Horror Movie Review: Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)

Supposedly a remake/homage to the original Night of the Living Dead but in 3-D. Barb & her brother Johnny are travelling to the funeral of their aunt out in the country. When they arrive they find the cemetery empty & are soon attacked by a group of zombies. Johnny abandons Barb & drives off; she escapes into the woods where she is rescued by a college student called Ben. He takes her to his friends Henry Cooper’s farmhouse & alongside his family they attempt to defend themselves from the incoming hordes of zombies.

Night of the Living Dead is one of the most important horror movies ever & there have been numerous remakes & reimagining’s. Only the 90’s colour version has actually come close to touching the original & Night of the living Dead 3D does nothing to change that.

The small changes made in the opening 15 minutes kind of annoyed me; it was almost like the creators were trying to make sure you understood that it was there attempt at Night….Don’t call me Barbara, call me Barb. They are going to an Aunt’s funeral instead of visiting their father’s grave & Johnny driving off instead of dying in the graveyard.

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Admittedly that did give them the chance to make a pretty sweet reference later on. Barb is cowering in the woods trying to reach Johnny on her phone when she receives a text from him saying ‘I’m coming to get you, Barb’.

That is pretty much the highlight of the movie…

I get that it’s a re-imagining but I really didn’t like casting of Ben as a drug dealing college kid. He is a decent enough actor but that heroic side of the Ben character is completely missing. When they arrive at the farmhouse it turns out the Cooper family (Henry, daughter, wife & hired hand) are potheads. Who saw that coming?

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There are also 2 people in the barn having sex who the rest seem to know but make no effort to save. Seriously they watch from inside as they get chased & eaten alive. Seemed to me they were in it to give them an excuse to show some tits.

Some attempts to give the characters a bit of back story sees Ben aiming a gun at Cooper to stop him going outside to look for his daughter. It’s a strange scene as Ben gets really nasty about it, threatening to shoot him in the foot to stop him trying to save his daughter. The other involves Coopers girlfriend & Barb talking about how her & Cooper met. It’s brief & might have been useful had the rest of her lines not been about pot & giggling like an idiot.

An angle that sees the newly re-animated dead able to talk & think their still alive had me slapping my head with frustration.

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I found the movie to be very boring & it was only with the arrival of Sid Haig that I realised there were no real conflicts or survival issues. The group inside seemed to be at risk only because they were stupid & kept leaving windows open. The lack of conflict between Ben & Cooper (like the original) was seriously lacking. To fix this the makers decided that zombies were not a threat enough & added Sid Haig to the bad guys responsible for the arrival of dead.

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It results in a stupid ending that, while gory, is painful to watch. It is so poor that it makes the terrible mistake of doing away with a conventional zombie rule. A character gets bitten but doesn’t turn into a zombie!

Lastly I didn’t watch this in 3D but most of the attempted 3D parts were clear. Gunshots, blood splatters, shovels aimed towards the screen…the usual. The standout one has to be the smoke rings…imagine paying for 3D to see smoke rings coming at you….

I’m not sure what the point of this movie was…the 3D? It couldn’t have added anything to make it better. As a reimagining it doesn’t offer anything fresh & some of its ideas are down-right frustrating. Take out the homage’s & this would be a much poorer film.

Night of the Living Dead 3D
  • 3/10
    The Final Score - 3/10
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