‘Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated’

notldrYou know how when you go down to Big Lots and see that bin of DVDs in flimsy cardboard sleeves going for a buck apiece?  There’s a reason that anyone can just sell these movie: It’s because they’re copyright-free.  It’s not that they never had a copyright.  At some point, they all did, but somehow through the years those copyrights expires, and through clerical errors or people just plain not caring, the films ended up in the open market.  And in the open market, anyone can sell the movie or edit the movie to whatever degree they want without the risk of some movie studio suing their pants off.

The most famous example is George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

Now I have to warn you.  Do NOT buy the version of Romero’s classic that you find in the bargain bins*.  The image quality is going to look like somebody un-reeled a VHS tape, had a hobo poop on it, stuffed the tape back in and played it on a TV in a pawn shop, then filmed the TV with their Blackberry.

Now because of its public domain status, NOTLD has been re-edited and re-made countless times.  And by most accounts, all of these reboots have positively sucked (although Tom Savini’s 1990 remake has its fans) but every now and then something kind of interesting comes along, like this new art project entitled Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated.

Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated is a mass collaborative artistic re-envisioning of George A. Romero’s 1968 cult classic, Night of the Living Dead.

International artists and animators were invited to select scenes from the film and reinvent them through their artwork.

Opened to all styles, media and processes the results ran the gambit with scenes created in everything from Puppets to CGI, Hand Drawn Animation to Flash, and Oil Paintings to Tattoos.

This cacophony of works was organized and curated across the original film’s time line in order to create a completely original video track made entirely out of art.

Now, I haven’t seen this project (and I can’t find anywhere on the official site that says when it’ll be released) so it may very well be terrible, but at least its interesting.  It kind of puts a whole new spin on the notion of the re-working of previous works of art (something that Girl Talk could probably have a conversation with you about).

After the jump, I’ve included the latest trailer for the project but if you head over to the official site, you can see two additional trailers plus some of the artwork that was used.

*For the record, this is the best version of the movie on DVD.  It’s dirt cheap and it’s got Uncle George’s seal of approval.  Of course, you can also watch it online for free.

4 Responses to “‘Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated’”

  1. I consider myself a fan of Savini’s remake, actually. I think it’s a very worthy adaptation.

    This art project remake, however, I am skeptical about. From the trailer, it looks like some segments will be fantastic whereas others will look like they were done in MS Paint by four year olds.

  2. Time line wise we’re in post now. This involves filling in gaps between art work more art and allowing the artists the chance to offer up alternatives to any work they feel is ‘bringing the quality down’. Over all, at the end of the project, expect something the artists will be proud to be a part of… but I’d say there will most definitely be scenes that some people love and other people hate… it’s the nature of this beast.

    One man’s camp is another man’s crap.
    One man’s high action is another man’s headache.
    One man’s realism is another man’s pornography.

    Where as a films try to blend all of these different tastes together to something everyone can stomach… an art show tries to get all of these view points in the room together under the same umbrella of a show. We have artists reflecting their personal views through their work and whenever you do that someone is bound to disagree. The project is successful if it allows theses views to be heard… what speaks to you is between you and that particular artist.

    Where as nobody has seen the completed video (because it isn’t yet completed), you have seen the project. The project is the stage and the platform that has all of these artists coming forward to do their thing. The video is just documentation framed as a film. It’s a different mentality on the whole thing… but that’s what happens when a conceptual artist curates time.

    So I hope you all enjoy what speaks to you… but also can appreciate that what doesn’t speak to you may very well speak to someone else. That is what art is all about.

  3. Thanks, Mike! I’m definitely excited about this project. And I love your approach to the nature of art, and I love the fact that you’re using a universally-acknowledge film like NOTLD to showcase these artists. Like any other project of this sort, I’m sure there will be portions that some folks consider “hits” and other “misses” but even mainstream releases that follow similar guidelines (individual artists take on a classic theme; i.e. The Animatrix, Batman: Gotham Knight) have their own hits and misses. It’s to be expected in something like this.

    And thanks for the update! Keep us posted. I’d definitely like to see the finished product once it’s completed.

  4. […] reigns in this 2006 version of the 1977 Wes Craven classic. Nearly identical to the original. 6. Night of the Living Dead – In 1990, Tom Savini directed a version of the Romero classic. Great film with a superb turn by […]

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