Warner Bros. Reanimates the Dead in Night of the Animated Dead

In June of 1967, as legend has it, George Romero (Dawn of the Dead, Day of The Dead) gathered friends, family, and mostly amateur actors to begin shooting a movie that would not only create but define an entire genre of filmmaking. Although no one uses the "Z" word in the movie, Night of the Living Dead cast the dye for the flesh-eating ghouls for generations to come. This fall, in time for Halloween, one would imagine, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment reanimates the dead in Night of the Animated Dead. 

WB Reanimates the Dead in Night of the Animated Dead
Night of the Animated Dead Title Card. Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The terror begins as brother and sister team Johnny and Barbra visit a cemetery and discover tenets are more active than they should be. Barbra, and the rag-tag group of strangers that she joins, eventually learn that 1960's societal norms are just as hard to survive as a horde of the Undead.  Filmed on a shoestring budget ($114,000) in black and white, the film was originally panned for its graphic depiction of violence and dismemberment but would develop a cult following spanning over 50 years.

Attempting to survive the farmhouse standoff is a mouthful of voice talent, including Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Jupiter's Legacy) as Harry Cooper, Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, American Mary) as Barbara, Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as Judy, Will Sasso as (Mad TV, The Three Stooges) Sheriff McClelland, and Nancy Travis (So I Married an Axe Murderer, Last Man Standing) as Helen Cooper. The voice cast also includes a mini Psych reunion with Dulé Hill (Psych, Ballers) as Ben, James Roday Rodriguez (Psych, A Million Little Things) as Tom, and Jimmi Simpson (Westworld, Psych) as Johnny. 

Romero would direct several "Dead" movies, and at the time of his death in 2017, he was working on his final opus Twilight of the Dead. The project is currently inactive development with writers Paolo Zelati, Joe Knetter, and Robert L. Lucas, aiding the director's wife, Suzanne Romero, to bring George's final statement on the undead genre to life. "Twilight of the Dead was his goodbye to the genre he created and wanted to go out with a powerful film." Said Zelati. 

Night of the Animated Dead is directed by Jason Axinn (To Your Last Death) and is produced by Michael J Luisi, Ralph E. Portillo, Robert Feldman, and Kevin Kasha. Executive producers are Richard Potter, Thomas DeFeo, and Jamie Elliott.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has plans to unleash Night of the Animated Dead this fall on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital.

 

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About Jimmy Leszczynski

Jimmy Leszczynski has been blurring the line between comics and reality at SDCC every year since 1994, and was a nerd long before Lewis, Gilbert, and the Tri Lamdas made it cool. Middle aged father of 2 that REFUSES to grow up, lifelong Bat-Fan, and he thinks he's pretty funny.
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