A fresh tale revisits the classic Night Of The Living Dead.
In today’s world of reboots, remakes and the dreaded ‘reimagining’s’, A Night Of The Undead takes us in a somewhat different direction of a familiar story. How about a revisiting, for a new spin?
A Night Of The Undead from MTS Pictures/DesiRue Productions heads into familiar territory but with a fresh, updated take on George A. Romero’s iconic ‘Night Of The Living Dead’. This is a tale that has probably crossed many Living Dead fans’ minds at some point and this team of indie filmmakers pull the lever to explore some interesting ‘what if’s’ by going back to the roots of the original 1968 movie.
Helmed by a relatively small creative team, as you will find with many indie films, many of the crew wore multiple hats in creating A Night Of The Undead. Jake C. Young and Kenny Scott Guffey worked overtime by not only writing the story, but also co-producing and co-directing the film. These two fellas also pulled some duties as cameo actors as well. Zach Bradley served as Executive Producer while Tyler Aucoin handled the screenplay.
The tale centers on four main characters, Brady (Denny Kidd), Piper (Brianna Phipps, Adam (Mason Johnson) and Judy (Mckenzie Clay). Our fearless foursome are hosts of a podcast where they explore and debunk rumors and urban legends surrounding various things. The focus here is whether the events portrayed in the original ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ film were real and/or subject of some sort of cover up. There apparently have been rumors and chatter for years surrounding the facts, or speculation, about what really went down at that desolate farmhouse all those years ago. And gosh, darn it, our crew is going to set out to get to the bottom of all this!
Of course, there is some conflict lurking on many of the familiar areas. One character is the eternal skeptic, even somewhat aggressively so while another is a solid believer. The others fall somewhere in between but lean more toward being open minded about the whole thing.
And what kind of movie cut from this cloth would not have a crazy old man living alone out in the woods who has seen it all! Check!
Once our crew makes it to the (supposed) original farmhouse in the woods, you begin to see some fun references back to the original movie. Trips down to the basement, some familiar camera angles to give a bit of original feel and heck, even Adam wearing a white t-shirt reminiscent of the character ‘Tom’ from the original film. There are easter eggs if you look for them.
Of course, there is the obligatory stumbling undead wandering around in the woods. While not particularly terrifying, you get the idea that something is amiss here. As our foursome gets settled in at the farmhouse, we learn more of their personal issues. Brady and Judy had been a couple at some point in the past but are awkwardly thrown into this situation by Piper and Adam in an apparent shot at creating some emotional tension. As expected, they start getting along ok pretty quickly before things start to go downhill.
Without giving any spoilers away let’s just say that the most diehard skeptic in the group changes their mind pretty quickly and the ones on the fence make a quick jump to the 100% believer side. While the action is a measured pace for most of the movie, the action and resolve starts rolling pretty quickly nearer the end. Yes, things get ugly as the undead always seem to do.
A Night Of The Undead is an interesting take on a classic genre-creating movie without trying to reinvent the wheel. Of course, this is a smaller indie production like so many with limited resources but the filmmakers get you thinking by telling a story with what they had to work with. The absence of much music or soundtrack – or sound effects in general – even avoids being distracting at times to good effect.
To be quite honest, it would be a bit of a brave move to take on such a beloved classic as there will always be so many comparisons but still apply a fresh and creative vision to extend an old story.
Terry is founder of Black Dog Filmz based in Florida and creator of the award winning ‘Harlow’s Haunt’ movie. He has been involved with creative filmmaking, movies, music videos and commercial projects for more than 20 years as a tech, drone and specialized small camera systems professional. A lifelong horror fan, Terry combines the behind-the-camera elements with creative and editorial writing to support filmmakers and fans everywhere. Terry has written for such national publications as Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Drone News and hosted the popular Romero Pictures Indie Brigade Drone Cav podcast centered on aerial cinematography and various product and content reviews.