Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation (2012)
Which is the worst part of the complicated rights issue with the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead? Is it:
A. that director George A. Romero and company were screwed out of millions, or
B. that it allowed Jeff Broadstreet to make Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation?
With apologies to those good people’s bank accounts, the answer is B. Trust me on this one. You’d agree if you saw this abomination, but I encourage you to run in the other direction. The answer is totally B.
Even if writer/director/producer Broadstreet — who also helmed the 2006 Night of the Living Dead 3D “remake” — had left the classic film’s title off his own, the results still would remain abortive. Ladies and gentlemen, we have the 21st-century Ed Wood. The difference is that nobody will be watching Broadstreet’s work after he passes. Hell, they shouldn’t be watching it while he’s alive, either.
It took me four tries to start NOTLD3D:R-A before I could muster the strength to watch it all the way through. Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster) fronts the film as Gerald Tovar Jr., a second-generation mortician who doesn’t cremate the corpses he’s paid to; instead, he piles them into one dank dungeon of a room, which characters can enter and somehow not vomit from the stench. Guess what happens to the bodies. (Did you say “zombies”?)
I suppose NOTLD3D:R-A holds a curiosity factor among those wishing to see Divoff act alongside Re-Animator‘s Jeffrey Combs, who plays Gerald’s no-good, conspiracy-prone teabagger brother. To horror-con geeks, this sounds akin to Pacino and De Niro’s diner scene in Heat. It’s not; it’s the gum under the table at that diner. And I like both actors.
This chore of a watch is all about CGI blood and green-screen antics and, because of shooting in three dimensions, intrusive angles. The 3-D doesn’t even work, so why bother? On the disc’s production featurette, Broadstreet tells you why: Because he thinks he’s making a sociopolitical statement. He’s delusional; he’s made the A/V equivalent of a bowel movement. I hate to be so harsh, but this time, it’s merited. —Rod Lott