealed in that tape; there were three endings filmed.

    1) What we know as theatrical.

    2) Ben and Barbara survive the night.

    3) Ben lives. The posse comes around, Ben walks out to Sheriff McClelland's men and says, 'It's been a rough night'.

    Which has got me thinking - which ending was used on "Night Of Anubis"???

    When Walter Reade had them trim down the feature; did they change the ending from an upbeat one to the edgy finale we have now?

    Personally I'm hoping it has Ben surviving the horde. Would be great since he's been killed over and over again for forty-nine years. This 'Night' he made it all the way through.

    I'm excited to see what I've been missing all this time. The stuff of cinema lore. Like the lost scene from "King Kong" (1933) when the surviving sailors from the log were attacked by the spider-crab beasties and others at the bottom of the ravine (production art above).

    Finger crossed. As expected, there will be a review here once I get my hands on it.

    One last thing before I close this entry.

    Still have yet to pick up the "Nights Of The Living Dead: An Anthology" book (2017; paperback), Romero's final published work. It's on my to do list. And will do a review here when that happens.

    My fault for being lazy.

    Found out something; that book on CD for "Nights Of The Living Dead" is actually an MP3 CD. And various authors here are doing the audio. But that list is very incomplete. Is that suggesting that different authors are reading different works (since this is unabridged) or are we talking the authors doing voices as in a cast production, radio theater? I'm hoping it's the latter.

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - N P1

    No story this outing; far too much to cover on a subject many have waited decades for. The destination isn't as we hoped, but like any good trip, the journey can be greater than the terminus. I wrote a three parter. *nods*

    "Night Of The Living Dead" Criterion (#909) streeted on February 13th, 2018 from... The Criterion Collection (DVD UPC# 7 15515 21021 8) for DVD (three discs) and Blu-Ray (two discs; UPC# 7 15515 21011 9) at $39.95 each. These came in transparent cases.

    This streeted against "The Ballad Of Lefty Brown", "Blade Of The Immortal", "Wonder" and "Animal Kingdom: The Complete Second Season".

    The DVD edition came without a slipcover. However the BD came with a non-embossed cardboard slip which mirrored the wraparound - sealed under the wrapping. It came with an insert, not a booklet, but a folded poster, new Illustration by Sean Phillips - undead Karen Cooper, the famous image. Phillips also did the wraparound; black and white art, both sides. The inside has the ghouls trying to get to you through the case as if it's a window. Rather neat. I moved my copy into a better transparent case, since I didn't want the discs to overlap. The other side of that poster is an essay by film critic, Stuart Klawans.

    The motion picture is ninety-six minutes long.

    - - -


    * Newly remastered 4K print
    * Commentary 1: director/co-writer George A. Romero, co-writer/actor/film editor John Russo, producer/actor/make-up/electronic sound effects/still photographer Karl Hardman and actress Marilyn Eastman
    * Commentary 2: producer/actor Russell Streiner, director of photography/actor/assistant camera Bill Hinzman, actress Judith O' Dea, actor Keith Wayne, actress Kyra Schon and production director/actor Vince Survinski
    * Introduction to "Night Of Anubus" by Streiner (anamorphic, 7:17 minutes [movie scenes in full screen])
    * Presentation of "Night Of Anubus", uncorrected 16mm work print - missing part two of the second reel. The audio was not stored with canisters, lost to time. Sound mixed in by synching the audio from the theatrical print when possible; parts are silent (full screen, 1:25:04 minutes; sixteen chapters)
    * Introduction to "Dailies" by sound engineer Gary Streiner (anamorphic, 3:40 minutes [movie scenes in full screen])
    * Presentation of "Dailies" uncorrected 16mm raw film footage and alternate takes (full screen, 18:03 minutes, no audio)
    * "TV Newsreel" b-roll 16mm shots for the local Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania news - saved onto VHS by actor/host Billy "Chilly Billy" Cardille; only known, behind-the-scenes footage; no audio - music added by Jeff Carney (full screen, 2:47 minutes)
    * Presentation in edited form - "Tomorrow"; the NBC interview TV show hosted by Tom Snyder. The episode is on horror filmmakers (aired July 3rd, 1979) with guest George A. Romero and Don Coscarelli. Romero was there to promote "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978) and Coscarelli for "Phantasm" (1979) (full screen, 18:18 minutes)
    * "High Learning" - footage from the Romero interview and Q&A at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) moderated by Colin Geddes (five chapters); November 2nd, 2012 (anamorphic, 45:28 minutes)
    * "Learning From Scratch: The Latent Image And Night Of The Living Dead" featurette; Russo reminiscences on The Latent Image company, making TV commercials, shooting 'Night" and learning as you go filmmaking (anamorphic, 11:57 minutes [movie scenes and commercials in full screen])
    * "Light In The Darkness: The Impact Of Night Of The Living Dead" interviews with filmmakers Frank Darabont, Gullermo del Toro and Robert Rodriguez on the cinematic influence of 'Night' (anamorphic, 23:40 minutes [movie scenes in full screen])
    * "Tones Of Terror: The Night Of The Living Dead Score" featurette by Criterion NOTLD producer, Jim Cirronella (co-producer of "Autopsy Of The Dead" and released the official CD soundtrack, "They Won't Stay Dead!: Music From The Soundtrack Of Night Of The Living Dead" [2010]) speaks on the topic of using prefabricated, library music for the movie; narration over film scenes (anamorphic and full screen, 11:14 minutes)
    * "Limitations Into Virtues: The Image Ten Style" featurette, filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos from Every Frame A Painting discuss Romero's film making and commercials; narration over footage (full screen, 11:56 minutes)
    * "Duane Jones" interview by Tim Ferrante with Jacqueline Ferrante (December 13th, 1987); this is a longer version than what appears as "Duane Jones' Last Interview" on the Elite Entertainment's "25th Anniversary Collector's Edition" laser disc set (1994) and "Millennium Edition" DVD (2002). Or the 2008 Genius Products's "40th Anniversary Edition" with different photos and footage presented (anamorphic, 21:55 minutes)
    * "Judith Ridley Interview" from Elite Entertainment's LD set and later DVD (full screen, 10:41 minutes)
    * "Walking Like The Dead" featurette which is excerpts from the 2009 documentary "Autopsy Of The Dead", interviews mixed in with different photos and footage presented (full screen, 13:05 minutes)
    * "Venus Probe" 1967 newsreel on the Mariner 5 planetary probe which became the basis for a possible source of the dead coming back to life (full screen, 0:32 minute)
    * Theatrical Trailer
    * Criterion 'Night Of The Living Dead' promo trailer
    * TV Spots
    * Radio Spots (1968 and mid 1970s re-release)

    - - -


    * Digital 2.0 (remastered mono)

    - - -


    There are subtitles in English.

    The DVD is not dubbed in any language(s).

    It is presented in full screen.

    Pre-ordered this on January 4th from Amazon for $18.31. It arrived on street. I wanted to take my time, digest as it were and for the write-up, knowing it would be lengthy. Plus screen snaps which is why this is broken up into two parts. That photo above was taken at the premiere on October 1st, 1968 at the Fulton Theater in Pittsburgh, PA.

    Lets get this out of the way. There is no missing scene between Helen and Harry in the basement - the infamous jump cut. Perhaps forever gone. There is no alternate endings spoken about by Romero on June 16th, 1970 when 'Night' had a screening and later Q&A at New York's Museum Of Modern Art.

    Ben still dies.

    There is however one quick scene - moment that has been recovered. But... I'll get into that in a few.

    I'm sure, many like myself had hoped that we would finally get those missing scenes - that have almost taken legendary status. A hope that even Gary Streiner shares on his Introduction to "Dailies".

    Anything is possible, someone, somewhere might have them, saved in a forgotten corner of their attic, basement or at a storage site. But right now, it's looking mighty slim that we will ever find those cut pieces - wishful thinking.

    On the positive, the movie has never looked as good as it looks now. They did a fantastic job, remastered in 4K on Cineric's wet-gate scanner; mostly from 35mm negative. The transfer was supervised by director Romero, co-screenwriter John A. Russo and sound engineer Gary R. Rtreiner as well as producer Russell W. Streiner.

    This restoration was done from eighteen separate source elements. Soundtrack remastering was supervised by Romero and Gary from original quarter-inch mix masters.

    The extras are mostly new, though - two of them have been re-imagined for Criterion. Before we get into the 'meat' of this entry let me get this out of the way, not going to repeat since I already wrote it.

    This special edition, has good stuff, but is far from complete. To get the full 'Night' experience you need to get a few additional titles - which you can read about in "NOTLD Reunification - P2".

    There is no gallery present, the goods stuff is still exclusive to the 1994 laser disc set. But there are many photos used to illustrate points in the various interviews and featurettes here. Some which are in color. Such as the above.

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - N P2

    Lets begin with a quote...

    Cannibalism is a taboo that is ingrained in us to reject because in order for the human mammal to evolve into society; I think, this is my own theory. That the myth of werewolves and vampirism and certainly in the case of George. It comes from us rejecting our cannibalistic ape past and saying we're can live together without eating each other. He did have actors chewing on raw organs, they bought at the butcher shop. And to see that image is horror at its most profound - can tap into the deepest taboos and shake you to the core. And nobody had shown viscera in movies, so you have George showing something absolutely unseen. It was a frontal punch in the face, brutal attack at good conscience and morality.
    - Gullermo del Toro

    As you may have guessed those pair of commentaries are from the Elite Entertainment 1994 LD set. Yes, they have been repeated in various 'Night' releases with good reason, it's damn good.

    Too bad Criterion didn't include the other cast reunion - that was the Joe Bob Briggs' "Drive-In Theater" program, where he screened the remake of 'Night' (1990) with cast members from the 1968 film; aired December 19th, 1992. Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne were present along with Tom Savini.

    You see, this might have been Wayne's final on camera interview. He's no longer with us, a suicide.

    You can read a bit more on the reunion here with screen cap.

    - - -

    This has something I have not seen before. Or maybe, I did, but as a young boy and have forgotten, maybe. I would've have had to been up real late to seen it. And as the TV was in the living room (I was in elementary at the time), it would've been hard for me to watch, since my parents bedroom was next to the living room. So long ago, can't recall.

    The set includes a vintage interview with Romero along with director Don Coscarelli (looking like the Wolfman in a leisure suit) on "Tomorrow" show, hosted by Tom Snyder. This aired after "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson" on NBC, 1AM on week nights, an hour program (1973 - 1982).

    "Tomorrow" was canceled for "Late Night With David Letterman" if curious.

    Sadly none of their film clips are presented in the program (edited out), nor are period commercials here. That would've been so very sway. The thing was shot on video and as you can see above - has aged, but still very watchable.

    In it Romero and Coscarelli talk about tapping into primal fears; state of horror in 1979 - how audiences need more (shock/gore) to be captivated and if there will come a day when the zombie films becomes passť. It was most interesting.

    Would've been made better had the movie clips talked about were actually kept in. Plus seeing old TV commercials would be fun and foreign to folks who wasn't alive at the time. No - I'm guessing that was done for licensing issues. Too bad. And yeah, so 1970s the fashion.

    Beyond technique - I mean, it's also something, I think - there's a great deal of humor in "Phantasm". That is so necessary today, because to take yourself seriously when you're making a horror film; unless you're making a pure horror exercise, like Carpenter's "Halloween" [19??] - which says okay, lets go all the way back to basics and you are going to be scared for these reasons. We are going to give you - the ultimate evil person. And he sets it up and that's straight horror. But how can we really be scared about ghosts and things like that when SkyLab is going to hit us. We have a lot of other problems. So I think, it's very hard for today's audiences to get intellectually into the horror experiences the way we used to when we were watching early science fiction or watching the Frankenstein movies and we could really be scared.
    - Romero on "Tomorrow"

    - - -

    There are two extras here which were repurposed with added photos and clips not used the first time around. Trying to masquerade them as new.

    As written above, the featurette "Walking Like The Dead" is excerpts from "Autopsy Of The Dead", the 2009 documentary. Interesting, but you're only getting a tiny sample of the one hundred forty-four minutes long program. You can read that review here; "Part I" and "Part II". Solid extras too.

    The second was also from the Elite Entertainment laser disc set, but with a twist - it's expanded by five minutes - "Duane Jones" interview. The original (audio only) is nearly three hours long. I'm guessing, what is presented is the discussion involving 'Night'. Jones died seven months later.

    Should be noted that Criterion does give credit that "Walking Like The Dead" is part of a larger documentary and that "Duane Jones" was from the laser disc edition.

    - - -

    It was nice that they included the Romero interview from Toronto International Film Festival, "High Learning". Romero was happy to be there as with "Tomorrow" they talk about the current state of horror movies. Good stuff.

    - - -

    Both the "Judith Ridley Interview" and "Venus Probe" are self-explanatory. Nice touches for those who haven't seen them before.

    - - -

    The new stuff...

    "Learning From Scratch: The Latent Image And Night Of The Living Dead" featurette feel almost bittersweet. How Russo and conspirators all participated in making the movie, many had more than one role; hands on approach to filmmaking. Plus a history of The Latent Image with commercials made.

    "Light In The Darkness: The Impact Of Night Of The Living Dead" was fascinating. All three directors has stuff to say, not fluff...

    It almost feels like real time, like we're experiencing the movie with those characters as it's happening to them. And as they are learning what's going on. The stuff on television, even that winds up being nerve racking because some of the stuff they're saying cruises the tone of the movie.
    - Frank Darabont

    That was something that hadn't occurred to me. He's right. The shots inside the house have no time reference, might as well be in real time.

    Simple and historical like watching PBS; "Tones Of Terror: The Night Of The Living Dead Score" featurette, a mini doc on where and how the now iconic music came to be used on the movie. Yeah.

    The last new addition is - how can I be nice? It stays a notch below pretentiousness, "Limitations Into Virtues: The Image Ten Style" featurette. It tired to dissect the movie and their early TV commercials. It is just as you imagine it would be. Something I would only watch once.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    PART I: THE 1968 CLASSIC - N P3

    Before I get into the part you really want to know. I want to share something.

    As I've written before - I've seen this movie countless times. It brings me a huge smile to notice something I hadn't. And I had one of those moments watching the remastered film.

    After the gang from the cellar become known to Ben (Jones) and Barbara (O'Dea); there's an introduction, Helen (Marilyn) greets a semi-catatonic Barbara.

    She wants to sit down, there is room on the couch, but thinks twice about invading the young woman's space, sitting down in on a nearby chair. There was more than enough room for her on that couch as you can see above.

    An act of kindness that I missed all these decades.

    - - -

    The work print, here we go.

    After watching with it with the movie to see what differences there are (I took notes). I can't see a reason for it to be here. I'm being honest. What was the point?

    Minus one quick shot - it is the same as the movie with less footage since some of the reels are missing.

    Eighty-five minutes long; terrible to look at, not remastered. Too dark, too washed out and full of scratches as well as hard splices - from glue or transparent tape (to stitch scenes). Add to that, grease marks for transition shots towards the end.

    I guess this can be a minor positive. Even in the remastered film; the farm house Barbara enters is dark and rightfully so, the lights are off. With the brightness all askew, you can see the rooms better as she wanders through the interior.

    And I use 'better' not in a good way.

    As written earlier, there is no audio in the work print. Sound was added from the finished movie, not all of it are in synch and there are places where there is no sound effects and others where there is silence.

    The reconstruction is watchable/hearable.

    The first missing part is no introduction to Harry (Karl) and Tom (Wayne), it jumps to Harry playing with the radio dial. The scene before is a hysterical Barbara demanding she and Ben go out to find Johnny (Streiner); "Please. Don't you hear me? We've got to go out and get him".

    The second is towards the end with Sheriff McClelland (George Kosana) talking not to the news - as in 'on camera' with WIIC TV 11 news reporter, Bill Cardille (himself). The conversation about coffee and heading towards Willard is missing. It's the sheriff walking up to a sitting Vince (Survinski) to both men with the posse, hunting ghouls.

    The shot.

    The cast commentary from the laser disc had a comment about a lost scene.

    George: And I remember the biggest, my biggest problem I had with it was that BIGGEST widest shot we had of the zombies out in the field got cut out. And instead of being, instead were putting it in somewhere else it just got cut out.
    Marilyn: Lost.
    George: And that's the shot I wished we had back. I can remember it being a great looking shot - was a big wide shot. We had, stood some mannequins up, out - way in the distance. And we had...
    Marilyn: I remember.
    George: It was our biggest zombie shot.
    Karl: A great horror disservice.

    Unless I'm mistaken, this is that - a day for night shot.

    The work print is too messed up to tell if there were mannequins in the distance. But it is a wide shot with ghouls in the field, that's not in the finished movie. And it lasts seconds.

    In the theatrical film, Ben fights Harry for locking him out of the place after the 'getting gas' plan goes wrong. Both men are tired and trying to keep away from each other. It's almost 3AM, the next news report will come on. Harry is shaken and looking out the boarded windows.

    Harry exclaims, "Good Lord!" and we see the ghouls eating the remains of Tom and Judy (Ridley) from the singed pickup truck.

    Here... Harry witnesses a horde of undead approaching their location.

    That's it.

    And that shot could've been taken out and presented separately; even have a short featurette on it. There is no good reason to have the work print here. Call it for what it is - one giant [email protected]

    - - -

    The rest.

    The dailies are just as named. This include various alternate takes of undead Karen (Kyra Schon) getting up from being tossed on the couch - some mundane, others sinister.

    The "TV Newsreel" were cool, wish they were longer. The quality is watchable. Better than the work print by a mile.

    The theatrical trailer has has some remastering, but still not great looking - too dark.

    By the way, the remastered film has twenty-three chapters; twenty-four is color bars. The work print has sixteen chapters - no subtitles.

    Above is a much superior pix of what was shown in the very first entry of this retrospective - that was scanned from a trading card. This has details and correct color. The cast and some of the crew.

    There you go folks. Hope you enjoyed this review/listing. Some of the other online reviews left me wanting. Just skip or glaze over details that only 'Night' fans would be interested in.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    Humor me.

    So I got curious about "Tomorrow". I would like to see more; could that episode in complete form be on YouTube? The answer is no. Damn it.

    But in my researching on the former talk show, I came across a gem. The train wreck episode...

    On October 31st, 1979 Snyder had the band KISS as guests. Ace Frehley came to the studio drunk or high - could've been both. Snyder is lovin' it; stream of conscience kind of thing. The band trying to hold/contain Frehley and failing. The capper being Gene Simmons, he did not want to be there and it shows, he's angry.

    Can it be better? Yes it can, the band was in full KISS make-up and costumes (just for the interview). A magical Halloween episode for adults.

    Go to YouTube, type in "KISS FULL Tom Snyder Interview Halloween 1979" in search. Or if you know how, "wOx5ybmVWRs". It's still there (as of writing), I checked. Uploaded on September 30th, 2017 by I Am A KISS Fan. Do it - believe me it's a blast; 31:35 minutes long. The quality is watchable.

    That's about it folks.

    When is the next entry? Good question. I mean it, good question. I still have additional stuff to cover, but I need to buy them first. The best I can give is - soon.

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Can't stop him - even in death.

    The late George A. Romero has one more film coming later this year.

    This slipped passed me until earlier tonight. Too good to be true - so I did some looking.

    Not fiction.

    And it's not a reboot or sequel to the reboot films (which I kinda want for "Diary Of The Dead" [2008]; additional RV adventures).

    A sequel to the last franchise feature.

    "Road Of The Dead" was written by Romero and Matt Birman. At the time, he knew he was getting up there, age wise and opted not to direct; giving the big chair to Birman.

    Should be noted that he was second unit director on "Land Of The Dead" (2005), "Diary Of The Dead" and "Survival Of The Dead" (2009).

    This is good choice. Gets better...

    Special make-up master Greg Nicotero has signed on. Still from behind-the-scenes on "Land".

    The movie will be co-produced by Birman and Matt Manjourides with Justin Martell.

    In the darkest days of the zombie apocalypse, the last safe place on earth is anything but, as a mad despot uses the spectacle of high octane carnage to keep control of his populous.
    - official synopsis

    "Road" takes place six years after the events in "Land".

    Thinks Roman coliseum with cars and ghouls; taking inspirations from "Ben-Hur" (1959). Like with "Survival" it is set on an island, not in Pennsylvania or Florida.

    As I understand no actors have been named.

    I am wonder if Simon Baker appears here - reprising Riley Denbo from "Land" since we last saw him taking Dead Reckoning; also actor Robert Joy as Charlie. Would also be great to have Asia Argento reprising Slack.

    This is now on my radar. I'll keep you posted.

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