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Published March 20th, 2006 | by Mike Barnard

The Night of the Living Dead 3-D Review

Classification: 15 Director: Jeff Broadstreet Rating: 3/5

As Hollywood continues to embrace 3-D as its latest gimmick to get the public into cinemas, the technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years – typified by the impressive Oscar-winning Avatar. Back when 3-D meant watching films saturated with green and red with little reward few would have conceived just how impressive the visuals would one day become. Though for all the gloss 3-D can add to modern movie-making, there is a certain charm to the retro effects. The Night of the Living Dead plays on the retro angle two-fold: its a loving remake of the George A. Romero classic and there’s old skool 3-D effects aplenty.

The stuck-in-a-house-surrounded-by-zombies scenario was a winner for Romero and proves to be effective again in this homage. Barb (Brown) and her brother Johnny (Ward) arrive late for the burial of their aunt and suddenly find themselves surrounded by the living dead. With zombies on her heels, Barb flees the cemetery and is rescued by local college student Ben (DesRoches). The pair seek refuge in the nearby farmhouse of the Cooper family, where the laid-back residents are woefully unprepared for the nightmare that awaits. Battling to keep the zombies out and their fears in check, the local mortician Gerald Tovar, Jr (Haig) gives a grim reality on their futures.

You can feel the love for the Romero original throughout this remake, it’s an endearing endorsement of its status as a cult classic, with washed-out colours giving it a real kitsch look even before the red/green 3-D is taken into account. The 3-D effects won’t have you jumping out of your seat with only a few moments where an arm or a rake come out at you – it’s mostly just for providing a depth of field to the screen. What the 3-D really adds to the film is a certain charm. Broadstreet is aware the audience of his movie will be watching with the original in their minds and the 3-D gives it a much-needed retro feel to provide a throwback to the past style which makes it all the more enjoyable. This is a remake which isn’t trying to make any bold statement or add gloss to an old movie, it’s a tongue-in-cheek offering that’s fun as you can tell all involved had wry smiles on the face when they made it. You most certainly will too when watching it from the moment you put the 3-D glasses on.

(A 2-D version of the film is supplied with the DVD)

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