Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated

Synopsis: Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated is a collaborative artistic mash-up of George Romero’s cult classic. Nearly 150 International artists and animators chose their favorite scenes and re-envisioned them through their own artwork, with no restrictions on style, media or process – resulting in an eclectic ‘art show’ interpretation of the seminal 1968 film, all placed over the original’s audio. With work ranging from oil paintings to comic illustrations and sock puppets to CGI and stop-motion – NOTLD:R not only pays the respect due to this most important work in horror history, but encourages viewers to experience the film in a brand new light that bursts with the humor and horror of a new generation of artists.

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Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated 1.0

‘Night of the Living Dead’ is an iconic film that I actually only saw incidentally. A friend was coming over to my place one evening and he happened to stop by a video store along the way and bought a crappy copy of the film. He seemed keen on watching and I didn’t really mind, so we did. Unexpectedly, I was utterly riveted and was immediately converted into a fan of the film and, eventually, George Romero’s other films. love struck

But, before then, I had always dismissed it as a crappy black and white horror film and had no intention of seeing it; it was very much off my radar. It was such a nice surprise that I will always remember that night. In fact, I think that my tolerance for bad horror films exists in large part because of this experience; I’m constantly hoping to find that other hidden gem that will move me like this one did. laughing

So it’s amazing to me that an animated version of the film could provoke such feelings of disdain – you’d think that anything related to ‘NOTLD’ would be fascinating to me (after all, I have three versions of the film on DVD, plus three remakes, plus pretty much all the Romero films). However, this animated rendition of ‘NOTLD’ made me suffer like I haven’t suffered in a long time. angry

And I’m a HUGE fan of animation to top it all off! I will watch almost any animation, even kiddie stuff because I like the artistry behind it.

However, the animation here was mostly uninspired and extremely poorly-designed. I ended up laughing at a lot of it; I just couldn’t help myself. On top of that, some of the “animation” wasn’t even animation – it was a series of still frames. And the worst thing is that the artwork on most of those stills was amateurish at best; some of it looked like grade 3 drawings. sad

There were some original bits along the way, though. For instance, I quite liked the sock puppets at the beginning of the film – even though they looked nothing like the original characters and the scene looked silly. And there was a decent CGI recreation of the Hinzman zombie. There was even some neat animation that reminded me of old school Saturday morning cartoons. But, on the flipside, then there was crummy animation that made South Park look like Pixar. shock

In actuality, the key issue is in the montage. Some segments were so poorly edited together that we had no idea what was going on – and yet my buddy and I have seen the original countless times (I, for one, have seen it maybe 15-20 times). So, if someone watches this without having seen the Romero version first, these sequences would have made no sense whatsoever. Sigh… we just sat there watching blobs morph into other blobs, wondering WTF (yes… blobs confused).

Even the audio track that they used was so lacklustre that it often became unclear; sometimes I couldn’t figure out what was being said. I filled in a lot of it because I’m so familiar with the dialogue, but there were times when I simply couldn’t. And there were even crackles and pops strewn about the film that I haven’t heard in the many versions I have on DVD. I don’t know where they dug up this print, but it even had missing bits of dialogue – just a few seconds here and there, but… c’mon! confused

I had high hopes for this one, but ‘NOTLD: Reanimated’ was so dreadfully tedious that, had I been alone, I would have watched it in 3 or 4 blocks just to get through it. I’d say that, out of this 90 mins film (it’s actually a little longer due to the hosted intro and outro segments), there was maybe 5-10 mins of truly enjoyable animation. There some interesting bits along the way, certainly, but the end result made me feel like I was withering away. crying

I advise serious caution before approaching this one!!! shock


Nota bene: as a point of reference, I’d give the original film an 8.5 – despite its numerous flaws. I think that there is so much meat in it that it makes up for the many weak spots. But, ‘NOTLD: Reanimated’ filled me with loathing. In all their ineptitude, I would watch ‘The Room’ or ‘Troll 2’ ANY time before watching this again; at least they are so bad that they’re good – not so bad that they’re wholly irredeemable.

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