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The first remake of Night of the Living Dead (1968), directed by Tom Savini.

Two siblings are attacked by zombies when they go to visit their mother's grave. The survivor of the duo, Barbara, makes her way to a farmhouse that starts housing others like her. However, their solace is only temporary, and they are are soon besieged by the living dead.

The film was created, in part, as an attempt to restore the copyright of the original film, but Romero and Russo also took the opportunity to improve on some of the weaker elements of the original film, and to produce a more cinematic experience. The film did poorly critically and commercially, but has gained a cult following over the years.


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This film has examples of:

  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: The heroes start frantically boarding up any possible entrance into the house, with Ben claiming "they will reinforce them later" but as the film progresses, the zombies keep either grabbing people through the gaps, or pushing the barricades over with very little trouble, at the climax of the film, their efforts are proven to be fruitless as the zombies easily push every single one down with no effort.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Barbara was blonde in the original and red haired in this.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Downplayed with Barbra, who is now Barbara.
    • Karen Cooper's first name is changed to Sarah.
    • Minor example. It was just Judy in the original. Now it's Judy Rose.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Helen was frequently at odds with her husband in the original. Here she's more submissive to him at first, only rebelling as the film goes on.
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    • Judy and Tom didn't have much personality in the original. Here they're country kids, with Judy taking on the role of a Screaming Woman more than once.
    • The biggest example of this trope goes to Barbara. In the original she barely escaped the cemetery zombie and spends most of the movie either catatonic or hysterical, not serving much of a purpose until being ultimately eaten alive at the climax. Here, she defends herself against multiple zombies, kills several of them herself, puts much more effort into helping board up the house, and figures out the zombies are so slow they can be easily walked past. Out of all the people seeking shelter in the farmhouse, this time she is the only survivor.
  • Adaptational Badass: The most notable change from the original is upgrading the character of Barbara from The Load into an Action Girl. Judy takes a while but gets there too. She seems to get over her trauma halfway through and calls Ben and Cooper out on their fighting. Likewise in the original she just panicked when Tom left the house and was forced to go along to the gas pump - whereas here she offers to drive to help Ben and Tom out.
  • Adaptational Deviation: Tom Savini said in his commentary that while the remake closely follows the beats of the original, they went out of their way to keep repeat viewers of the original film on their toes by seemingly leading characters down the same path in the remake...Only to pull the rug out from under them and have something different occur. Notable examples include:
    • In the beginning, Johnnie mocks Barbara that the man behind her is coming to get her. In the original film, the man who approaches Barbara from behind WAS a zombie. In the remake, that person is just a wounded and confused man, and after he moves away, the real zombie suddenly comes out of nowhere from behind Jonnie, pushes him out of the way, and tackles Barbara to the ground.
    • Barbara in the remake seems to be headed right down the same path as the original Barbara before she pulls herself out of her mental breakdown to become an Action Girl. Some of this comes down to Ben being a bit more gentle around the obviously emotionally shattered Barbara, and helping her snap out of it with a pep talk or two.
    • The antagonism between Ben and Cooper is dialed up to 11, and while the original film often presented Ben as unquestionably right while Cooper was unquestionably wrong, the remake muddies the waters a little bit by making both Ben and Cooper's actions driven by ego over whether or not the either is right. Ben also pushes for acceptance of his ideas over all others, like overriding Barbara's suggestion they simply walk away, something that wasn't considered at all in the original.
    • In the original film, Ben single-handedly manages to board up every room in the house. The remake ratchets up the tension by having Ben, Barbara, Tom, and Judy Rose all taking part in boarding up the house in real time, and doing so while infighting and battling zombies that take advantage of the hurried nature the characters are using to board the windows up, be it half-hammered nails or just not enough nails in some instances.
    • Ben shoots Cooper, who dies before Helen and gets eaten by his daughter in the original because Cooper was fighting Ben over control of the gun, and then Sarah attacks her mother when she comes after Cooper. In the remake, Cooper unknowingly sends Helen to her death at the mouth of the zombiefied Sarah before Ben even gets back to the house, and it's Barbara who Cooper fights for control of the gun, eventually succeeding in getting it away from her.
    • While Ben does shoot Cooper, it's only after Cooper shot him to prevent him from shooting zombified daughter Sarah. Worse, the two men exchange shots more than once, resulting in Ben sustaining a moral wound when Cooper shoots him for a second time. Also, while they're skirmishing, it's Barbara who puts Sarah down. She doesn't get shot at all in the original film.
    • Naturally, the biggest deviation is in the ending. Barbara makes it out on foot, whereas she dies in the original. Ben ends up in the basement as he does in the original, but because of his mortal gunshot wound, he bleeds out, dies, becomes a zombie and has to be put down. Cooper doesn't die in the basement and get eaten and zombiefied by his daughter, he cleverly discovers the house has an attic, hides up there, and survives the night, almost surviving the film itself until he stupidly reveals himself to Barbara while she's alone and she uses her (completely justified) hatred and rage at Cooper, as well as the situation of their being no eyewitnesses, to simply execute Cooper and let the hunting party she's with burn his corpse as though he's simply just another zombie.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The film gives the protagonists a little more of a connection. For example, the house they're in belongs to Tom's uncle and cousin (who are the bodies Barbara finds when she arrives) - and Tom knows for sure that there's a key for the gas pump and knows the house better.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: In the first film, Judy just panicked and tagged along with Tom and Ben for no real reason. Here, she guesses that they need a third person involved; while Tom is working the gas pump and Ben is warding off the zombies, they need someone already behind the wheel - and she's used to driving trucks.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Johnny's teasing was light-hearted in the first film. Here he's annoying Barbara for the whole trip to the cemetery, complaining about everything and nagging Barbara about her personal life.
    • Judy Rose compared to her kinder and softer portrayal in the first film. She's at odds with Barbara and shouts at Cooper and Ben. Of course in this case, they're more reasonable reactions to stress, making her a mild example. In fairness, she's justified in her outrage at Ben and Cooper, due to them fighting over control of the house when Tom himself is the one with the familial connection to the place, since it belongs to Tom's uncle, and yet Ben and Cooper behave as though the house belongs to each of them.
    • The shooters who show up at the end get additional scenes where they prank Barbara and tie up still-alive zombies to lynch them. Beforehand they were just trying to keep the area safe from zombies.
  • Adaptational Sympathy: In the original film, Helen gave back just as much as she got from Harry Cooper, and Harry never struck her. The remake portrays Helen as much more meek to her loathsome husband, and we see Harry slap her once, leading her to ineffectually fight him back. The biggest hint that Helen is in an abusive relationship with Harry comes after Helen develops the willpower to come upstairs and look for the keys, yet initially, she's so meek she can barely raise her voice when she asks Barbara and Judy Rose where she could potentially find them.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While Cooper was an unlikable asshole in the original, he was still willing to help the others out after some grumbling, even if his fear and anger got the better of him towards the end, and he came across more as a scared, angry man out of his wits with fear and confusion. In the remake he is an utterly loathsome and useless slimeball.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: A minor example. Barbara is approached by the zombie of a little girl, who's actually still holding her doll and in a nightdress (giving the impression she was bitten and turned while asleep in bed). Barbara hesitates before tearfully shooting her dead, even wailing "oh God!" after she does so.
  • Big Brother Bully: Johnny. He bullies Barbara in the car on the way to the cemetery and doesn't stop when they get there. In the original he is more whiny and teasing than actually malevolent.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After the truck explodes, Ben travels the considerable distance back to the house alone and weaponless, sometimes having fist-flinging brawls with groups of the zombies that he manages to subdue by himself long enough to get past them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Barbara survives, but Ben doesn't. Harry also survives, but Barbara immediately executes him. Barbara's faith in humanity has been completely destroyed, causing her to say in regards to the dead, "They're us. We're them, and they're us."
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Helen (brunette), Judy Rose (blonde) and Barbara (redhead).
  • Bottomless Magazines: Completely averted. The film plays the ammo capacity completely straight. Cooper shoots the survivor's main weapon, the rifle, completely empty once. Before that, Barbara asks Tom what the capacity is of the rifle and can be seen reloading the rifle twice. Cooper is also seen reloading the rifle after he empties it.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Barbara. What a coincidence - this is also the film where she becomes an Action Girl.
  • Brick Joke: The gas pump key is forgotten about after Tom and Judy get blown up in the original film. In here, it shows up in the cellar at the end as a final irony, and Ben gets to be in on the joke in-universe, laughing at their failure as he holds it and the darkness envelopes the basement.
  • Car Fu: When Ben arrives to the farmhouse, the first thing that he does is to drive over a zombie.
  • Character Development:
  • Contrived Coincidence: After Barbara loses the gun to Cooper and instead abandons him to the zombies clawing through the window so she can let Ben back inside, the zombie that follows Ben that they eventually let inside to kill more easily just happens to be a police officer with TWO pistols, which they go for as soon as it's dead. This allows Ben and Barbara to both re-arm themselves within moments of Cooper getting his mitts on the only remaining gun in the house at the time.
  • Crowbar Combatant: Ben is armed with a crowbar when he gets to the farmhouse, and he uses it to beat up and impale three zombies.
  • Dangerous Windows: Even with the windows boarded up, zombies still manage to grab characters through them.
  • Darker and Edgier: Played with; the remake is much more violent and profanity-laced compared to the original, but the tone is largely the same.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Johnny's and Barbara's mother. In the original it's their father's grave and their dialogue confirms that their mother is still alive. In this version it's their mother's grave but no confirmation on whether or not their father is still alive.
    • A variation with Johnny. In the original he dies at the start but later shows up at the farmhouse as a zombie. He just dies in this at the cemetery and is found by Barbara in a corpse pile in the back of a truck. Though, to be fair, it's entirely possible that he revived into a zombie, and was shot down by the very men who tossed him into the back of the truck. Evidence for this can included, the sheer distance he is found from the cemetery, and the bullet hole in his left eye.
    • A variation with the Coopers' daughter. While she dies in both films, the reanimated Karen Cooper is never seen destroyed before Ben retreats to the cellar. In the remake, the zombified Sarah Cooper is taken out by Barbara after she emerges from the cellar and goes after Barbara while Ben and Cooper are trading shots with each other.
  • Death of a Child: One of the zombies that approaches Barbara is the Cooper's daughter, who has a zombie. Barbara has no choice but to shoot Sarah when Sarah attempts to bite her.
  • Deep South: There are strong southern accents on Tom, Judy Rose and the rednecks at the end. None of them had such accents in the original. A rather inexplicable example as the film is implied to be set in Pennsylvania, as it's said to be five miles away from Evans City.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • Ben dies from lingering wounds sustained in a gun fight with Cooper. He's found the next morning as a zombie, as opposed to surviving the night and getting shot by the rednecks.
    • Helen was stabbed to death by her daughter in the original. Here, Sarah bites her on the neck, and Ben shoots her in the head after she reveals to have reanimated as a zombie.
    • Cooper is not killed and eaten by his daughter, but shot in the head by Barbara after his loathsome character is revealed to have survived the night after killing Ben and taking a less harmful gunshot wound from Ben.
    • Ben simply pushes the Cooper's zombie daughter away and flees to the basement in the original. Here, Barbara shoots her through the head when Sarah Cooper attempts to bite her.
    • Even Tom and Judy Rose's deaths are slightly modified from the original. Instead of Judy driving the burning truck away from the pumps, panicking, and getting killed along with Tom as he tries to get her out when the truck explodes, in this film, the gas tank, pump, and truck all explode simultaneously, and both are virtually killed instantly. Judy Rose doesn't even have a chance to make it out of the truck, and we can actually see someone behind the wheel before the truck explodes completely.
  • Digital Destruction: The film has an infamous restoration that added a thick blue tint to the picture beginning around when Barbara starts running to the farmhouse. It was used for the film's limited Blu-ray release from Twilight Time in 2014, to much outcry. The studio tried to claim that the film's original cinematographer, Frank Prinzi, had approved of the transfer. However Prinzi later confirmed that while he had briefly spoken to them about what he wanted, he otherwise had nothing to do with the restoration process. Twilight Time's Blu-ray was only limited to 3,000 copies, and, despite the controversy, had become hard to find and very expensive until Umbrella Entertainment released a region free edition in Australia that became easily and cheaply available in the US, with an older transfer, but the "correct" color timing.
  • Emergency Refuelling: The film has a group of people trapped in The Siege with the zombies outside, who have a car that could help them escape. Unfortunately the car has no fuel and the gas pump on the outside of the house is locked with key, so a significant side-plot is the frantic search for the keys to the pump's lock all over the house. Once a set of keys that may be the pump's have been found, the survivors implement a plan to refuel the car. Except Tom discovers the keys are NOT for the pump.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Cooper has the rifle, it's reloaded, and Ben and Barbara are frantically trying to get the dead zombie cop's guns. Both Ben and Barbara hate him (for good reason) and Cooper hates the two of them equally. Cooper COULD have just shot them both to death right then and there, but in one rare moment of decency, he just points it at them and glares before ignoring them and trying to go lock himself in the cellar. However, this moment of decency is completely undermined moments later when Cooper freaks out that Ben is trying to shoot his zombified daughter and shoots Ben.
  • Final Girl: Barbara is the sole survivor of the besieged farmhouse. By her own hand, even: when she finds out that the cowardly Harry Cooper also made it, she shoots him on the spot.
  • Five-Man Band: The film plays with the traditional roles:
    • The Leader: Ben takes charge but it's implied taking charge is all he can actually do to stop himself from going mad. He frequently dismisses other ideas and insists everyone stick to his plans. Which it turns out, weren't good ideas at all, though he truly meant well by them.
    • The Lancer: Cooper is equally as stubborn as Ben and, instead of offering reasonable alternatives, insists that his way is the right one. The two of them pick fights simply because their egos won't allow them not to and other characters call them out on it.
    • The Smart Guy: Barbara. Initially falls to pieces but is able to eventually think clearly. She remains solid-minded while everyone else slowly goes mad. She suggests a plan that, if they had followed it, they wouldn't have died. In this version it's her who is the sole survivor.
    • The Big Guy: Tom. He's probably the straightest example, being fleshed out as a local country boy who can handle a gun and is able to fix up the house. He ends up doubling as The Face, often mediating between Ben and Cooper's rows.
    • The Chick: Judy Rose takes over Barbara's original role as the Screaming Woman instead of being calm and reasonable simply because she's a woman. However she reacts realistically to what's going on and becomes a little more proactive (going outside to get the gas pump keys, insisting that she drive the truck).
    • Team Mom: Helen mostly mothers her own daughter but is dominated by her husband. However she eventually resists him in the name of doing what's best for her daughter.
  • Gender Flip: Minor example. The corpse found upstairs in the house is a woman in the original, and a man in the remake.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: After Barbara is attacked by the first zombie, she loses her glasses. Strangely she doesn't seem affected by this for the rest of the film, unless she was just using them for driving and forgot to take them off.
  • Halfempty Twoshot: Something does lunge into the frame, but from the wrong side.
  • Hate at First Sight: Ben and Cooper in the original film weren't fans of each other at all, but in the remake, that antagonism is dialed up to 11, and these two men really do truly hate each other the second they meet. In Ben's case, it's warranted due to how odious Cooper comes off the minute he opens his mouth.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • Barbara says something to that extent when she notices the survivors lynching the zombies in the ending. This is also implied to have happened to Barbara herself when she shoots Harry and tells the two hicks that he's "another body for the fire".
    • Also implied by the photo montage at the very end of the movie: the photos of the militia hicks carrying weapons and burning zombie corpses look ghoulish indeed, repeatedly intercut with a shot of Barbara watching them, seems to ask — who are the real monsters here?
  • Hope Spot: Upon her return to the farmhouse, when Barbara sees the posse using a chainsaw to cut the locked basement door, Barbara (and the audience) are clearly hoping that it means that Ben managed to hole up there and survive the night, especially since Ben's arc in the remake follows the arc of Ben in the original, save for taking two bullets from Cooper. When they finally get the door open, Barbara looks expectantly...And then sees that Ben ended up dying from his gunshot wounds and turned into a zombie before help arrived.
    • In-universe, Harry Cooper gets one when he sees Barbara has returned. After the Hell he put her and everyone else through, she executes him without a second thought.
  • Idiot Ball: Poor Tom grabs it at the worst possible time. Discovering that the keys they brought to the gas pump are the wrong ones, he panics and shoots it with his buckshot-loaded shotgun. While it does the job, it also perforates the gas nozzle hose. In his haste, Tom either forgot about, or wasn't thinking about, the lit torch Ben tossed in the bed of the truck. It gets sprayed by the gas from the perforated hose, and causes everything, including Tom and Judy Rose, to be destroyed in a massive explosion.
    • Played with in terms of Ben. When Cooper shoots Ben to prevent him from shooting Cooper's daughter, the wound isn't serious. However, after getting a shot in on Cooper, Ben goes halfway up the stairs in his rage to kill Cooper, and Cooper is able to get his own gun raised first and gives Ben a more serious gunshot wound that limits his mobility and later turns out to be mortal. If he hadn't tried to finish Cooper off, he might have been able to get out of the house along with Barbara. Instead, he's forced to limp his way into the basement where he ends up dying.
    • Cooper refuses to accept the reality that the things outside the house are reanimated corpses, despite a very clear demonstration by Barbara on one of the zombies that tries to come through the window. He's so unwilling to accept the reality of the situation that when Sarah comes up the stairs and reveals to have turned, he shoots Ben when Ben attempts to put her down and tries to shoot Barbara after Barbara shoots Sarah instead, before Ben gets a shot in on him.
    • Also, considering everything Cooper put Barbara, Ben, and everyone else through, including leaving her to be groped by zombies in an attempt to get the rifle, and attempting to shoot her after she killed zombie Sarah, when Cooper finds out Barbara has survived and returned and he reveals himself to her alone, he is stupid enough to think that Barbara will let bygones be bygones, and doesn't consider for even a moment that Barbara might be pissed off enough at him to kill him on general principle. Barbara quickly shows Cooper what a mistake he made.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Barbara is presented in the beginning as almost a bookish spinster. After she Took a Level in Badass, she ends up quite effective with the main rifle. To be fair, many of the shots she makes in the house are at close range, but she does effectively shoot multiple zombies in the head from a distance on her first try, and nearly every time we see her shoot, she hits her target accurately.
  • Improvised Weapon: Barbara beats a zombie with a fire poker.
    • Also, Ben uses a crowbar to take care of multiple zombies when he first arrives at the farmhouse.
    • Since the film involves most of the characters actively taking part in boarding up the windows, rather than Ben doing it all himself off-screen in the original film, there is at least once instance of a character using the tools they're using to nail boards over the windows to beat on zombie hands as they attempt to reach through the windows to grab them, including a hammer and a pipe wrench.
  • Incongruously Dressed Zombie: There's a zombie of an overdosed junkie with a heroin needle still in his arm shambling around.
    • Also, one of the zombies at the cemetery was obviously reanimated during his burial, and at first he appears normal to Barbara until he starts walking on the cuffs of his suit pants, pulling his suit forward and revealing that he's in a burial suit that was split up the back to put on his corpse.
  • One zombie isn't wearing clothes, but stands out because he's got tags on that show he reanimated at the local morgue.
  • Infinite Supplies: Mostly averted. Ben recruits Barbara, Tom, and Judy Rose into boarding up the home's multiple windows. Rather than have an endless supply of appropriate wood available, at various points the survivors use shelves, the dining room table, and pull doors off their hinges to nail over all the downstairs windows. Even that ends up not being enough, and after finding out that the doors upstairs have been replaced with weaker, new wood, Tom thankfully remembers that the old doors that were removed were put in the basement, and they recover them to board up windows.
    • This also includes the available tools. Since they're stuck in the house, they are limited in boarding up the windows to the toolbox Uncle Rege kept under the sink. Realistically, that toolbox only has one available hammer, and to allow the other characters to assist in nailing up boards and doors, Barbara and Judy Rose share a large meat tenderizer between them, while Tom uses a pipe wrench and nails boards with the flat side of it.
    • Played straight with the nails. While they only have one soup can of nails available, there sure seem to be plenty of them available to nail up every piece of wood they find to put over the windows.
  • Irony: Ben spends the film arguing why it's better to stay upstairs while Cooper does likewise with the cellar. Ben ends up fleeing to the cellar while Cooper goes to the attic. Ben dies and Cooper lives (or at least until Barbara kills him).
  • It Can Think: After Ben's zombie comes to the basement doorway, he pauses and looks at Barbara, and for a brief moment it looks as though Ben's zombie still recognizes Barbara as an ally, even after his death and reanimation. However, he ends up being executed by the posse before the audience can see if Ben's zombie would have attacked her or not.
    • Also, Sarah Cooper encounters her father first when she comes up the stairs, and could have easily taken a bite out of him like she did to her stunned mother, but instead, she simply stares at him and doesn't attack. When Ben tells Cooper to shoot her, she turns at the sound of Ben's voice and ends up ignoring Cooper entirely and instead attempts to go bite Ben and Barbara, as if realizing they are the bigger threat to her.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Cooper fervently insists only the cellar is safe and insists everyone get down there immediately. In the end, he was proven right: a massive horde of zombies try to get Ben in the cellar, but are unable to knock down (or even damage) the door. And they were all gone in the morning when the militia turned up to save them.
    • Naturally, that would also have led to the nasty issue of Sarah Cooper soon dying and reviving as ravenous zombie, in close proximity of all six survivors...
      • Easily remedied by taking the other option the attic, where Cooper hides out at the end and survives the night, at least until Barbara shoots him.
  • Large Ham: Cooper was already one in the original film, and becomes an even bigger one in this version. As Mike Nelson put it in his commentary, "It's an interesting acting choice to start with inexplicable rage and just build from there."
  • Laughing Mad: Ben as he sits dying in the cellar, once he realizes that's where the gas pump key was.
  • The Load: Almost the moment Judy Rose shows up, she takes this mantle from Barbara, who overcomes her own fear and starts kicking butt. Judy eventually gets over it and offers to drive the truck to the gas pump - as opposed to the original where she simply panicked and had to tag along because of it.
    • While Judy Rose has her load moments, the true and real load of the film is Harry Cooper. In the original film, he was largely combative, but he did do SOME things, like tossing the Molotov cocktails. In this film, Cooper does virtually nothing to help. He screams and curses and calls the others stupid, he slaps his wife, and the only moment he actually does something helpful is when he passes the struggling Tom the pipe wrench and nails so Tom can reattach the door they nailed up that a zombie is trying to get through. Even then, Tom has to beg Cooper THREE TIMES to give them to him, and he stays so far back when he finally picks them up to hand them to Tom that Tom has to struggle to reach them. Also, he has to be aware that everyone is hostile to him, yet he thinks nothing of taking the home's sole television from upstairs to downstairs, and it gets smashed in an argument between him and Ben. Even if Cooper WASN'T taking the television to the basement as he claimed, he still had to have been aware of the optics of carrying the television right by the open basement door.
  • Meaningful Name: The farmhouse has the name "M. Celeste", in reference to the famous Ghost Ship Mary Celeste, whose crew disappeared without explanation in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The Millstone: Harry Cooper might be one of the biggest millstones in horror movie, if not cinematic history. When he's not actively snarling or sabotaging the other survivor's efforts, he's yelling (constantly and all the time) about how stupid they are and how they're all going to fail, while offering no solutions beyond 'stay in the cellar'. He might be allowed a tiny bit of slack due to one line indicating he's scared for his injured daughter, but even with that he comes off as trying to be as disruptive as possible. One gets the sense that the overwhelming unnatural and horrible situation is causing him to condemn and interfere with the other survivor's choices in a desperate attempt to maintain control over something, ANYTHING, no matter what the consequences are. The Cooper of the original film was no saint, but he at least did SOMETHING, whereas the remake Cooper does nothing but cause problems for all involved.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Just like the original, one of the zombies is a nubile, naked young woman, who is shown only in one shot with the camera aimed towards her rather attractive backside. On the other hand, she appears to have been wounded or partially decayed prior to her reanimation.
  • My Car Hates Me: Tommy's and Judy Rose's quest for the gas pump is constantly hampered by the truck being unable to start in time. Judy Rose has to try to turn the engine over no less than six times each occasion. It's amazing the battery didn't die.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Barbara surviving in the end could be seen as this, considering that she was meant to survive in the original.
    • When a zombified Sarah bites her mother's neck, a splatter of blood is seen hitting a nearby trowel. In the original, Karen (Sarah's counterpart), used a trowel to kill Helen.
  • Not His Sled:
    • Used twice in regards with the original film's Downer Ending. Barbara survives and so does Cooper, but Barbara shoots him dead in the ending.
    • The first attack was changed to remain surprising. In the original, the man shambling in the background is a zombie that attacks Barbara (quite a shocker in 1968). In this film, the man is an alive but deeply confused hearse driver. Then a zombie appears out of nowhere to attack Johnny.
  • Only Sane Man: Barbara is promoted to this. Even when compared to Ben, she's the only one of the group who has any sort of common sense, trying to come up with more practical solutions rather than engaging in arguments (such as suggesting they should make a run for it considering how slow the zombies are). She's proven right, considering she escapes from the farm by merely walking away without even firing a single gunshot. She winds up being the Sole Survivor.
    • To be fair to Ben, he's also mostly a sane man, but his frequent clashes with Cooper sometimes get in the way of his critical thinking skills. Still, many of his ideas are still fairly solid, and he's the one who not only is first to figure out that blows to the head kill the zombies, but also to move into a mental state where he realizes that he can't be compassionate with any of them and they HAVE to be killed in many situations because it's either kill them or die.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: After putting the zombie he ran over out of his broken-backed misery with a crowbar through the skull, Ben looks to the sky and curses the situation. "GODDAMN YOU! GODDAMN ALL OF YOU!"
  • Rain of Blood: After Barbara gets inside the farmhouse, she discovers that there's a corpse upstairs when blood from it starts dropping on her face. This followed by a severed hand, and then an entire zombie.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In this version, the house they find is Tom's cousin's. His uncle is the zombie that attacks Barbara and Ben, and his cousin the corpse found upstairs.
  • Remake Cameo:
    • Bill 'Chilly Billy' Cardille played a reporter in the original, and plays one here in the remake.
    • Russell Streiner, who played Johnny in the original, cameos as a sheriff who says "they're all messed up" at the end.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: When Tommy and Judy Rose reach the gas pump, Tommy tries to open its lock with keys, only to find out that they don't fit. Desperate, he shoots the lock, leading to his and Judy Rose's death in the resulting explosion from the spilled gas.
  • The Siege: Characters board the windows and doors to protect themselves from the zombies outside. Unfortunately, the noise from this lures more zombies to the scene.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Barbara changing into a vest and jeans marks her getting over her trauma.
  • Smiting Evil Feels Good: At one point in the film, Barbara sticks the rifle through the window, fires, kills a zombie trying to reach through the boards to get them, then turns with a broad smile on her face, in that instance clearly relishing her newfound Action Girl abilities and fighting back against the hoards of the undead.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Barbara in the original is dragged off and implied to be devoured by a horde of zombies (among which, her brother is included) during the final siege. In this version, she becomes an Action Survivor.
  • Spoiler Cover: Some VHS versions of the film show a group of zombies, such as the one Barbara shoots holding the doll. One of those zombies in the group shot is Ben after he's been turned in the basement, thus entirely spoiling Ben's eventual fate.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Barbara points out the zombies are slow and they could easily outrun them instead of just waiting for the house to be invaded, but gets dismissed by Ben. Guess who's the only one who survives the film?
  • Taxidermy Terror: Barbara is spooked by two stuffed animals heads, but not to the extent of the original film.
  • Title of the Dead: Like the original film.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Tom fires a shotgun at the gas pump when he realizes that he took the wrong keys. Apparently, it doesn't occur to him that it could blow up both him and Judy Rose. In fairness, he MIGHT have pulled it off, but because he uses buckshot to break the lock rather than a bullet, the buckshot also penetrates the nozzle hose, and the resulting gas spray, gets all over the flaming torch Ben tossed into the bed of the truck for later use in defending themselves and acts as a huge match that sets the truck, the pump, and the underground tank up in a massive fireball.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Judy Rose is heading this way before she dies. She spends most of the film as a Screaming Woman before eventually getting a hold of herself, calling out Ben and Cooper for their stupid arguing and offering to drive the truck to the gas pump, as opposed to the original where she just wandered outside and had to come along.
    • Barbara is a straight example; she, too, starts out as a Screaming Woman before buckling down and taking charge. She ends up the sole survivor.
  • 2xFore: Some 2x4s were used defensively (when used to reinforce windows and doors) and offensively (when used to confront zombies when things go south).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The dazed Hearse Driver's fate is never shown. Though given his discombobulated state, it's extremely doubtful he survived much longer, especially wandering a cemetery shown to be crawling with zombies and also had a bleeding wound on his forehead.
  • Wham Shot:
    • In a sense, this film's take on the "They're coming to get you, Barbara!" scene: the guy stumbling in the background reaches Barbara and Johnny... but he's not a zombie. It's just some regular guy, implied to be a hearse driver, muttering "I'm sorry" over and over, greatly confusing the two... and then a zombie pops out out of nowhere to tackle Barbara to the ground.
    • Harry showing up alive at the end... and Barbara shooting him without any hesitation.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In the remake Judy Rose calls Ben and Cooper out on their childish arguing.
    "This is OUR House. This is Tommy's house. Where would you be if we didn't let you in here?! Where would you be if we kicked you the hell OUT!?"
    • Barbara also does this when Ben tells her she is losing it.
    "Whatever I lost, I lost a long time ago, and I don't intend on losing ANYTHING ELSE. You can talk to me about losing it when you all stop screaming at each other like a bunch of two-year-olds."
    "What do you hope to accomplish!"
  • Women Are Wiser: A few examples:
    • Judy Rose is one of the strongest advocates for everybody to stop arguing by telling them that the house is her family's property and if they cannot stop, then she's going to find a way to kick them all out (she also volunteers to be the driver in the attempt to refuel the truck, in comparison to her utter uselessness in the same sequence in the original).
    • Helen is downplayed (she remains down on the cellar panicking about her daughter and Harry really doesn't want to hear her), but she also keeps telling him that he should stop being a dick and help.
    • Barbara is the strongest example once she reaches the point she's utterly jaded about all of the crazy and provides the simplest solution to the current problem that leads to her being the Sole Survivor.
  • Wrench Whack: At one point, Tom gets grabbed through the window by one of the zombies outside and uses the pipe wrench he was using as a hammer to whack the zombie's arm.
  • Zen Survivor: Once she gets over the shock of her initial zombie encounter and Johnny dying, Barbara gets jaded very fast and becomes one of the cooler-headed survivors (at least to a point — Ben yells at her that she's 'losing it' when she wastes ammo shooting one of the zombies in several normally-fatal spots to demonstrate to Harry, Judy Rose and Tommy that no, the damn things are not crazy people).
    Barbara: Whatever I lost, I lost a long time ago. You can talk about losing it when you all stop screaming at each other like a bunch of two-year-olds.
  • Zombie Gait: Lampshaded by Barbara.
    Barbara: They're so slow. We could just walk right pass them. Wouldn't even have to run.
  • Zombie Infectee: The ill Sarah Cooper dies in the basement, and becomes a zombie.


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