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Elite Entertainment’s THX certified DVD edition of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD takes their already fantastic black and white transfer to new heights with the improved resolution of the DVD format. The blacks are purer on the DVD edition and image is slightly sharper than that of the Laserdisc. The transfer presents NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, which is the ratio that the film was produced.

The audio for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is presented in one channel Dolby Digital. The monaural soundtrack sounds quite good, with the dialogue remaining clear and intelligible. Elite Entertainment Inc. has included two audio commentaries on their DVD edition of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. The first commentary features director George A. Romero as well as John Russo, Karl Hardman and Marilyn Eastman. The commentary is fairly informative about the film’s production, considering that the commentary was recorded over twenty five years after the film was made. In addition to the insight about the production, the commentary does have its entertainment value, with the participants supplying humorous recollections.

The second commentary features producer Russell Streiner along with cast members Bill Heinzman, Judith O’Dea, Keith Wayne, Kyra Schon and Vince Survinski. This commentary offers a lot less insight into the actual production, and instead focuses on the participants good-natured reminisces and anecdotes. The second commentary is actually more entertaining, since it is filled with more humorous bits. The DVD also offers a theatrical trailer, television spot, television commercials produced by George Romero and company (Image Ten, Inc.) in Pittsburgh, and the short film parody NIGHT OF THE LIVING BREAD. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD also features neat interactive menus. The chapter selector is especially good, displaying screen shots on the television set watched by the characters in the film.

Please note that there is a software problem with this DVD, which only effects Sony DVD players. The problem makes it difficult for those with Sony DVD players to access the theatrical trailer, television spot, commercials and the short film parody. These supplements can not be accessed from the main menu, however, they can still be viewed by going to the previous chapter and "chaptering-up" to them. The movie itself plays just fine, as do the audio commentaries. Elite Entertainment Inc. promises that this problem will be corrected on future production runs of the title. For the record, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD plays flawlessly in every other manufacturer’s DVD players.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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