May 15, 2008
"Night of the Living Dead" hits DVD again in "authorized" version next week from Dimension Films. The print of the film is basically about as good as "Millenium Edition" from a few years back. But what's really interesting are the new special features.
It features an audio interview with actor Duane Jones -- the last one conducted with him before his death in the late 1980s. You get the original script on a DVD-Rom, a Q&A with George Romero, but best yet, a new feature-length documentary: "One for the Fire."
More than an hour long, it's quite compelling. It opens with Judith O'Dea visiting the same graveyard that opens the film and revisits many of the original shooting locations, including the basement -- which was actually the basement of the downtown office of the production house.
Best yet are the stories: From the flood that destroyed the original print "Night of the Flesh Eaters" (and led to a loss of a copyright notice on the film, ultimately ending up with Night's public domain status) to how Duane Jones became the first black leading man in a horror film -- and first African American actor in a non-ethnic leading role. We also hear how Columbia was interested in the movie -- but wanted them to change the ending! The makers thankfully turned them down.
In short, even if you own "Night of the Living Dead," this version is worth getting. It goes without saying that the remastered print of the film is a huge step up from the public domain copies that exist everywhere.
In short, Lucius says be sure to check it out.
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