A group of people can’t agree on what to do with the zombies pouring in outside. But I’m ahead: first, we meet Barbara (voice of Catherine Isabel) and Johnny (Jimmy Simpson), brothers who are visiting their mother’s grave.
He kneels in front of the object, and she mocks him, but Rotten Johnny is attacked, bitten and killed by a dead shaker. Barbra R-U-N-N-O-F-T.
From there, right out of her shoes onto the street and down into the seemingly empty house. The entrance is locked. The back door opened. He entered, locking her behind his back.
One or two zombies followed and groaned and squeaked outside. He found three things: a butcher’s knife just in case, a telephone (of course it didn’t work) and at the top of the stairs was a skinny corpse with a face that had probably been partially eaten, shredded like tender pork shoulder and slowly cooked.
A truck tows and pulls out Dule Hill Hops.
He has iron tires and a lot of intelligence. Barbra was almost speechless in shock to discover that a blow to the head would kill a line of zombies that would push iron through zombie skulls into tires – and they had no particular interest in fire.
He concluded that it was best to close the doors and windows to prevent crawlers from escaping. It turns on the radio, and they hear reports of a zombie apocalypse happening all over the country. Everyone makes this shit on the go.
Then punch. There are people in the basement. Is it me, or is it almost EXACTLY the original film but in animated form? “Almost” because 1960s films did not or at all graphically depict faces and tire scratches, even subversive, counter-cultural, non-budget films like Night of the Living Dead.
After all, some people came out below, and some were on the same page as Sam. And some weren’t, and Josh Duhamel and Katie Sackhoff voiced some. Though one wonders if that matters since all of these could be independent of each other, ending badly. No spoilers, of course, but what are the rules for discussing the ending of a new film. And a 53-year-old copy of a film?
As for copies of animated versions of the non-stop classic:
Night of the Animated Dead is okay, in my opinion, although I may not have the mental warping skills necessary to justify its existence. As I mentioned earlier, it’s more ferocious, with generous apps of Gluop and Splick and other types of bleeding actively working against the spirit of Romero’s vision.
This vision probably required a budget or good taste standards at the time. But for some reason, out-of-frame brutality is often more effective because of its compelling qualities. And that’s part and parcel of the success of Night of the Living Dead as a horror film.
Of course, Animated Dead changes the final take and adds to the film’s emotional climactic tragedy. But then again, it’s ultimately scarier to use a still photo of Romero to illustrate the code.
The animation is similar to Archer’s “digital doll” style but more subtle; looks good, if not excellent. It also increases speed by reducing the story to just over an hour. Animate Dead is a quirky classic about a handful of zombies / Romero finishes; for all of us, it’s mainly to rekindle interest in the original film.
So be warned, but beware, its public domain status means there are many poor-quality versions on the streaming service, including ugly colour versions. Look for recoveries from HBO Max or the Kanopy Criteria Collection.
If you want to part your hair, Night of the Animated Dead is less fake and more like a photostat. So assume he’s cursed with a bit of compliment.