Someone once told me that a remake of a movie can’t be better than the original because the remake wouldn’t exist if the original wasn’t out there first. I don’t know if I agree with this but I appreciate that someone said that to me and I appreciate free and independent thought but, to me, I don’t follow that Theory. That would be like me saying “This 2015 model Dodge Challenger isn’t better than this 1913 Model T Ford because the Ford came first.” I mean – HELLO!!! POWER STEERING!!!! But in the person’s defense, the person has probably never driven a car (or truck) that doesn’t have power steering. Kids today!! But anyway. So here we are today prepping to talk about Night of the Living Dead and the 1990 remake and I’ve gotten that off of my chest. You know what else I’ve gotten off of my chest?? My shirt!! Don’t collapse in genuflecting lust, Most Beloveds.
So, I recently watched both of these back to back for no particular reason other than to put this post together but whether or not we want to go the bar and fire up some cigars and snifters full of brandy and debate this topic, I liked the 1990 version a TON better then the old one. I don’t have anything against a black and white movie but this one was so grainy and dark it reminded me of an old, poorly made Patrick Troughton episode of Doctor Who. Also – alleged to be a shot for shot remake on the Netflix sleeve, it really ISN’T. There’s a ton of improvements, to me, made in the remake even if it is lacking this shot:
But, to me, the one thing that stands out in this is that the lead, Barbra – or, mercifully changed to Barbara in the 90s version – isn’t a simpering ninny who just sits on the couch and cries most of the time.
In the 90 model she goes from a scared, screaming lead to kind of a bad ass and – SPOILERS – doesn’t get killed. I liked how she manages to escape and her encounter with the living dead carrying the baby doll is pretty fucking classic. I also liked the fact that this was color and you could see the gore, the zombie effects were really well done and the fact that the guy with the untied bow-tie below called everyone “YOYOs” and “LAMEBRAINS!!!“ I realize that you could look at the IMDB page for the 90s film and see that it’s directedby Tom “Sex Machine” Savini but who cares about that? He made a good movie with wonderful special effects (he was also handpicked by Romero himself to direct it). I also really liked how they changed up the ending slightly. I realize and understand that the original is considered a classic and inspired 1000s of spin-offs (so to speak) but I am a firm believer that things can be improved on and made better.
Also – here’s a portrait of Barbara I made with my own two hands, a mouse and an app called Pixelmator. Let me know if you want a signed copy.
Plus – in this one, someone puts on socks, which is very important to me.
Well, there you go. Next up I am going to do the two Dawn of the Deads and see how many people I’ll piss off with that one.