9. Issues With The 30th Anniversary Edition
John Russo was the co-writer of the original Night of the Living Dead, and he was also a producer on the 1990 remake. For the 30th anniversary edition, he re-edited the movie to give it a modern flow, cutting 15 minutes of the film and adding in 15 minutes of new footage that he directed. It also featured a whole new soundtrack. It was not greeted kindly, which is hardly surprising given the quality of the new footage.
The project ran into trouble before filming even began. The Evans City Cemetery, the site of the original, was the obvious choice as a filming location for the new footage. However, shortly before shooting the site was ravaged by a tornado, rendering the location unusable. The problems didn’t stop there, as Scott Vladimir Licina - the actor who plays the new character Reverend Hicks and who also composed the new soundtrack - was hospitalised with heat stroke on set.
The 30th anniversary edition gained infamy after its release in 1999 for many reasons. First, there is the poor quality of the acting and the strange new opening where it is revealed the first zombie seen in NOTLD was the corpse of a child killer. Most of all, it lacks any involvement from George A. Romero and disregards the sequels Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985), as the ending is changed to a somewhat happier one.