Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animation is a prequel to the 2006 zombie flick, Night of the Living Dead 3D. Once again, while Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animation is available and shot with 3D in mind, I viewed the 2D version. As far as a prequel go, this film did a good job exploring the unanswered questions from the first film. But, as far as zombie films go. It was more than a little weak. That said, this film does have enough zombie to sate most thirsts. Even if they’re poorly done.
The film follows Gerald Tovar, Jr (Andrew Divoff), who runs the family funeral home left to him by his late father. The Tovar and Son funeral home is staffed by the receptionist Aunt Lou (Melissa Jo Bailey), a hired hand Russel (Adam Chambers), a necrophiliac lab tech DyeAnne (Robin Sydney), and the new hire Cristie Forest (Sarah Lieving). Gerald Tovar, Jr is having a hard time holding the business together, is often distracted and is paranoid about keeping the crematory locked tight. Things get worse when Gerald’s brother, Harold (Jeffrey Combs) stops by unannounced, demanding money. Going as far as to threaten to challenge their late fathers will to get it. The two have a heated exchange, but cooler heads prevail and the two decided to talk things over at the old house over dinner. At dinner Gerald confides in his brother that the funeral home is swamped with zombies. Hence why he’s been keeping the doors to the to crematorium locked. Harold doesn’t believe him of course, so Gerald tells him that he will prove it to him by showing him. When inside the crematorium, which is filled with rotting corpses. Gerald reveals that their father would take bodies and things from the government that they wanted to disappear and he would burn them. After their father’s death a body bag came that leaked a corrosive liquid that when exposed to the dead brought them back to life. With no dead moving at the moment, Harold thinks him crazy and leaves. Unfortunately Aunt Lou comes in after he leaves and gets bitten. She dies shortly after and rises to attack the other employees…
It’s a pretty straight forward film, with not a lot in the way of twists. But it does have some very solid character developments in regards to Gerald, with a large portion of the film is dedicated to that purpose. From his relationship with his father, the grief of his passing and his strained relationship with his brother. All play out exceedingly well.
The other characters feel superfluous, contributing little to the film beyond a victim pool. All come off as incredibly shallow with Aunt Lou being the most likable of them. Though the funniest for me was Sister Sara played by Denice Duff. As the character is a complete spoof of Sarah Palin.
The Zombies are… weak. While prevalent for the majority of the film, they do very little until the final act after Aunt Lou is bitten. Even then the effects range wildly from gorey and good to just plain awful. The crematorium scenes are the worst with the bad backdrops. Though I do love that they gave the zombies an origin. Even if it’s one as generic as a government body.
Final thoughts, I wish I would have seen this in 3D as I do feel that with this film I was missing something. Mostly in the crematorium scenes and a few shots you can tell that were made to be seen in 3D. The acting ranges from bland, but passable. This is mostly from the supporting cast. To actually good, mostly from Jeffrey Combs and Andrew Divoff. Who both play off one another incredibly well. I could on recommend this film to those who have seen its predecessor. But for the regular zombie fan, I would recommend that you pass. Unless you happen to a huge fan of Jeffrey Combs. 5/10