Night of the Living Dead: 30th Anniversary (1998) Review + Film
AKA: Cash Grab ‘98
Watch Here: https://www.bitchute.com/video/kuRlcCXRLXA9/
I can hear it now: “WTF You haven’t put out a review in weeks, and when you do, it’s a rehash of your very first movie critique?”
For real though things have been busy, and this was a request so until we’re able to catch back up, enjoy this tidbit.
NOLD30 is essentially an effort by John Russo and pals to get more money out of the original film.
In retrospect, I don’t blame them, I mean they really fucked up in the initial release back in 68.
Essentially the film was public domain from the moment it hit theaters.
This was due to a copyright foul up with the print of the film. Nevertheless 1990 remake was made so that only exclusive parties could profit from that version of the film (which is far superior).
However, John Russo wasn’t satisfied with this arrangement, and felt that it would behoove him to not only release a somewhat remastered version the 68 version, but also add some scenes and additional subplots.
One interesting side note that I remember reading about back in the day (on the real internet you bitch) was this version was also meant to be the springboard for additional sequels.
The subplot with the preacher (just fucking watch it) was to somehow carry over into these sequels that would act not only as a new continuity but a type of Night of the Living Dead Universe exclusively for Russo and his production company.
If you’re sitting, there and already screaming “But Return of the Living Dead!!!!” You ain’t alone. Over the years there has been rumors of bad blood between George Romero and John Russo.
I don’t fucking know, but many were under the impression that this was another dig at Romero, as Russo had always claimed that his vision for zombie-esque stories were not only superior but always vastly different from what Romero would end up producing. So maybe this was motivation as well?
I will say the soundtrack for this remake produced by Scott Vladimir Licina who is also Reverend Hicks in this film, is quite good. I prefer it to the standard opening I’ve been hearing my entire life, and it’s somewhat soothing.
That and the additional scenes, while somewhat shitty, produce real gems of comedy with the Reverend and some cool zombie aesthetics added in.
As a whole I don’t care about the subplot with the child molester zombie aka the first zombie you see in NOLD tacked on. They brought back William Hinzman the OG actor, slapped some makeup on him and made it look awful.
I DO appreciate sticking with the idea of “This is a guy fans love, let’s use him" but I think it would have been better served if they had filmed him at different angles and from a distance, maybe had someone else attempt the makeup job. I don’t know.
UPDATE Looks like Bill Hinzman was the DP on this film so I guess he said fuck it
MRHELLBOX – Back in the day I shit all over this release, I’ve softened and warmed up to it a bit more over the years. It’s not bad, it’s funny and you still get the complete NOLD 68 experience. I think I’ll do additional research to see if they ever successfully created a direct sequel for this continuity. The Living Dead franchise is all over the map for sure! 😂 - 3/5
DRUNKEN MASTER – Ben straight up stole that truck hell he's always admitted it, he’s still “The Boss Up Here” though. When Mad Max Road Warrior happens, you want a cat like Ben in the squad - 3/5
PRINCE PECTORAL – You know Reverend Hicks must have been on the all egg diet, it’s the only reason he survived. Mad props my holy compadre for having discipline physically and spiritually - 3/5
All images were clipped by me from https://archive.org/details/night-of-the-living-dead-extended-version