Saw new version of Night of the Living Dead today... COLORIZED...?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dave Mack, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    In what must be the upteenth version on DVD, FOX has released this. Both colorized and BandW versions on disc, stating that it has been cleaned, restored etc...
    and now a 5.1 remix. WTF???
    Question.. how will the PQ compare to the very fine Elite edition..?

    And interestingly I saw the "30th anniversary edition with NEW scenes" version again. BUT with New cover for this one and copyright states 2004 on back. WTF again?!?!?

    Did anyone even buy this atrocity the 1st time...?

    Weird....
     
  2. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    My research indicates that this is at least the 25th release of the public-domain film.

    The colorization is an abomination. It has that chalky look that all such releases have. It's also poorly done, with the grass and gravel of the road at the beginning being wrongly hued along its uneven border. And people's teeth never look right.

    People like to point out that sometimes, these releases include a restored black-and-white version, which this one does. But my experience has usually been that such "restorations" merely optimize the B&W original for the eventual colorization and nothing more--that is, the tones often are not true to the original B&W image.

    The Mike Nelson commentary has its moments. And the self-deprecating promo type seems to revel in the idea that purists will be horrified by the colorization. Still, stick with the Millennium Edition.

    BTW, it's the recent popularity of zombie flicks--Dawn of the Dead remake, Resident Evil II, Shaun of the Dead--that's fueling all of these editions.
     
  3. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    If its released by Fox, its probably the LEGEND films release, who also recently did REEFER MADNESS. The only plus these releases is the inclusion of commentary my MST3K alum MIKE NELSON. In a thread regarding Reefer Madness and CARNIVAL OF SOULS, a representative of Legend films was here on HTF defending there position over colorization. Regardless.. legend has always included the original B&W version. I guess it would depend on the quality of the source they start with as the main factor on how their DVD of NOTLD turns out. I will buy NOTLD if it includes Mike Nelson Commentary. Even though I love NOTLD, Mikes commentary are too good to pass up.

    p.s. personally, I think the Legend releases have nothing over Criterions CARNIVAL OF SOULS.. and it will probably be the same for the NOTLD. If it were not for Mike Nelson, they would be worthless... to me atr least.
     
  4. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    How's the 5.1 audio..?
     
  5. MikeDE

    MikeDE Stunt Coordinator

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    I just saw this at Block Buster, and the back said DTS. Oh my....


    Mike
     
  6. Greg Black

    Greg Black Second Unit

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    The 5.1 tracks are only on the colorized version. Why they did that, I have no clue.
     
  7. Josh Simpson

    Josh Simpson Supporting Actor

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    How did this movie fall into public domain? Just some silly error in not renewing a copyright or something? I didn't even figure a copyright would be up yet on it.
     
  8. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    I have both Reefer Madness & Carnival of Souls from Legend and I will be getting NOTLD....I will be getting these only because of Mike Nelson's commentary as they are always hilarious and it's about the closest thing to new MST3K we can get.

    I mini-reviewed Carnival of Souls a few months ago HERE.


    Apart from that, the color versions have no value for me, this supposedly "new" colorization process looks as watercolor artificial as it always did.....unless you buy into Off-Color's Barry-S argument that the films they have released so far all have "exaggerated" color styles to fit the odd mood's of the films.....fair enough but eventually they are going to colorize a non-"Odd" film and then we will see if this excuse is anything more than just that....not that I care as I do not agree with the idea of colorising however as long as they offer the B&W version I will give them a minor break on it...and as long as there is a Mike Nelson commentary.

    HERE IS A LINK to the thread where this was all discussed with Barry-S.
     
  9. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    These films don't need a commentary any more than they need color but...both REEFER and CARNIVAL were done as jokes. You can tell the colorization wasn't supposed to look "correct" and that certain colors were used to make the films appear even more funny. I'm going to guess the same is true with NOTLD, although I haven't picked it up yet.

    The reason the 5.1 and commentary are on the colorized version is because it's all a "joke". We can laugh at the commentary track while laughing at the funny looking, colorized images.
     
  10. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    IIRC, according to the producer during the Dawn... commentary, they forgot to slap a copyright marker on the flick. As such, it effectively wasn't copyrighted.
     
  11. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    I disagree that COS was all that "exaggerated" to highlight the surreal nature of the film, apart from Herk Harvy's red eyes and an oddly colored sunset or two I didn't see anything close to Reefer's stylised outrageous color scheme...it just looked like the old phoney watercolor (I use this term all the time because that is exactly what it looks like to my eyes.) overlay from the old days of colorising.
     
  12. PeterSOB

    PeterSOB Extra

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    The reason it fell out of copyright is slightly more complicated. Originally, it was titled Night of the Flesh Eaters (or something similar) and copyrighted under that title. The distributors renamed it but forgot to reapply for a copyright for the new title. Techically, Night of the Living Dead was then in the public domain and by the time this was discovered, it was too late.
     
  13. Tim-H.

    Tim-H. Second Unit

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    Man, that lack of © is a shame. I would neh-HEVer watch NotLD or Carnival of Souls in color - or DTS. They are (im)perfect as is!
     
  14. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    Not quite. When the title was originally Night of the Flesh Eaters, the copyright notice appeared on the title card on the film (e.g., "(C) 1968 Image Ten"). When the title card was changed, they failed to re-insert the copyright notice under the title. Under the applicable copyright law in the US at the time, this immediately put the film into the public domain. There was no problem regarding applying for a copyright. If that had been the problem, the film probably would never have fallen into the public domain.

    DJ
     
  15. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Isn't this what I said (in a simpler version) in the first place?
     
  16. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    Yes.

    DJ
     
  17. Ryan Wishton

    Ryan Wishton Screenwriter

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    30th Anniversary version was truly horrible. What on earth were they thinking???

    Who knows??? Drugs most likely...
     
  18. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    That's like asking, after reading a bad restaurant review:

    "How were the plates?"

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    The story with the 30th Anniversary version is this:

    As has been noted, the original film fell immediately into the Public Domain because of a clerical error. The investors on the film (Image Ten, i.e. John Russo, Romero, Russ Streiner, etc.) never saw a dime from the original relase. In order for them to be able to see any profits from the film, it had to be altered in a substantial manner in order to be considered a new, copyrightable work under copyright law. Romero gave Russo and Streiner his blessing to do just that. Hence, the new scenes and music. That being said, the final product is so bad that it hurts me to even think about it. Romero doesn't like it, but being the super nice guy that he is he refuses to bad-mouth his old friends. So if you want to be nice and make sure that the original folks make some money from NOTLD, you can purchase the dvd of the 30th Anniversary Edition. I would then immediately dispose of it in as brutal a fashion as possible, lest your soul be tainted by its stench.
     
  20. Greg Black

    Greg Black Second Unit

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    Uh oh. I bought the 30th anniversary on a whim a couple of years back. It was $9.99 at Circuit City, and I was sure they made a mistake. That was before I learned of the new scenes and music. It's still in it's shrink wrap. I'm afraid to open it now! It might unleash the wrath of Hell on me. Turn me into a zombie or something...
     

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