Oddly not that bad. Less a remake, or retelling and more just an homage to Night of the Living Dead with a good helping of satire thrown in for good measure. As always I didn’t see this in 3D, but instead its 2D counterpart as that was what I was able to get my hands on. Which turned out to be OK, since the only a handful of shots seemed to rely on the 3D gimmick. What it does rely on is B-Movie camp, which this film has in spades. Also it’s aware of what it is and plays up its B-Movie aspects to enjoyable levels without going to crazy with it.
Night of Living Dead 3D opens with the Barb (Brianna Brown) and her brother Johnie (Ken Ward) going to the cemetery for their late aunt’s funeral at the request of their mother. When they arrive, they find no one around, that is until they’re attacked. Johnie after getting bitten, he drives off. Leaving Barb behind. She runs to the mortuary where more zombies keep arriving and comes across Gerald Tovar, Jr (Sid Haig), though he simply tells her to run off and that he’ll deal with this mess. Which she does, she manages to fight off some zombies and flee the cemetery into the woods. But, the dead follow her continuing their attack, luckily she’s saved by Ben (Joshua DesRoches). Who was passing by on the way to his friend Henry’s (Greg Travis) farm house. At the farm house, Barb tells them that she was attacked by zombies, but the occupants of the house, Henry, his wife Hellie (Johanna Black), his hired hand Owen (Adam Chambers) and Henry’s daughter Karen (Alynia Phillips). That is until the dead arrive and attack Tom (Max E. Williams) and Judy (Cristin Michele), who were having sex in the barn. While trying to save them, Owen is bitten and they’re unable to save either. With the house surrounded by the undead, Barb, Ben and the Coopers are forced to try and survive.
What I like most of the film is how self aware it is. A number of times it directly references the original film, not just with character names, but the film itself as it exists the same universe. The Coopers are watching and even reference it as being depressing as everyone dies. But still manages to be it’s own thing, as they do leave the farmhouse, characters die in radically different ways and the ending climax is completely changed.
I’m honestly not the biggest fan of Sid Haig, I’m not saying I don’t like him as an actor. I just can’t ever get into his performances. Here I have the same issue, all the way to the reveal at the end. Though he manages to deliver for me the most memorable line of the film “I’m sorry, it just has to be this way.”. He does a good job for the relatively small amount of time he’s in the film.
The zombie effects are great given the low level of production. The undead are seen at various levels of decay and bodily damage. The gore isn’t the best, but you can tell work went into it and in my opinion the work shows. Sure they’re not Land of Dead level. But it’s not trying to be.
Final thoughts, I love B-Movies that don’t take themselves too seriously and that’s this film in a nutshell. Night of the Living Dead 3D leans more towards the comedy aspect at times, but swings back to the horror elements wildly. But never comes off as unbalanced or ham-handed. Plus, I really like the twist at the end. 7/10