Just missing Halloween by a few days, a new 4k digital restoration of the one, the only, the original Night Of The Living Dead will be have its world premiere at the Museum Of Modern Art’s To Save And Project Festival on November 5th.
Night Of The Living Dead has arguably had more home-video releases than all of the Star Wars films combined over the past 50 years, thanks to its public-domain status. The story goes that the original 1968 print of George Romero’s influential shocker was missing a copyright notice, leaving the film open to duplication and public re-release (and whatever the hell John Russo felt like doing with it). That’s why copies could always be found in the .99 bin at any local drug store, most of them looking all messed up. There have also been some very good re-releases of George Romero’s film along the way—particularly Elite’s late ’90s laserdisc edition, which eventually made its way to DVD—but this new restoration appears to be something special. You’ll practically smell the leather on Johnny’s cool guy driving gloves.
The Museum Of Modern Art first acquired one of the original prints of Night Of The Living Dead in 1970 for its collection, and have finally gotten around to restoring it for the digital age. Director George Romero worked closely with the Museum in order to, according to a press release, “terrify new audiences and devoted fans with a version that returns our film to the quality we originally intended.”
The annual To Save And Project Festival showcases the Museum Of Modern Art’s restorations and rediscoveries. “It has been impossible to truly appreciate the film’s formal beauty and visceral power,” explained film curator and festival co-organizer Joshua Siegel. “Our state-of-the-art restoration draws upon the best original visual and audio elements previously thought to have been lost.”
The new 4k restoration of Night Of The Living Dead will screen at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York on November 5. Tickets for this event are available here.