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British Remake, Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection, Scores US Distribution

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When this email hit my inbox, I had to strain to recall precisely which new Night of the Living Dead it was about. Turns out that we’re talking about the UK-based remake of George Romero’s watershed gutmuncher here, and now it’s secured a pretty solid distribution deal here in the States.

According to Night of the Living Dead: Resurrected‘s official press release, Grindstone Entertainment Group has acquired North American distribution rights and will release the film through Lionsgate Home Entertainment. There’s no word on a release date yet, but look for more on this one soon, I’m sure.

“Based on the 1968 zombie classic, the story focuses on four generations of a British family trapped in a farmhouse in Wales during a zombie apocalypse.”

What’s the feedback on this one, folks? A worthy re-interpretation of the original? A pointless cash-in? Something else? Whatever the case may be, one thing’s certain: It’s already better than the 3D remake from a few years back.

NOTLD: Resurrected

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Matt Serafini

Author (Under the Blade, Feral), slasher movie enthusiast, N7 Operative. Plays games, watches movies, reads books. Occasionally writes about them.

  • James Coker

    um? fuck you guys the 1990 Remake of the Night of the Living Dead was good, not on par with the original but still a good Remake

    • Terminal

      It’s okay as a horror movie, but all the gore, subtext, and commentary are gone.

    • Cinemascribe

      @James Coker:

      It was..to a point. I enjoyed the Savini helmed remake quite a bit initially. I enjoyed the new vision for Barbara, Bill Moseley’s cameo was a nice touch, the F/X were respectably creepy and that rock-based score hammering away over the end credits was awesome.

      Two things have somewhat diluted my appreciation for the film over the years (though I still consider it far and way the best of the Night remakes- and keep in mind this merely my own perspective, not cardinal law or anything) :

      1) Ben’s fate. No brazen spoilers out of courtesy for that one guy who hasn’t seen it yet, but the revision there didn’t serve the story well in my humble opinion. The culmination of Ben’s storyline in the original was about more than just generating a shock..there was a bittersweet irony at play ,especially in regards to the tense racial relations going on in our country at that time. I feel by switching tactics in that sequence, the new version lost much of that impact.

      2) (And this is actually the element which has most affected my opinion the most after multiple viewings)..the character of Harry Cooper. The new version of Cooper just doesn’t work. It may be the fault of the actor who filled the role, the screenplay for the remake or a combo of both, but this newer version of Cooper didn’t seem to understand what made the character so effective -and important – in Romero’s classic.In the original , there’s no doubt that Cooper demonstrates his ability to be equal parts self serving, arrogant bastard and craven coward. No argument there. But – and this is where I think the 1990 film really misses the mark- the point was to give us a recognizable cinematic embodiment of how the worst aspects of human nature can emerge under duress. The original Cooper , despite all of his poor qualities, is driven-CLEARLY- not by hate, but by fear, anger and the deadly birth child of of their coupling: desperation. Anger over not being able to control the situation rapidly spiraling out of control and fear for not only himself,but his injured daughter. He’s a dick, but I could actually believe that this was a man who- when things are going his way in life , is probably a lot more reasonable ,like most people we meet. Let’s be honest- we don’t really know how we’re going to perform or behave in a life and death situation until we’re in the thick of it..and I’d bet a lot more of us are closer to the 1968 Cooper than we’d care to admit. he may be unpleasant, but he’s relatable.

      The new Cooper,though is pretty much a flat out, unrepentant asshole. Seriously, watch the ’68 classic again and then follow it up with the 1990 version to make the comparison. Cooper isn’t merely fearful or angry in the newer film- he’s obnoxious. He literally comes off as if he’s been operating at this exact level of douchiness since the day he spilled out of momma Coopers nether regions. He spends half the flick shouting at people that they’re “yo-yo’s” and basically makes you wonder how anyone would have dated him in the first place, much less married him and sired his child. The eventual outcome for his character was also a bad move: Instead of being clever, it played like a cheap jack attempt to capture some of the mojo they lost by deciding to alter Ben’s fate. Irony ,when it’s pulled off effectively, is a wonderful element that enhances a film and can add a rich subtext. Irony when it is handled with all of the subtlety and grace of an arachnophobe hammering a spider with a sledgehammer while screaming “DIE MOTHERFUCKER!!!” at the top of his lungs (I killed the eight legged demon spawn,though..and it didn’t cost as much to repair the neighbor’s floor as I thought) is essentially the reason why MST3K was created.

      Not saying NOTLD ’90 sucked. I don’t think it did. I’m just saying that it should -and could – have been better.

      • Terminal

        Completely agreed.

  • elric300

    “Ahem” With all respect that or may not be due,and I am always for seeing new talent get a break please allow me to say:

    Coasting off the accomplishments of others is a poor way to break into the film industry, especially the horror genre.

    So…Lionsgate will release this, huh? And SOLOMON KANE still sits on a shelf there. A great example of what is wrong with the movie industry, today.

  • Arron ‘Zombie Dude’ Gumbrell

    I have good hopes for this one. Still waiting for a UK release how ever after reading a interview with the producer and speaking to the director on Facebook i got hope this will be a good remake.

    But another UK 3D remake of Night Of The Living Dead ,badly named Night Of The Living 3D Dead, is also being made which i have less hope for. After the last 3D remake and the one done in the 90’s hopefully Night of the Living Dead: Resurrected will be worth watching. Hopefully more Dawn Of The Dead remake rather than Day Of The Dead remake.

    • samuelvictor

      Hi Arron, I just saw your post. I agree that Resurrection looks cool, I’m all for Living Dead projects, IF they are done well and with respect. The 2006 remake left a bad taste in my mouth for example.

      As the producer, writer and director of “Night of the Living 3D Dead” I’d like to say the reason it is named that is twofold: to hopefully distinguish between this and previous attempts to remake or re-master the film in 3D, but also I like the distinction of “3D Dead”, as if our zombies have a more rounded character, so to speak.

      Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed “Shaun of the Dead” and “Zombieland”, and “Cockneys Vs Zombies” looks extremely promising (many of our team worked on the film as extras), there is a tendency for low budget horror to descend into poor B-Movie comedy that doesn’t attempt to scare, or do say anything intelligent. We wanted the zombies in our film to feel more akin to “The Walking Dead” in that they are painful, tragic shadows of human beings, and not something to be mocked. It is too much to ask a modern audience to be scared by looking at a zombie, or seeing a gory headshot, in fact in theatres it is scenes like this that raise cheers and camaraderie. The scares in our film will come from the atmosphere, the tension, suspense and claustrophobia, the cross examination of the human condition. The zombies, then, are the way to keep the characters trapped within the house, and forced to face their fears.

      It is hugely important that though the audience is no longer scared of zombies, they empathise that the characters in the house do, and laughing at zombies ruins that experience. We spent a lot of time researching what it is about zombies in certain films that unintentionally make the audience laugh, and held study groups to analyse clichés to avoid. Our first Assistant Director David Bruce Taylor is a highly accomplished character actor of stage and screen, having recently completed motion capture acting for a “Stina and the Wolf” directed by Paul Charisse, responsible for visual effects for the “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” series. Dave also is one of the most prominent names in professional Live Action Role Play events in the UK. He spent a good time with all of our Supporting Artistes in “Dave’s Zombie School” where they trained at length to understand the motivation behind a zombie and how they would and wouldn’t react in various situations. Hopefully this will give our zombies an air of believability and increase suspension of disbelief, as far as is possible in a modern zombie feature.

      I am sorry that you “have less hope” for our film, but after 2 years of research, and a great deal of pre-production, production and post production effort to get this just right, I think you may have made a snap mis-judgment. We have a feature length documentary released next month showing exactly what we’ve done and why, many behind the scenes videos on youtube and just starting to crop up now are detailed interviews on several major horror and zombie websites, and the recurring theme seems to be that people are surprised quite how much we CARE about doing this project 100% right, and NOT just crapping out a quick cash-in for the sake of it. “Night of the Living Dead” deserves better than that.

  • Terminal

    I’ll reserve judgement on this one. So far no NOTLD reworking has managed to live up to the original.