Movie Review: Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animation (2012)

Phillip Tomasso

There are what, five, six, Night of the Living Dead films? The latest — this is the 6th as best I can tell — is this one, Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animation. It’s in 3-D, as was the 2006 film. (Please note, there is also a Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3-D slated for a 2014 release). Anyway, this writer/director Jeff Broadstreet production is Rated R and clocks in at a taut 88 minutes.

night of the living deadGerald ¬†Tovar, Sr. passed away at least a decade ago and left his mortuary, cemetery, the farmhouse and all of the land it sits on to his oldest son, Gerald Tovar, Jr. (Andrew Divoff). Apparently, running a mortuary (with secrets) is not easy. Junior’s staff is limited to DyeAnn (Robin Sydney), a busty necrophiliac who appreciates the piece and quiet of working nights alone with stiffs (no pun intended. Okay. Maybe a little pun). There is also Russell (Adam Chambers), who’s singular responsibility, the best I could tell, was keeping the back door to the crematorium locked at all times. Obviously a man who appreciates pretty woman, Junior ¬†also adds to his subordinates an additional embalming trainee, Cristie Forrest (Sarah Leiving), who appears eager to learn the trade.

It’s when Junior’s brother, Harold (Jeffrey Combs) shows up that things really begin to unravel. Forced to shut down his veterinary practice, Harold needs money. Lots of money. While no reason is given as to why this man is so in debt, the desperation is obvious. The threat to challenge the will is what snaps Junior into action. The secrets he’s been keeping about their father need to be revealed. It is one of the only ways Junior can prove to his kid brother, that all he has . . . is not all it seems.

Since their father has been in business, Senior has been in bed with the government. They’d deliver things that needed to be destroyed. No questions asked. Senior would use the crematorium and burn whatever was left at his doorstep. Once Junior inherited the family business, the military continued to drop of chemical waste, but Junior –afraid of fire– never fired up the crematorium. Instead, hundreds of bodies were exposed to the unknown toxic chemicals. These chemicals were so strong . . . you guessed it, they re-animated the dead as zombies! With a room filled with decaying corpses, Junior needs help, and Harold’s arrival might be exactly the answer he was looking for (and then again, it might not). As exposure and an increase in re-animated corpses spirals out of control, Junior must act fast to stop an all-out spreading apocalypse in . . . Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animation!

Denice Duff portrays the character Sister Sara, a politician favored by Fixd News, invited to the mortuary for a piece on . . . I have no idea what . . . but her character is clearly a mockery of Sarah Palin, from the Alaskan back-drop when she is interviewed, to the signature red sport coat, glasses, and . . . I’ll just say mannerisms. Her character served no purpose to move the story. She was a forced piece that just did not fit in the puzzle. I didn’t get it.

Aside from Sister Sara, Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animation was a pretty good zombie film. Clearly B-Horror quality, it was better than most. It watched like an old movie, the way it was filmed; if it weren’t for the mention of the Internet, I’d have sworn it took place in the 80’s. Like story revolves around Junior and his concerns with proper disposal of the mess he’s let accumulate, but there are enough zombies, and zombie kills / killings to keep it entertaining. However, I wouldn’t call this movie scary. It was more like a drama, with zombies. There are no bumps, jumps, bangs or goosebumps. I did not play with my phone during the film. That is a good sign. Trust me. For this reason, I will give Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animation 3 out of 5 Stars!

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