If I haven't said this before I'll say it again, I'm a huge fan of George A. Romero's Night Of The Living Dead and his sequels he's done for the past forty years. Thanks to him, we truly know the horrific world of Zombies and the Undead with great detail and know what a frightning place it can be trapped within, be it an old farmhouse, a suburban mall, underground bunker, or anyplace that leaves you open for an attack by the flesheaters of the living. Of course once you create such a popular character in Horror you get copycat rip-off's trying to cash-in on your original creation. Strangely though, most of these types of films have had some varied degrees of success, most notably the Italian Zombi filmakers of the 1980's. Unfortunately though, the one that started it all, 1968's NOTLD, due to a copyright snafu never got that precious right and soon it came clear to all that anyone could either release it, own it, and/or make any version with that plot and title any way they choose.
But first, a little history: back in 1998 Anchor Bay and John A. Russo (one of the men to help create the '68 original with Romero) decided to release a 30th Anniversary version of the classic, but instead of just re-releasing the same old print like every other DVD company, shot and added new footage in with the old, creating a new subplot that not only hurts the original film, but betrays the social commentary that was laid down in the first place. A true misstep and the fans were not pleased.
However when it came to complete remakes, at least someone got it right even before this. In 1990, with Romero's personal guidance and FX genius Tom Savini at the helm, they made a Night Of The Living Dead that stayed close to the original script giving those 90's audiences an update that not only they could be proud of, but better in some aspects of gore and production values. So after one well-done remake & one learning mistake in what not to do to a classic, could it ever be re-done again?
Apparently not. In 2006, with director Jeff "Corman Wanna-Be" Broadstreet in the chair, they decided to give it a go again, of course without any needed consent by Romero, but this time with a twist: Let's try to make it in 3D! 3D? Really? Sounds like a curious idea, but it truly falls flat here.
To be blunt NOTLD3D is a travesty. Shot on a non-existent budget, this has to be the worse "reimagining" of a movie since 2001's Planet Of The Apes. Sure, most of your favorite characters are here, but this time mixed around and played by actors who are so stiff, it's hard to tell them from the actual zombies. And the story is so slow and boring that it seems like a 3am viewing of something you'd expect to see on Sci-Fi Channel. Also, while the gore factor on the '68 original was minimal at best, 36 years later you still don't see much, if anything at all, but not for MPAA reasons but financial ones, and in fact halfway through it I wondered why was this rated "R' in the first place. It's new plot-twists were lame, the sets boring, and the cameo by newly crowned Horror icon Sid Haig (who in my opinion isn't that big of a deal in the first place) is completely unnecessary that only helps in establishing that this was the ultimate in movie cash-ins.
So it's main appeal has to be it's 3D, right? Wrong. Instead of using 3D's latest technology Stereoscopic (that's with the "shades of gray"), they went with the outdated Anaglyphic type (red/blue) which in turn turns the entire movie into a purplish-hue mess. And don't expect anything to "jump" out at you. When it does work, and it's rare, it only gives backgrounds depth, meaning it makes your image look deeper, not closer. Also it should be noted, outside of the behind-the-scenes features, this whole disc is in 3D, meaning that without the glasses, it's unwatchable. There is NO 2D version on the disc included like it should have been (that version is released separately), so once those glasses go it's the ultimate coaster.
So to sum up, bad movie, bad 3D, bad idea. It was already remade well back in 1990, and eight years later was already given a gimmick that didn't work either. Even as a movie alone, a rip-off flix like Day Of The Dead 2:Contagium is a better film. Hard to suggest even if you're a completist like myself, NOTLD3D is one dead movie that should have stayed buried.