Night of the Living Dead 3D Reanimation

NR1

Gerald Tovar has a dark secret in his funeral home, namely the dead not wanting to stay dead.

My god, every time I think I’ve seen the last Night of the Living Dead movie out there I find yet another one hiding in a dark corner, clawing at the walls and begging to be let out into the light like a meth head that’s been stuck at the end of a New York alley way. One or two aren’t bad, a few are mediocre, and most are just down right garbage. I’m not at all talking about the real deal original either, or even the 90’s remake, I’m talking about the slew of movies using the title to reel in the viewer thanks to a minor clerical error Romero and crew made that let the title of the movie slip into public domain resulting in the piranha like feeding frenzy to the use the title as often possible. Some of them will add an extra title like “Reanimation,” “Origins,” or “We Gave Up Giving a Shit So Here’s Another Night of the Living Dead Movie Because We Were Too Lazy to Try,” but they’re all films trying to bite off the original. I’d honestly have more respect for them if they didn’t pretend like they were trying to do something original or just using the title to trick people into watching their film. Oh well, I guess I’ll just go see something in the theatre. At least you know Hollywood never rips anything off.

Out reanimated flick begins with disappointed funeral director Gerald Tovar (played by Wishmaster’s Andrew Divoff) who looks upon a corpse so poorly done up it almost looks like a clown. Before he can fire his mortician though an inspector shows up to make sure the funeral home is up to par. Gerald goes to meet the man in the nearby cemetery and finds him being attacked by a reanimated corpse. You’d think this would surprise Gerald but he is strangely calm about the situation, dispatching both the zombie and the newly zombified inspector with ease. We find out why shortly after when Tovar goes into his basement where dozens of dispatched zombies lay in various stages of decomposition and he is forced to put yet another zombie down. In the midst of having to deal with an undead epidemic, and a new mortician, he must also contend with his brother Harold (played by Jeffery Combs) who comes around looking for money, believing himself to have been robbed of his inheritance upon their father’s death. Harold wants his half and he’s not leaving until he gets it. Gerald tries to explain that he simply doesn’t have any of the money as the business is falling apart, but Harold will hear none of it and Gerald is finally forced to admit the truth of his zombie problem. Seems that dear old dad had a deal with the government to dispose of waste for them and Gerald kept it up. Two weeks prior a body was dropped off by Uncle Sam that came back to life and for reasons unknown began to reanimate other corpses as well. Harold of course doesn’t believe him, thinking it a diversionary tactic instead, but is forced to think otherwise when shown the truth with his very own eyes. As things deteriorate further and further it becomes clear that the stress has become too much for Gerald and he might be more dangerous than the undead.

NR4

{Not the actions of a sane man}

Not too long back I reviewed a movie called Night of the Living Dead 3D and I’m not too sure where this one fits into that film. I thought it was a remake at first since it had the same idea of government waste bringing the dead back to life at a funeral home and even had the funeral director named Gerald Tovar (played by Sig Haig in Night of the Living Dead 3D), but after watching it I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be happening concurrently with that film or if it is a straight up remake. There are radio broadcasts talking about the events that happened in Night of the Living Dead 3D (a farmland massacre), hired help Russell is asked about his twin brother Owen (actor Adam Chambers plays both characters), and they even mention the twin Owen as having worked at the Cooper farm (the Cooper farm is where the first film took place), so I really can’t tell. It throws you off trying to figure out exactly where this movie fits into everything. Then again, I’m guessing they just didn’t care and hoped people wouldn’t ask too many questions despite the similarities being too numerous to ignore. That’s not the only thing confusing about the movie either. They seem to hint that people in the film live in a world where everyone knows about zombies thanks to a few things said:

  • Harold talks about various zombie outbreaks giving dates I’m sure the filmmakers thought would be clever. He mentions 1968 (Night of the Living Dead), 1978 (Dawn of the Living Dead), 1985 (Day of the Dead), and 1990 (this one he says was very similar to the 1968 outbreak but gorier alluding to the original’s remake).
  • There is a Sarah Palin like character who is on TV talking about how the people should be worried about a zombie president.
  • Zombies are mentioned during radio broadcasts.

So it seems like zombies are a thing everyone is aware of in a very real way, yet they all still seem surprised whenever they see one as if there shouldn’t be any zombies in existence. Then, after a girl is bit and turns later on, one character mentions her looking like a movie zombie as if zombies only exist in film and not reality. It was confusing and made it a blundering mess to try and figure out. This combined with trying to figure out if the film was a remake or not made it seem like they wrote as the filmed and couldn’t figure out what direction they wanted to take things, going back and forth and making the movie seem like a complete cluster fuck that was poorly devised.

NR5

{Confusion}

The effects lead me to believe the aforementioned “they just didn’t care” attitude as well. They are fucking awful for the most part. There are a few times where good old fashioned makeup is used to create some gruesome scenes but for the most part it’s all CGI and bad Halloween props. I was bewildered that they would craft some horrifying creatures and then use horribly rendered CGI to kill whatever goodwill they might have built up. There are zombies that look extremely well and made me wonder why they didn’t stick with it because the CGI is awful. It’s a well-known fact that I’m not a fan of CGI if it doesn’t have to be used, but this was just bad, late 80’s television bad, and used far too readily at times. One part that made me froth at the mouth because it both looked terrible and was completely unnecessary were the CGI flies. Yeah, they used computers to insert flies instead of just going out and getting actual flies, something that shouldn’t be that hard to do. It took everything inside of me to not turn the movie off at that point. At least I got to watch it far enough to see the world’s best shotgun after watching Gerald fire off 28 shots without having to reload.

NR3

{See, not bad so I’m not sure why they went CGI}

There is one thing that slightly redeems the film, Andrew Divoff and Jeffery Combs. They do an amazing job as Gerald and Harold Tovar, and when they are on screen together it is truly entertaining. There is a scene toward the middle where all Divoff and Combs are doing is sitting there discussing world affairs and it’s one of the best scenes in the movie (how sad is that). I enjoyed their performances and thought they did a good job helping to carry the film as much was possible. They couldn’t make it great, but they did make it better than it would have been without them. It showed their strengths as actors that they could keep such a total disaster of a film from being a complete waste of the viewer’s time. I’ve always been a fan of both of them, and their acting chops shine through with this one. Sadly, the other actors all border on mediocre and don’t do much for the film other than being simple plot devices or to add to the body count.

NR2

{But who to vote for}

I won’t say don’t watch this film as it’s worth seeing Combs and Divoff argue about politics, but that’s about all there is so it’s up to you if you feel the same way as I do.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Jeff Broadstreet (Night of the Living Dead 3D, Dr. Rage)

Starring: Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster, Faust), Jeffery Combs (Re-Animator, The Beyond), and Sarah Lieving (The Dunwich Horror, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus)

Released By: Dimensional Dead Productions and Screen Media Films

Release Year: 2012

Release Type: Straight to Video

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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