DVD

Night of the Living Dead: Millennium Edition

Elite Entertainment, 2002

This is the ultimate release of Night of the Living Dead to date, regardless of format.  It contains the exact same special features as the 25th Anniversary Laserdisc (see laserdisc page here), except this version includes a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound track for the first time ever, and an improved picture.  The Laserdisc does however have a larger photo gallery, making it still worth owning.  

Night of the Living Dead: Special Collector's Edition

Elite Entertainment, 1999

Released a few years earlier than the Millennium Edition, this version has a slightly worse transfer and no 5.1 track.  Also missing are some special features but it does contain the 2 commentaries, Night of the Living Bread, and some of Romero's early commercials.  This was the version to have on DVD prior to the Millennium Edition.

Night of the Living Dead: Colorized

Off Color Films (Fox), 2004

This colorization job is head and shoulders above the Hal Studios effort from the mid 1980's, and most importantly, no more green zombies.  The print used for this release is pristine, almost comparable to the Elite version, but just slightly sub-par.  The film is presented in color and in it's original black and white.  This DVD marks the first time that NOTLD has been presented with DTS sound.  The DTS track is very nice, but unfortunately you can only listen to it with the colorized version.  Also included is a commentary with Mystery Science Theatre's Mike Nelson.  Unfortunately, Mike laid an egg on this commentary.  The jokes are pretty lame, and overall isn't up to the usual standard that Nelson has set for himself.  Perhaps that is because the source material was too good?  Included in the special features is "Separated at Death", a celebrity zombie game where you guess what celebrity the zombie looks like.  This disc should be a welcome edition to any Living Dead library.

Night of the Living Dead: Laugh Track

York Entertainment, 2004

I first stumbled onto this DVD by accident.  I was browsing DVD Aficionado's website one day when I saw this listing.  There was no cover and no description of it available.  Well one thing led to another and here it was in my hot little hand a few days later.  Many have seen the NOTLD spoof titled "Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Terror".  I am not very fond of that "film" so I was a little apprehensive of getting this disc but I figured "What the hell, it can't be any worse".  This DVD was released by York Entertainment.  I am uncertain as to whether or not they attained the rights to NOTLD, but I doubt it considering the quality of the print used.

    The movie is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.  The print is just downright nasty.   The picture is completely washed out and there are massive amounts of speckles and lines.  You have the option of watching the film with the laugh track or the original track.  This is nice because I have a crappy version now, just in case I want to view NOTLD in the same quality that I originally viewed it.

    Now on to the fun part, the laugh track itself.  Gone are the Capital Hi-Q tracks, and in their place are hip hop beats and bass lines.  The story is pretty vague and tough to follow so I will quote the back of the DVD case. 

"An entertainment-starved town goes "Zombie" and insanely stalks celebrity look-alikes, when cable prices are jacked up.  The games begin as six people are stuck in a house trying to survive each other.  See what happens when people stop being polite and start being real - crazy that is - as the Zombies close in for a free lunch".

    The comedy is in the same vein of the Wayans Brothers.  Some times it is hilarious but other times it is eye-roll worthy.  I do feel like it easily trumps "Night of the Dawn...."  and is the version I would recommend.  If you liked "Night of the Dawn...." then I'd suggest picking this up as well.

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