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UPDATES ARE ALWAYS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

If you need to catch up with all the news on the DVD (right from the very beginning, this site had it all!) or if you've been here before but wanted to check something out, the "old" news page is still available.

Go to the old news section.

I wanted to start a fresh news page so here it is.

UPDATE 7-10-2002

As some of you might know, "The Return of the Living Dead" was broadcast on The Movie Channel July 5th. Being a pay channel (like HBO) meant that it was unedited. Naturally it looked better than I've seen it in a long time but then again, anything would be better than my old and worn out VHS tape.

Now, there were some differences from the theatrical version we've all seen by now.

First, the Orion Pictures logo is long gone and was replaced by the roaring MGM lion. Not a biggie, I know.
Now what most have read by now is that there was one song that was replaced. If you'll recall, when we first see the punk kids riding in Suicide's car, you hearing a maniacal laugh followed by a great punk song. (I believe this was 'Dead Beat Dance'.) This was the song cut out. What song replaced it? Good question, I wish I had bothered to read the song titles in the end credits but alas, I did not. Sorry guys.
Other than that, no major changes were made.

What does this mean for the DVD? I can't say for sure. This version is definitely not on the DVD as it did not feature O'Bannon's new soundmix. Will the alternate song be included instead of what originally was featured? Well, there were problems with song rights before and perhaps they reared it's ugly head again. MGM has no control over this, they certainly cannot force anyone to allow their songs to be used. You have to remember, songs *have* to be cleared for every single format. It has to be ok'd for VHS then when a DVD comes along, the process has to be taken care of again. Sometimes an artist changes their mind. Case in point: "Wayne's World". The theatrical print featured Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" when Wayne is in a guitar shop but you will not hear it on the DVD as the band refused permission. Shit happens, what can I say?
I've read other people's comments that the TV broadcast must've featured a color corrected print and it was the remastered version. Well, don't be so sure. After so many years of watching dingy, dirty copies on VHS, a recent broadcast on digital cable is gonna look a hell of a lot better and might've fooled a few folks.

A fellow fan pointed out that the UNEEDA ROTLD site has a few details about the DVD. Something about O'Bannon's remarks being edited out of the commentary due to their harsh and critical nature. Well, could be true, it's happened before but I have to question it's validity.
Have you noticed how DVD's have a warning on them these days saying "comments expressed do not reflect the studio" blah blah blah? That's to protect them from lawsuits and the like. I've certainly heard my fair share of vulgarity and criticisms on commentary tracks before so I'm at a loss as to why what O'Bannon said would *have* to have been edited out. Commentary tracks are always edited anyway for various reasons, goof ups, dead air, etc.
Everything else about the DVD has been on this site for many months now.

Anyway, I think that covers it for now. The DVD is out next month and the antic......ipation is killing me.
When the DVD is released, I will create a new sub-section devoted to all the reviews for the disc on the internet (including my own) so keep a look-out for it!

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UPDATE: 8-14-2002

DVDfile.com is giving away 5 FREE copies of the ROTLD DVD! Go HERE to enter! The contest ends August 25th.

Well folks, we're less than 2 weeks away from release date, are ya excited? The DVD's pre-order sales have been great and the reviews of the disc have been excellent (be sure to check out the reviews section!)

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UPDATE: 8-27-2002

It's here, August 27th. What are you doing reading this? Go out and buy the DVD!

I've gone through the disc and am currently in the process of writing up an in-depth review of both the film and DVD. While I hope to have it up tonight, it may take longer as I have the feeling it will be somewhat long winded. There's just so much I wanna say so if you're interested, keep a look-out for my review (it will be mentioned on the main page.)

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UPDATE: 8-31-2002

As most of you might have noticed, my full review of the DVD (and the movie itself) is now up so if you haven't read it yet, check it out!

I hope you guys 'n' gals have managed to find yourself a copy of the DVD this week. I've been hearing about how difficult it's been to find in some stores, I guess the Best Buy's of the world didn't expect there to be such a demand for it and therefore didn't stock many copies. So, I encourage ALL of you that if *any* store near you (Best Buy, K-Mart, whatever) doesn't have any copies or only ordered 1-2, ask for the manager and request that they stock them, explain to them that the DVD is a highly anticipated release and so on.

Some of you have also e-mailed me about the, uh, "review" of the DVD at the UNEEDA web site. Well, he certainly has a right to his opinion (even if some of his statements are off base, way off base) so if he hates the DVD, that's his business. If you haven't read his rant, I mean review, click HERE to see it.
I really only took exception to one comment, "ROTLD should never have been presented in widescreen." So a theatrical film should never be presented in it's original aspect ratio? I wonder if he's old enough to have seen it in the theaters back in 1985 and if he complained then? I asked Jules Brenner, the movie's director of photography, for his opinion on that quote. He said "..sounds like he doesn't get out to movie theaters very much."
UNEEDA, as I've said several times before, is a great "ROTLD" web site and you'd be missing out on a lot if you never checked it out. Having said that, it doesn't mean I can't disagree with the webmaster there on virtually everything.

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UPDATE: 9-14-2002

Well, with the latest DVD sales figures being released, it looks like "The Return of the Living Dead" failed to crack the top 20.
It comes as no surprise to me as I've read countless e-mails and posts on various newsgroups and forums about how difficult it was to find a copy at their local Best Buy's, etc. Clearly these brick & mortar stores had no idea that demand for the DVD would be so high and at the most, initially only ordered 1-2 copies per store.
Lack of availability simply means lost sales and it dramatically affected how the DVD would perform on the sales chart....and this will be the only factor MGM will consider. Low sales means they have absolutely no reason to invest in a more elaborate "director's cut". Afterall you can have thousands who say a DVD will sell but if the actual profits show something different then they will feel there isn't a market for a re-release.
Yes, internet sales from the major e-tailers were high but it's obvious that the majority of Americans still buy their DVD's at the local Wal-Mart and if it's not sitting there on the shelves......

Therefore our only course of action is this. Go to EVERY store in your area, whether it be retail outlets like a Best Buy or rental chains like Blockbuster Video and ask them to stock "The Return of the Living Dead" DVD. Folks, it ain't gonna sell if it's sitting in a warehouse somewhere.
If you truly want a director's cut - special edition, then you must help do something about it. Otherwise the cheap popcorn flicks like "Independence Day" will be the ones that get the deluxe treatment.

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UPDATE: 9-17-2002

The following news item is from Creature Corner;

"Attention all zombie lovers!
Those nutty, punk-rock ghouls over at Dark Delicacies (located in Burbank, California) are holding a reunion of sorts for the cast and crew of 'Return of the Living Dead' - recently released on DVD from MGM Home Video.
Hopefully the day won't be washed in contaminated rain 'cause there's a great batch of guests attending. Here's the skinny: James Karen (Frank), Thom Matthews (Freddy), Don Calfa (Ernie), William Stout (production/zombie designer), and Dinah Cancer (from the soundtrack's featured band '45 Grave'). These guests will be signing copies of the 'Return of the Living Dead' DVD which is available at Dark Delicacies.
So... This Saturday, September 22nd at 2 PM. Be there."

NOTE: The Dark Delicacies web site says the signing is at 3 PM so if you're planning to attend, I'd suggest e-mailing them for exact details.

Anyway, sounds great huh? Wish I lived in California.

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UPDATE: 9-24-2002

Well the DVD signing came and went. James Karen, Thom Mathews, Don Calfa, Beverly Randolph, Allan Trautman, William Stout and Jules Brenner were all there! Mr. Brenner informed me that he took some pictures and you can check them out HERE.

The folks over at The Onion wrote up an amusing faux news "story" about zombies which contains a nice nod to Dan O'Bannon. Click HERE for a laugh.

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UPDATE: 10-1-2002

Jules Brenner has a survey up on his web site which asks all ROTLD fans to take part. The question is simple, would you like to see a companion CD/DVD to the MGM DVD featuring interviews with the movie's cast and crew? If so who would you like to hear from, what questions would you like answered, etc? Go HERE to take part. Who knows, we might get an interesting "extra" that the MGM DVD couldn't give us! So be sure to follow that link and say what you want!

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UPDATE: 10-30-02

TV alert! For those of you that bought the 'ROTLD' DVD but haven't seen the original in a while, now's your chance to compare the original sound mix to the new one created by O'Bannon.
The movie channel Showtime will broadcast "The Return of the Living Dead" on Halloween night (well, technically early Friday morning) at 12:30 AM (eastern time.) So don't miss it!

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UPDATE: 1-03-2003

Yes, I know it's been some time since this has been updated but hey, since the DVD's out there just isn't much to post.
However, 'TROTLD' will be broadcast on Showtime Friday, January 5th at 1 a.m eastern time. You might wanna check it out and maybe set your VCR's as they are likely to use the original soundmix.

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UPDATE: 4-27-2003

I spoke with Dan O'Bannon today for the first time since last summer. We talked about a variety of things including his participation with the upcoming 9 DVD set for the "Alien" series (new interview and commentary track by Dan as well as his original screenplay, pictures, artwork, etc) and the planned sequels to "Return of the Living Dead". Tobe Hooper hasn't signed to direct them yet even though recent news seems to indicate he has. Dan has offered producer Tom Fox his services as an actor! Dan thinks (and rightfully so) that the fans would like to see him involved with the series he created but apparently Fox sees things a different way. Would YOU like to see Dan O'Bannon involved with the sequels? Then let Fox know about it! Write him a letter at;

Tom Fox
3120 El Vido Drive
Los Angeles, California 90049

Please be thoughtful and respectful when writing him and explain why you'd like to see Dan involved with the ROTLD sequels. If Fox thinks there's enough interest, we might see the man who started it all return to the franchise!

I asked Dan if he knew how well the ROTLD DVD has sold and if a director's cut might happen. He said he didn't know the sales figures but would ask MGM.

Finally, Dan is working on a book about screenwriting so be on the look-out for it! He might also be writing a script for a major film soon but nothing has been worked out yet.

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UPDATE: 5-19-03

The newest issue of "Entertainment Weekly" lists the "Top 50 cult movies", but sadly they excluded "The Return of the Living Dead" from their list. I don't know about you but that kinda pissed me off. If you're like me and want to let that magazine know what you think, you can e-mail them at ew_letters@ew.com. They request that you include your name, address and daytime phone number when writing. Give 'em a piece of your braiinnnnssss!

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UPDATE: 6-2-03

Hey gang, over at HorrorDVDs.com, ROTLD won "Best overall horror DVD"! Sure, it's not the fully loaded 'special edition' we would have liked, but this award shows that many people love this film and the features that were included added to it's appreciation.

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UPDATE: 6-13-04

Sorry, I know it's been over a year since the last update but what can I say? There hasn't been much to talk about.

Back in late March (or early April, I forget), "Entertainment Weekly" had an article about the "Dawn of the Dead" remake (which was excellent I must say) and as part of said article, they had a timeline called "Zombies Throughout the Ages." Predictably the magazine completely overlooked "The Return of the Living Dead" but thankfully a reader wrote them a letter about that exclusion and "EW" printed it in their April 9th issue.
The gentleman who wrote in was Jay Harless from Baltimore and here's what he had to say.....

"Dead Wronged"

As a rabid fan of the original "Dawn of the Dead", I was thrilled by your article on the remake. But how could you leave "The Return of the Living Dead" out of your 'Zombies Throughout the Ages' timeline? This horror classic reinvented the zombie movie almost 20 years ago and was among the first to feature the running (not walking) dead.

Way to go Jay! I'm beginning to think the writers employed at these magazines have no brains to be eaten!

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UPDATE: 3-9-2005

Hey gang! Well this might cheer some of you up. I was recently contacted by Steve Pross who works at Rykodisc and was informed that they will be re-issuing "The Return of the Living Dead" soundtrack on CD. What's great about it is that they want to know what YOU, the great fans of ROTLD, would like to see on the CD. For more details, here's what Mr. Pross had to say;

Hi Michael,

I am in the process of putting together a reissue CD of the ROTLD soundtrack for Ryko, who now owns the rights. Over twenty years ago when I first moved to California from NYC I worked for Enigma Records and the ROTLD movies soundtrack was my first project. I can稚 believe I convinced the producers to let some crazy kid from a small indie label work on this movie. I was given $10,000 and two weeks to put it together. I got my friends The Cramps and The Damned to write and record songs literally over a weekend.

And I never imagined that this movie would still be so loved today.

I知 contacting you as I thought you might be able to help me decide what fans would look for in the CD re-issue and perhaps you might have access to some images that we could use on the CD booklet.

It's always so encouraging when companies like Ryko actually care about the fans and want to know what they want. It goes to show that they know how to treat fans, especially Mr. Pross.
Ok gang, you got some ideas? Come up with some and e-mail them to me right away. Click HERE to do just that! (If the link doesn't work for you, it's michaeldallred@yahoo.com)

Let's help Mr. Pross make this CD a great one!

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April 7, 2005

I'm not sure how many ROTLD fans are aware of this but Clu Gulagher has made an appearance on the Bravo series "Project Greenlight." For those that don't know, "Project Greenlight" is a TV series created by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon where first time writers and directors enter a contest and the winners are allowed to make their own feature film.
Anyway, Clu's son John is the director this time out and because John's nepotism is so overwhleming (he wants to cast his family in the flick) Clu is included. Check your local listings folks. It's nice to see Clu after all this time (I hope he gets cast in the movie.)

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October 22, 2005

I just wanted to make a quick comment on something.
About a week ago, the Sci-Fi channel broadcast two ROTLD sequels, "Necropolis" and "Rave to the Grave." Folks, do yourself a favor and avoid that utter SHIT if at all possible. These films (if you can call them that) are the perfect example of cashing in on a movie title. In other words, they're sequels in name only. They have as much to do with the original as I do with the making of "Citizen Kane."
"Necropolis" and "Rave to the Grave" continued the path started by ROTLD part 3 by making the zombies completely unlike those in the original. You could kill them by shotting them in the head (apparently nobody told the producers that is Romero territory), chest or even by ramming drumsticks in their ears. They moved slowly (again, that's Romero, not O'Bannon), some spoke, some apparently just wanted to punch you with their fists....it goes on and on.
The only horror I saw was the acting, script, direction, special effects....well, basically the movies themselves. I lost four hours of my life that night (they were shown back-to-back) and I want them back. ROTLD part 2 looked like a masterpiece in comparison. I had a bad feeling when they not only bypassed a theatrical showing but a direct to DVD release as well. I had no idea they'd be THIS bad. It's not even a "so bad it's funny" thing either. They're just crap. 100%, to the core, insulting the horror genre crap.
I suppose I could give a full review but frankly this junk isn't worth my time. I thought the remake of "The Fog" was the worst film of the year but "Necropolis" and "Rave to the Grave" easily surpassed it. Avoid them completely. Seriously. Get a rectal exam instead, it'd be a lot more fun.

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UPDATE: 8-7-2006

We have seen a lot of horror remakes over the past few years, some were awful ("The Fog") and others were surprisingly good ("Dawn of the Dead.") So here's what I'm thinking, why not remake "The Return of the Living Dead?"

I know, I know. Some of you might be thinking I'm insane right? Let me explain.

How many craptastic ROTLD sequels do we need to sit through? If anything, parts 4 and 5 have officially flushed this franchise down the toilet. We will never see the ideas Dan O'Bannon set forth reach the heights it should have. All we'll get are direct-to-DVD abortions that have nothing in common with the original film other than the title. That's the sad truth.

However, let's say a movie studio gets the rights to do a remake of "The Return of the Living Dead." They give it a decent budget, perhaps hire a young director who loves the horror genre and the original film itself, updates the script (but only slightly, we don't need a shot-for-shot remake or some re-imagining here. The story already works, it just needs some tweaks here and there to fit into today's world) like replacing the punk kids with goth kids (sorry but punks never really fit into the "death obsessed" crowd like goths do.) Retain the songs from the original but have them covered by some of today's goth/alternative/industrial groups (Manson, NIN, Rob Zombie, etc.) and maybe give James Karen and Thom Matthews cameos. Anyway, just some ideas.

Now you know what happens when a remake hits theaters right? The original gets a spiffy, new special edition DVD. Yup, the original "Return of the Living Dead" would get that DVD release we've always wanted, perhaps even warranting a director's cut. Hell, that alone would make a remake worth it.

If the film was a hit, we could finally see some sequels worthy of the name "The Return of the Living Dead" instead of the utter shit that's been handed out.

So what do you think? Would you go for it? Does the idea even remotely excite you at all? Below is a quickie poll I'm adding so that you can vote yes or no on the idea. I'd be interested in hearing what you guys and gals think.

ROTLD remake
Do you want a remake of "The Return of the Living Dead"?

Yes
No

Search The Internet

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UPDATE: 2-15-2007

Hey gang! FINALLY I have some AMAZING news for you all! It seems that a NEW special edition DVD for "The Return of the Living Dead" is coming afterall!

I got an e-mail today from Nicholas DiPirro, webmaster of GutznGory.com and BeverlyRandolph.com (the latter being the official web site of our "Living Dead" co-star) and he had this to say:

Michael,

I just spoke with Beverly Randolph, she told me that she's (and other ROTLD actors) going into the studio on the 26th to do new commentary and interviews for "Return of the Living Dead". I don't know the specifics, i.e. other actors involved, new features, etc. I will keep you posted. Also, be sure to check Beverly's official Website, www.beverlyrandolph.com as I will put updates on there as well.

-Nicholas D. DiPirro webmaster: GutznGory.com and BeverlyRandoph.com

Now how about THAT? Fantastic news that Beverly (and others) are actively involved in a new DVD. Obviously details are limited at the moment but you can bet that I will be e-mailing Dan O'Bannon about this and see what he has to say.

One would assume that this new DVD is being produced by MGM (and/or FOX since they distribute MGM's DVDs now) for a Region 1 (USA) release but without details, it's hard to say. It could be for a forthcoming DVD release in the UK. I don't know if we will finally see the "director's cut" that Dan has been wanting to do but we can always hope right?

As always, when I hear something, YOU will hear something. Stay tuned. Big thanks to Nicholas for the update and be sure to check out his web sites while you're at it!

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UPDATE: 2-16-2007

More news for you guys though not something that I wanted to hear. I got an e-mail from Dan O'Bannon today and although he IS aware of this new DVD, he will NOT be involved in any way so I guess there goes the idea for a "director's cut."

Well, here's what I'm hoping for with this new DVD. A retrospective documentary featuring as many of the cast and crew as possible being interviewed with as much behind-the-scenes video footage or still photos that exist. All of the deleted and alternate scenes, the gag reel, all of the previous bonus features on the first DVD (the brief featurettes, audio commentary, trailers, etc.) Ideally, we'd get both versions of the film that have been previously released. The DVD version with the tweaked audio and the theatrical version with the original audio and music soundtrack. Of course, keep the widescreen version and drop the idiotic full screen (let's save space on the DVD for stuff that matters) and maybe, just maybe, a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track? I would love to hear "Brains!!!!" in surround sound.

Anyway, I'm a bit surprised that O'Bannon is not involved. I do not know if this was a case of Dan being asked and him declining or if the studio did not ask him at all. We'll see.

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UPDATE PART 2: 2-16-2007

Back again so soon? Yup. I just received an e-mail from Dan O'Bannon's wife Diane with some rather surprising news regarding Dan's non-involvement in the upcoming DVD re-release of "The Return of the Living Dead." Here are her full, unedited comments (reprinted with permission) on the situation.

"I hope it is a disappointment for THEM. They asked, of course, but we are currently in a lawsuit against them, and they are also in trouble with the Writers' Guild about residual payments to us.

They were cheeky enough to ask us, through the innocent parties paid to put out a new release, but I'm afraid they will get nowhere with us until they come clean. Since they put out a "special 20th anniversary release" of the film less than two years ago, we were surprised they are doing it again. Without Dan's new comments, it will not, perhaps, do as well as they expect, and they cannot hype it as "better" than the last release. Just how many times do they hope to milk the public who enjoys this film? We think it almost amounts to "fan abuse" by a giant corporation who wants to gobble up every dime of fan money, people who enjoy Dan's work, then turn around and stiff him when it comes to appropriate contractual payment. The last DVD done, with Dan's commentary, will be the best one. I advise you to stick to that one if you want any of Dan's input. You can tell this to anybody you want.

Thus - the ways of "Hollywood". *sigh*

Diane O

PS Thanks for caring, writing, and being a fan of Dan' work. A recent meeting about Dan's screenplay "They Bite" went well, so it looks like that has some chance of going forward, but you never know. Plus we've had recent interest in two other of Dan's unproduced screenplays by rather important people, so I guess Dan is "hot" again. You know, Dan's real interest is giving the audience a great story with a fulfilling ending, and that's why he's in the business."

Wow. You know, this really sounds similar to the problems Peter Jackson has been having with New Line Cinema over the first "Lord of the Rings" movie and how it appears the studio failed to pay Jackson what they were obliged to.

In all seriousness, MGM needs to do what is right. Dan created this wonderful film that has spawned a large number of fans worldwide. He contributed quite a bit to the first DVD release and clearly that DVD sold well enough to warrant a re-release. Any special edition of "The Return of the Living Dead" without Dan's involvement would be a GLARING omission, one that fans would certainly notice.

MGM, take care of this problem and settle your differences with Dan so the special edition can be as good as it can be.

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UPDATE: 2-17-2007

Nicholas from www.GutznGory.com got back to me with some more info:

"Definitely part of the commentary are: Beverly, Brian Peck, Linnea Quigley.
They won't pay to fly Jewel Shepard or Miguel Nunez from the east coast, so they won't be a part of it. They can't find Clu Gulager. They contacted Thom Mathews. James Karen is a possibility but not confirmed.
MGM is letting the guy do the DVD, but won't pay much, so he's doing the best he can (I think he's a fan). The actors aren't being paid, so they were going back and forth amongst each other as to if they're going to do it or not, I told Beverly to "do it for the fans"."

Ok so it looks like we're getting a new commentary track for the DVD but I'm a bit saddened that the studio won't get Jewel and Miguel on board though I have to think, why do they have to fly them out to the west coast? Aren't there recording studios out east where they can do their bit?
As for Thom....I don't recall him ever doing anything for the film (conventions, etc) so I wouldn't keep my hopes up on that one. James Karen is a GREAT guy and I know for a fact that he would be willing to join in on the DVD assuming his busy schedule permits (he was recently in the Will Smith hit "The Pursuit of Happyness.") James absolutely loved the movie and I'm sure he'd sit down for an interview though you can rule his participation on a commentary out and he doesn't approve of them (he wished they hadn't done one on the first DVD release....ruining the "magic" of the moviemaking process I believe was his reasoning.) I'm gonna get a letter or phone call out to him when I can and ask him about this.

Anyway, thanks to Nicholas for the update and again, be sure to visit his excellent web sites GutznGory.com and BeverlyRandolph.com when you get a chance!

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UPDATE: 2-18-2007

I've got another bit of news for ya! Production designer William Stout will be back for a second round on the new DVD! Here's what he told me.

Hi Michael, I'm scheduled to do another ROTLD DVD commentary with the cast in a week or so.

William Stout

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UPDATE: 2-21-2007

Just received a message from Beverly Randolph today. Here are a few bits from that.

Hi Michael,

James (Karen) will probably be there on Monday so yes, I guess they are interested in him!

The fellow putting this all together has spoken to John Philbin already. I don't know what they are working out. I do know that the production company doing this isn't spending ANY money on this. Everyone is "donating" their time to do it...hmmmm. They are saying that they won't even have make-up and hair for us...ooof! They won't fly anyone, Jewel, John or Miguel in for this. They are flying Linnea in after a long battle to get her in. I don't know where all the money is. They say MGM isn't giving them much to do it.....We all have said we will do it for the fans. A lot of us weren't going to do it and then decided we should.

That's the long and the short of what I know!

Thanks Michael,

Beverly

Ok so MGM is indeed trying to get everyone on board but they're not willing to pay anybody to do it. Seems a bit unfair, don't you think? The very people whose participation would make fans want to buy the new DVD and therefore make MGM loads of money won't even get a cut....not even something as simple as make-up and hair for on camera interviews? Wow. That sure seems to give Dan O'Bannon's statement real credibility for doubters out there.

MGM (and the production company responsible for putting this DVD together) have a real opportunity to make a great special edition for the fans and yet they're not willing to fly some of the cast members out to L.A.? Well, since there are recording studios all over this country, why not just get some of the people who can't be out there in person IN some of those studios and tape interviews with them that way?

A simple note to the money men involved in this, don't cheap out. Do what's right for the fans and get everyone on board and do what's right for the cast and crew and come to some kind of compromise (at least) regarding the financial side of things. My god, the folks lined up right now are willing to participate FOR FREE just for us so would make-up and hair really be so ridiculous to cover? Yeesh!

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UPDATE: 2-27-2007

Nicholas has returned with another update on the new DVD!

"Michael,

The commentary track and interviews were filmed today. The cast and crew that showed up are:

-James Karen (Interview only) [his wife had broken her ankle, he wanted to get back home to her]

-Thom Mathews (Interview only)

-Beverly Randolph

-Don Calfa

-William Stout

-Brian Peck

-Allan Trautman ("Tar man" zombie)

-Linnea Quigley

Note: Jewel Shepard was there, however refused to participate. Apparently, the studio was willing to pay voiceover artists to perform zombie grunts but not pay the people who made the film the classic it is today. Side Note: She brought her own vid camera's to film something of her own.

-Nick

Well it's excellent to know that James and Thom were able to do something for the DVD though it's sad we won't get the trifecta with no Clu Gulager.

However I think we shouldn't give up ALL hope. We don't know if this is ALL MGM is going to do. They might change their minds and get some of the others in on the action, who knows?

I think it's time that ALL of you reading this head over to the "contact MGM" section and write MGM a letter (don't bother with e-mails folks.) Ask them to try and get more of the cast members involved, ones that we know would be willing to do so like John Philbin and definitely try to track down Clu and Don Calfa! Ask MGM to include ALL of the deleted scenes, alternate takes and the original opening and ending of the film as part of the bonus features. This may be the only chance we'll have to get those scenes released as this DVD may be the only one they'll do! Get your pens and paper ready and write! We made a difference before, we can do it again but time is limited and schedules are kept to. The sooner they know of the demand, the better they can make their plans!

Once again, a BIG thanks to Nicholas for the news and we should thank him by visiting his web sites. GutznGory.com and Beverly Randolph.com and check out his work.

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UPDATE: 3-1-2007

Nick has returned with some disappointing info:

"Michael,

I talked to Beverly to find out more about those paid zombie voiceover actors. Apparently, while they were recording the commentary track, the zombies were in the background wheezing, graining and hack-coughing. Real distracting to the actors. At one point, they "attacked" Allan Trautman (to effectively "kill" his role in the commentary after Tarman is locked in the basement). The same thing was done to Brian Peck. I think they finally gave the zombie actors the boot when they noticed that the actors weren't too happy with it. It was screwing with their train-of-thought. It was definitely NOT a good idea, I don't know WHO thought of it.

As far as extras- None (Except for maybe trailers and my photos if they decide to use them). The idea of the gag-reel was nixed because there is apparently alot of anti-O'Bannon stuff in it. I don't think they wanted any more problems with him at this point.

-Nick"

So first MGM has the brilliant idea of hiring voiceover actors to make zombie noises while the gang is trying talk and then NO additional extras??? I can understand the exclusion of the gag reel but with all of the deleted scenes, alternate takes (with differing dialogue) and the original opening/endings just sitting there waiting to be used.....MGM won't be adding them at all? The only difference between the first DVD release and this one is a new audio commentary and interviews? Granted those supplements are great additions but MGM has all this other great material that's ALREADY available which they OWN and they're NOT going to use it?

I think it's pretty safe to say that this release is not going to convince a lot of fans to double dip. Certainly some will but nowhere near as many if the studio would just add on the cut footage that's just sitting in a film can somewhere.

Well, I think it's truly time for ALL of us to write MGM and demand they include all of the deleted footage. I am encouraging ALL of you to write MGM immediately about this. We got their attention before and we can do it again. Here's the address:

MGM Home Entertainment
2500 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061

If MGM wants us to purchase the movie a second time, then they need to do it right. We won't be happy if they're planning on a third release a few years from now and THEN they decide to include the cut footage. They need to make the upcoming one a true "special edition" or else they face the potential of lost revenue.

We all need to let MGM know how we feel about this. Write multiple letters, tell all of your friends, contact other web sites and ask them to mention this so we can get more coverage and therefore create a larger response. That's the only way we can succeed. Let's get this done!

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UPDATE: 3-2-2007

Nick sent me a pic (courtesy of Beverly Randolph) of the folks who were at the recording session this week. Enjoy!

Copyright Beverly Randolph 2007

from left to right: Jewel Shepard, William Stout, Beverly Randolph, Don Calfa, Linnea Quigley, James Karen and Allan Trautman.

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UPDATE: 6-28-2007

We're now getting a look at the new DVD cover art (which is now being called a "collector's edition.") Here it is:



So what do you think? It's certainly not the iconic cover we've all come to love of course. It's a bit plain and while I understand the studio's need to set this one apart from the first DVD...this was what they decided on? Ok then.
According to various internet sources, including amazon.com, the release date is scheduled for September 11, 2007. Yup, 9/11. Is it just me or is that a somewhat odd choice to release a movie that ends with a nuclear explosion in the middle of America?

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UPDATE: 8-9-2007

Well what happens when you slack off? Other sites scoop you. www.fangoria.com has revealed the contents of the upcoming DVD so courtesy of those folks, here's the run-down:

The new RETURN disc includes the previous 1.85:1 transfer with mono sound, the bonus features from the original disc plus some new ones (starred below).
Audio commentary by director Dan O達annon and production designer William Stout
Audio commentary by the cast, crew and undead*
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD: The Dead Have Risen featurette*
The Decade of Darkness featurette*
Designing the Dead featurette
Zombie Subtitle Stream*
Bloody trailer
Even bloodier trailer*

I suppose the TV spots aren't being ported over from the previous disc since those aren't mentioned. It's a good thing most of the previous features are included here giving the DVD a more "complete" feel even though MGM has failed again to include the deleted footage. Guys, is it really that hard? Fans would dearly LOVE to see that stuff, it doesn't have to be remastered frame-by-frame, just slap it on there for god's sake. Oh well, more of a reason for a future re-re-release eh? Maybe if MGM can settle the lawsuit with O'Bannon we'll finally get a director's cut with some of the footage inserted back in, who knows?

I am a bit disappointed that there has been no 5.1 upgrade to the sound. There's something seriously lacking when that punk music kicks in.....in mono. I would like to know the running time of those new featurettes, I hope they're longer than ten minutes.

I'm still keeping my old DVD if for no other reason than I HATE the new cover art.

"Zombie subtitle stream?" I wonder what the hell that is. I hope it's not something lame like para-phrasing zombie screams into goofy one-liners. My hope is that it's something more akin to a text commentary, similar to the ones featured on those "Star Trek" special editions.

The DVD release is about a month away so you can bet I'll be back here for a full review!

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The DVD artwork courtesy of MGM Home Video