Newest Reviews
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
We Need to Do Something
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
  Night of the Animated Dead Haggard And Drawn
Year: 2021
Director: Jason Axinn
Stars: Josh Duhamel, Dulé Hill, Katharine Isabelle, Stefan Marks, James Roday Rodriguez, Will Sasso, Jimmi Simpson, Nancy Travis
Genre: Horror, AnimatedBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Barbara (voiced by Katharine Isabelle) and her brother Johnny (Jimmi Simpson) make this trip every year, to lay flowers on their father's grave, because it is what their ageing mother wants them to do, despite the car journey taking six hours there and six hours back. Johnny is obviously impatient, because he starts goofing around, even when his sister tries to say a short prayer, and when it is clear she is a little spooked by this environment, it only encourages him. "They're coming to get you, Barbara!" he says in a Boris Karloff voice, but as a figure stumbles towards them, it turns out that is all too true...

Since it is one of the most famous films of the nineteen-sixties, and one of the most influential, it has been handy for low budget fillmmakers that Night of the Living Dead has been in the public domain for so long, for that offers the opportunity for anyone who wishes to, to remake it. Thus its original writer and director, George A. Romero, was moved to do precisely that in 1990 with beefed up gore effects and makeup supremo Tom Savini at the helm, but there have also been a 3D low budgeter, and a previous cartoon before this one. None of these imitators have ever matched the intensity of the source.

The director here was Jason Axinn, a prolific animator who had already completed a previous feature, To Your Last Death, which was also a gory horror cartoon that garnered some favourable reactions. It was safe to say this Living Dead homage did not muster up a similar level of acclaim, mainly thanks to that decision to animate it (or re-animate it?) in a style that was patently the cheapest they could get away with. You could say they were trying to emulate the sixties technique, but even Hanna-Barbera was more dynamic than this, indeed, if anything it resembled the Spider-Man cartoons from the television.

It was gorier than the Romero, who had really gone to town with the bloodletting in the sequel, Dawn of the Dead, so that appeared to be an equal inspiration, there was a flashback added (about a minute or two) and it was half an hour shorter, yet despite shaving a third of the time off the original remained a far pacier experience, as the cartoon was leadfooted throughout. OK, these zombies the characters battle were of the slow-walking variety, so perhaps that was forgivable, but while it may have been familiarity with the first one, it didn't have the punch, nor that black and white newsreel footage immediacy that Romero had been inspired by the violence on the nightly news to recreate.

So what was good about it? The voice cast were all very professional, and possibly overqualified, with Dulé Hill taking the heroic Ben role, so significant as an African American lead from an era when that was so rarely done, and not in horror movies, and Josh Duhamel was his nemesis Harry, creating a few sparks as the man who wants to hide out in the cellar rather than defend the property the group are all holed up in. They were so effective that you may have preferred the project to have been a radio play, a la Orson Welles' War of the Worlds in the thirties, since the visuals were so disappointing. It was another instance of Night of the Living Dead spawning a work that did not appear to get where Romero was coming from, it wasn't all about the flesh-eating, it was a grim commentary on America and human nature that nobody had really tried before on film. You would search in vain for anything like that in this animated variation. Music by Nima Fakhrara.

[Night of the Animated Dead is out now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 187 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: