George Romero took a bite out of horror and completely changed the genre with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. Now Romero’s classic has risen from the grave for a new three-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray SteelBook from Arthaus films in Germany utilizing the same exceptional SDR 4K transfer from Janus Films and Criterion with clean audio and a terrific assortment of bonus features. If you’re looking to add this to the collection, the SteelBook art is wonderfully creepy and beautiful. Highly Recommended.
“Yeah, they’re dead… they’re all messed up.”
As we’ve already covered this film many times it’s best to just link to all of that coverage. Needless to say, this is an iconic film that completely changed the horror genre. On the cusp of Hollywood’s massive change moving into the modern rating system, George A Romero took the studio system by storm scraping together a meager budget, cheap shooting location, and with an eager cast and crew created the modern Zombie. This ghoulish undead creature has lumbered through theater screens for almost sixty years. Through countless remakes and imitations, Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead still stands the test of time.
Here are our previous Blu-ray Reviews for George Romero's Night of the Living Dead - Enjoy!
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
George Romero’s zombie classic Night of the Living Dead takes a bite out of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a new three-disc SteelBook release from German label Arthaus. The 4K version nibbles on a BD-100 disc with the 1080p version noshing on a Region B locked BD-50 with another Region B locked BD-50 disc reserved for bonus features. Each disc loads to a language-select menu - German or French - with an animated main menu offering standard navigation options. You can select English language options in the main menu or during the feature.
As this is the exact same transfer restored by Janus Films, Criterion, MoMa, and the Film Foundation and supervised by Romero before he passed away, this transfer is still exceptional. Initially, when this title was announced it was listed as having HDR but that’s not the case. This is same SDR 2160p 1.37:1 transfer. Even without the benefits of HDR, this 4K presentation offers notable improvements over all previous home video releases, even Criterion’s excellent Blu-ray release.
Night of the Living Dead digs itself up for a new 2160p 1.37:1 presentation. Essentially this is the same gorgeous 4K restoration Criterion used for their Blu-ray, just in full SDR 2160p - and it is beautiful. Depending on how you’re set-up, you may not see a massive apples to oranges difference from the Blu-ray to the 4K disc, but there are some subtleties worth noting. Early on, it’s not easy to spot the differences between the well-lit daytime scenes but when the action moves to the shadowy night sequences the improvements in shading and detail start to come to life. Again, maybe not a huge difference maker, but certainly a discernible one at that. I felt like fine lines and textures were certainly tighter and clearer and the already nice-looking film grain looks even more natural and cinematic. Grayscale is beautiful throughout allowing for some terrific shading nuances. If you’re happy with Criterion’s 2018 disc, this may not be the biggest improvement to make you run to the store on the release date to upgrade. The best way to put it is this is a superior presentation of an already immaculate release.
This offering of Night of the Living Dead includes an English LPCM 2.0 mono track with German and French LPCM tracks as the default. Depending on which menu language option you choose, you’ll have to switch over to the English option in the main menu or during playback. Also, note for the hearing impaired, there aren’t any English subtitle options. Like the video transfer, this is essentially the same excellent audio track that’s been carried over from Criterion’s Blu-ray and 4K releases. Dialog is clean and clear throughout without issue. Sound effects are active and engaging and scoring is sharp and strong without sounding tinny or shrill as heard in past releases.
While this set doesn’t come with all of the same bonus features as the Criterion 4K disc, it has a healthy chunk of them with its own exclusive featurette - Raising the Dead which is a pretty cool look at the cultural impact of Night of the Living Dead featuring various cast and crew with a bunch of film critics and publication personalities. All around this is a solid collection of lengthy informative extras.
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc One
Blu-ray Disc Two
George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead changed the horror game forever. A visceral piece of independent filmmaking, this classic has plenty of bite and terrifies to this day. Deserving of shelf space for any serious horror collector, Night of the Living Dead comes home with a new 4K Ultra HD SteelBook from Arthaus Germany. This disc offers up the same excellent A/V presentation as Criterion’s disc with a great selection of new and archival bonus features. If you need to add this great flick to the collection, the SteelBook artwork is an attractive option. Highly Recommended.