Compared are the Workprint (Night of Anubis and the uncut Original Version / Theatrical Version (both available on the UK Blu-ray by Criterion)
- 4 differencecs
- Length difference: 645.7 sec (= 10:46 min) [credits excluded]
There is not much to say about George A. Romero's first zombie film Night of the Living Dead, other than: A game-changing classic, a masterpice that should not be missing in a collection of anyone who call themselves horror fans. With the Criterion Blu-ray release on 02/26/18 in both the US and the UK, there is one more option now. The release is based on new 4K scan, there is lots of bonus produced specifically for this release and, of course, there is the reason for the following comparison: A workprint called Night of the Anubis.
Fans got all excited because at the end of 2015 (resp. less than a year before he passed away), Romero was present at MonsterMania Horror Convention in the US and he allegedly mentioned an additional scenes with a length of 9 minutes in this 16mm discovery. There is an obvious jump cut in one of the basement scenes and rumor had it that there would be new zombie scenes now. Scenes the distributor had removed back in the day. Unfortunately, that is not the case: Not a single frame of that is in the new workprint and the actual alterations are rather redundant.
Basically, the workprint is pretty much like the Theatrical Version resp. most of the footage is identically equal - except for the wear and tear and the shaky picture almost every single when a reel change is required. In addition to that, there is an alernate title at the very beginning and a small additional shot of the zombies coming getting closer to the house. But then again, a huge part of a reel is completely missing which explains why the workprint is much shorter. This is also being explained in the introductory text box on the Blu-ray. And on top of that, there is a further missing scene in the workprint, shortly before the end credits.
By the way, the workprint did not have any audio. For that reason, the restored audio track from the Theatrical Version was used. Further new footage can be found in the featurette "Dailies" with behind the scenes footage none of which was available on any release until now. As some kind of introduction, it is also being mentioned that the "basement jump cut" footage could not be located but the fan gets to see that footage at the very least. Unfortunately, the new footage is far from breath-taking - purchasing the film one more time only because of the new footage is not really worth it. The picture and audio quality on the other hand is definately worth it.
Time index refers to
Night of the Anubis (Criterion Blu-ray) / Original Version (Criterion Blu-ray)
The restored Original Version on the Criterion Blu-ray contains a few logos and info texts at the very beginning while the Workprint, subsequent to a small black screen, instantaneously starts with the first scene of the film.
Original Version 37.5 sec longer
The title differs.
02:00 / 02:37-02:38
Jump cut prior to the concluding director's credit.
30:56-31:02 / 31:34-41:45
Subsequent to a close-up of Barbara begging for help with the search for Johnny, there is a huge sequence missing in the Workprint reels - hence the small grey image.
In the Original Version, Barbara stands up and after a little argument, she gets knocked out by Ben.
Long radio reports regarding the current situation with the undead follow while Ben is doing the best he can to make the house zombieproof and he starts a fire outside as well.
Barbara regains consciousness, she looks distraught. Meanwhile, Ben has managed to find a weapon.
After Ben finds a dead body upstairs, Harry and Helen come in and subsequent to a little "discussion", the versions are back in sync.
Not as many screenshots as usual due to the fact that the sequence missing in the Workprint is originally supposed to be in the actual film.
Original Version 605 sec (= 10:05 min) longer
In minutes 42 & 52, there is an obvious jump cut when Harry and Helen decide to leave the basement and go back upstairs. This jump cut is pretty common though - the older US Special Edition DVD by Elite has also been checked and it contains the very same jump cut.
67:47-67:57 / 78:30-78:40
After Harry gets to the window, there is a longer alternate shot.
In the Theatrical Version, a girl is feasting. The workprint on the other hand shows a few zombies walking around.
80:33 / 91:16-91:57
A shot ends right in the middle of it (probably not on purpose. As a result, the longer comment by the guy with the rifle is missing: He mobiizes a few people in order to get to the house. Also, the guy next to him (Bill) says everything was under control.
Suubsequent to the end credits, there is one last alteration.
Last but not least, a few examples for the damaged footage when reel changes are required.