The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Posts tagged “Jeffery Combs

Night of the Living Dead Re-Animation

So, remember last time, when I mentioned… Night of the Living Dead 3D and referred to it as a series?

OK, one sequel may be stretching the definition of series a little bit… But quite frankly, the fact that there’s a direct sequel to that film intrigues me. I happened to find this volume at my local dollar tree, and was actually incorrect about what I was buying. I thought I was getting that weird animated mishmash that came out five or seven years ago… No. This is a live action film,, and it’s in honest to God blue and red 3-D. If that’s not enough to sell you, I’d also like to point out that it’s stars Andrew Divoff… Wishmaster. And Jeffrey combs… Reanimator. And when I say star, I do mean star. This is not one of those “we hired the dude for one day to film a couple of scenes“. They are both main characters, and that’s kind of where things get interesting.

Night of the Living Dead 3D Reanimation is about some mysterious and sketchy things going on around the Tovar funeral home. Does that name sound familiar? It should. That was Sid Haig’s character in Night of the Living Dead 3D . This time around, the Tovar in question is played by Andrew Duval… and he’s the head of the funeral home. He’s breaking in a new girl in the mortuary, when things start to go out of hand. The dead start coming back, and it’s a bad time for everybody.

What I’m really enjoying about this film, is the world building. In a lot of ways, Director Jeff Bradstreet is trying to redo some stuff from his Night of the Living Dead 3D, and fill in some gaps. Technically, Divoff is playing the same character that Sid Haig is. It’s inescapable… And that’s kind of a shame. Because, this thing would work way better for me if he was playing his son perhaps. We do see some things like the old man still bound up in a chair in a secret room… Zombified. He’s got a beard so perhaps it’s three generations of Tovar.? I mean, I could buy that desiccated corpse as Sid Haig. But Divoff also seems to have some of Haig’s similar quirks… Specifically the reluctance to use the crematory… he fears the fire. Nevertheless, it’s better drawn out and more effectively used here, and plays a key role in the ending.

Early in the film, it turns out that Tovar’s good for nothing long lost prodigal brother shows up looking for cash. This motivates much of the action of the film, with his suggestion that they go national, harvesting tissue and changing focus in the funeral home. That or sell the land. He needs money either way. The character, played by Jeffrey Combs is a lot of fun, and watching Combs and Divoff play against each other is worth the price of admission alone. I know, this almost feels like horror convention casting, but these two both really elevate the material, and their conflict feels real. It gives some interesting motivation and storytelling to juxtapose with the typical zombie hack and slash. It gives more depth and creep to the world… After all, why does the mortuary have cages and bars around its back entrance? What exactly is going on in the crematorium? And where are some of these strange deliveries coming from. It’s all good stuff, and a fairly good follow up from what we saw in Night of the Living Dead 3D. I’m a fan of Divoff in general, I’d be happy to just watch him recite the phonebook, and he really does make anything he’s in better (in addition to just being a really stand up guy in general)
An interesting thing to note on the plus side as well… The 3-D has actually gotten significantly better this time around. It’s another one of those DVD sets that comes with blue and red glasses, but the 3-D effect seem to jump out a lot more effectively in this film than it did in the previous. I’m also a big fan of the idea of centering this entire series around this strange forsaken funeral Home. As I mentioned with the Night of the Living Dead 3D, it gives me slightly more Return of the Living Dead vibes… But not quite as silly. It may not quite belong in the know the living dead universe, but whatever universe is creating, I dig it. I’d actually kind of like to see more… And that’s a shame because there aren’t any more. This one was done back in 2009, and it shows. The Director does have some political actions to grind, taking weird and predictable shots both at Fox News and also Sarah Palin. Personally, despite being a conservative Republican, I still found it a great deal of fun to see Palin end up a zombie… But the politics me distract you… And they unfortunately age this thing significantly… Especially Being so far removed from the W years. Nevertheless, I would really love to return to the Tovar funeral home, and I’d really like it if Bradstreet good at least enough money to make this into a trilogy. If you see this at the dollar tree, it’s absolutely worth your while. If you see it on streaming, it’s absolutely worth your while. This is one of the sequels I actually had a hard time finding on IMDb. Most people don’t know it exists, and with the predominantly negative reaction to Night of the Living Dead 3D, I imagine it would be similarly shunned. Don’t. Go find this. Night of the Living Dead 3D Reanimation is a fun, good zombie movie, with some great performances with some old friends.