Night of the Living Dead (1968) Restored | Zombie Education Alliance

Night of the Living Dead (1968) Restored Review

George A. Romero’s classic zombie thriller gets a much needed restoration and theatrical re-release

The Days when Zombies were Smart and Humans were Brain Dead

Night of the Living Dead (1968) Restored review
(USA, 2017)
by TS Alan

Night of the Living Dead (1968) Restored | Zombie Education Alliance

S. William Hinzman as the lead zombie.

It had been a while since I had seen Goerge A. Romero’s 1968 seminal film Night of the Living Dead. So when the Film Forum in New York City presented a theatrical run of the new 4K restoration from the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Foundation, there was no way I was going to miss an opportunity to see it.

George Romero stated, “This is closer than anything we’ve seen to the definitive version of the film.” And his statement rings true. The film has been scrubbed of all blemishes but the grain of the original film still remains. With retaining the film grain the high contrast imagery resonants even more with gritty esthetic beauty. However the imagery is not the only thing that got a makeover. The soundtrack also received an upgrade, and now Barbara’s screams of terror are more chilling than ever.

Night of the Living Dead (1968) Restored | Zombie Education Alliance

Duane Jones as Ben, explaining the situation to a nearly catatonic Barbara (Judith O’Dea).

There was one thing I had forgotten with Romero’s first zombie film, and that this was different from the ones that would follow. The zombies in Night of the Living Dead were for the most part not brain dead, even though they are the reanimated deceased. The zombies in this film are quite smart, when it comes to getting at the living. They break out vehicle headlights with rocks, they remember how to open doors, and they use makeshift clubs to batter down doors and break windows.

As for the living holed up in the farmhouse, well most of them are not too smart nor are they likable. There are definitely characters that are irritating, and you’ll wish they would meet a horrid end. And in the end, the characters don’t have the guile or the sensibility to survive and do meet tragic ends; some worse gristly than others. [SPOILER] Even the more likable Ben, who’s the smartest of the group meets a tragic end after being the last survivor of the group.

Night of the Living Dead (1968) Restored | Zombie Education Alliance

Right before Karen takes a trowel and repeatedly plunges it into her mother’s chest. One of the more icon scenes from the film.

There are many memorable moments in The Night of the Living Dead, some more iconic than others. Probably the most icon and most frightening comes when little Karen Cooper, brilliantly played by Kyra Schon, turns zombie and attacks her mother. Karen has just snacked on her father’s corpse, but has the opportunity to dine on fresh flesh — her mother! The bewildered Mrs. Cooper is so in shock from her little girl turning flesh eater that she is incapable of fighting her daughter off. Karen picks up a cement trowel and repeatedly (19 blows) impales her mother in the chest with it in a gristly and unforgettable scene.

Night of the Living Dead (1968) Restored | Zombie Education Alliance

Kyra Schon portrayed the trowel-wielding zombie kid Karen Cooper whose seen her snacking on her father Harry (Karl Hardman).

If you have a chance to see the restored version of Night of the Living Dead (1968) at a theater, I highly recommend you do. If you prefer watching at home you’ll have to wait awhile. Rumor has it that Criterion will be release it on blu-ray sometime next year.

Night of the Living Dead (1968) Restored
Director: George A. Romero
Writers:John A. Russo & George A. Romero
Cast: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne, Judith Ridley, Kyra Schon, Charles Craig, S. William Hinzman, George Kosana
Run Time: 96 minutes
Release Date: October 13, 2017

George A. Romero's classic zombie thriller gets a much needed restoration and theatrical re-release The Days when Zombies were Smart and Humans were Brain Dead Night of the Living Dead (1968) Restored review (USA, 2017) by TS Alan It had been a while since I had seen Goerge A. Romero's 1968 seminal film Night of the Living Dead. So when the Film Forum in New York City presented a theatrical run of the new 4K restoration from the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Foundation, there was no…

Review Overview

5 out of 5

A

Summary : The classic zombie horror film has never looked and sounded better. Worth a trip to your nearest indie film theater to see.

About TS Alan

TS was the former managing editor of Zombie Training before co-founding ZEA with former associate editor Mike Garman. TS was born outside Buffalo, NY. After attending high school he entered into a two-year community college to study Communications and Media Arts. There he became involved in the college’s radio station as a radio personality, under the pseudonym of J.D. Hollywood. After a year with WNCB radio he also became the station’s Promotions Director. J.D. Hollywood was also one of two names he used as a music reporter and Associate Editor for Buffalo Backstage, a local music magazine. After moving to Manhattan and experiencing the Northeast blackout of 2003, he became interested in prepping and urban survival, learning much of his experience through self education and observation of tragic events like 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. TS Alan currently resides in the East Village of New York City and is a published author of the zombie novel The Romero Strain.