Saturday, 11 June 2016

Night of the Living Dead... In Color !!

I have Night of the Living Dead on my mind this evening. Earlier this afternoon Eureka posted news of a big announcement next week - "A film that can lay claim to being one of the most important American films ever made will be joining the Masters of Cinema Series". Eureka are inviting readers to submit their dream titles on their Facebook page, and having run thru various potential Paramount and Universal titles, I opted for George Romero's great film. And interestingly, a recent thread over at the Classic Horror Film board was speculating on the film getting a Criterion release augmented by a recently discovered copy of the workprint (under the title Night of the Anibus) and some trimmed footage. It all sounds pie in the sky to me but we live in hope. By the way, I stumbled across some fantastic color pictures from the Night of the Living Dead shoot and it's wonderful too see the cast in full living color.


I regret to say my first introduction to George Romero's great film was courtesy of the colorized version that Polygram put out in the UK and Ireland in the early 90's via the 4Front imprint. Colorization was still an imperfect science in this era and Night of the Living Dead looked especially appalling, the zombie faces given an unnatural and silly looking green pallor. Using one of the color photographs from the shoot, I juxtaposed it with a still from a colorized version of the film over at youtube and one can see where the decisions of the colorists depart from the truth so to speak. In fairness, the colorists were using their best guess in the absence of detailed color photo documentation, but Barbara and Johnny's car looks pretty jazzed up...


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