Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animation 3D (2012)
After the death of his father, Gerald Tovar Jr (Andrew Divoff) inherits his family’s funeral company, Tovar and Sons, and continues his work as funeral director. Gerald seems happy to perform burials but the mere mention of ‘cremation’ turns him as white as a sheet. Afer a visit from his younger half-brother, vetinarian Harold (Jeffrey Combs), Gerald reveals the cremation oven broke a short time ago and he’s been stock piling the dead bodies ever since, but something sinister has happened. After receiving toxic medical waste to burn, the uncremated bodies are accidentally exposed and slowly the bodies start to come back to life! Together, the brothers must defeat the walking dead but that isn’t the only secret Gerald had been hiding…
Night of the Living Dead Re-Animation 3D is a prequel to the 2006 remake and homage, Night of the Living Dead 3D, also directed by Re-Animation’s director, Jeff Broadstreet. Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animation lacks in shuffling zombie action but makes it up for it with two brilliant leads in Wishmaster’s Andrew Divoff and Reanimator’s Jeffrey Combs, who’s portrayal as the two brothers will keep horror fans glued to their seats. The story starts off interesting but unfortunately becomes distinctly average as the punch just doesn’t deliver, however there’s plenty to satisfy for the running time, including necrophilia, a character named Sister Sara (a skit of Sarah Palin) and witty jokes here and there. A couple of fun moments are when the characters within the film acknowledge zombie genre film trivia, such as when Harold mentions slow-walkers as ‘Romero Zombies’ and outbreaks of the walking dead in 1968, ’78, ’85 and ’90 – a reference to Romero’s ‘of the Dead‘ zombie trilogy and the 1990 remake. This is very much an entertaining romp for zombie film fans, despite there not being a terrible amount of zombie screen time.
Andrew Divoff delights as the uptight mortician who’s life and passion is his daddy’s mortuary. After having seen him most recently as Mikhail in JJ Abram’s LOST, it was great to see Divoff in yet another role in which you are unsure of his agenda, as he plays the quiet, considerate funeral director who keeps a (un)dead baby in a mini fridge. If that’s not something to get you interested, I don’t know what will. His younger brother Harold’s appearance at the funeral home looks desperate as he tries his best to acquire money from his elder half-brother who inherited Gerald Tovar Snr’s entire estate and business. His own agendas are soon thrown out the window whe he realises what sort of mess Gerald Jr has got himself into.
The zombie appearances and deaths in Night of the Living Dead Re-Animation combine make-up and digital FX to bring blood-drenched, decomposing zombies to the screen in both a horrifying and humourous light. The film itself has a grainy, 70s feel to it, with even the sets and costumes for the most part looking decades old. The inclusion of gothic DyeAnne (Robin Sydney) and nu-metal Russell (Adam Chambers), along with the Sister Sara/Sarah Palin character, bring the film a modern edge. It would have been nice if they had decided to the opt for the 70s era, instead of being set in modern times with an aged feel.
The Blu-Ray and DVD are both fine to watch in 2D without a 3D screen but your TV must support 5.1 audio. Extras on the disc include a 3D Making of Featurette, 3D Visual Effects Featurette, Full Length Commentary by the director Jeff Broadstreet and star Andrew Divoff, and Outtakes/Blooper Reel.