You can stop what you are doing, because I have found it. I have found the single most pointless movie to have been released in 2021.
No, I am not talking about Outside the Wire, which is arguably one of the crappiest movies of the year (released back in January on Netflix, if you have forgotten), I am instead talking about the most pointless movie of the year. This specific accolade is awarded to Night of the Animated Dead – a new, feature-length movie which is available to buy through digital platforms from this week, with a DVD and Blu-ray release coming in October.
Directed by Jason Axinn, and featuring the voice talents of Josh Duhamel, Katharine Isabelle, Dulé Hill, and Katee Sackhoff, Night of the Animated Dead is a cartoon remake of the classic 1968 zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead. The film follows the same story as the original, with a group of civilians suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a zombie outbreak.
In the film, Barbara and her brother, Johnny, are in a cemetery getting ready to lay a wreath, when they are attacked by a lone zombie. Johnny is killed instantly, but Barbara escapes and makes her way to a nearby house to seek shelter. At the house she meets Ben, who is also on the run from zombies. Together, the pair lock themselves in the house, batten down the hatches, and do their best to survive.
*Takes a deep breath*
Jeez, where do I even begin?
If you’re going to remake a movie, then I ask just one thing: Bring something imaginative to the table. Come up with a new angle, create a bunch of dynamic characters or situations, and get the audience excited and intrigued.
And if you’re going to remake that movie in animation, then make sure you spend cash on the best-looking visuals possible. Offer up something which is as good as the anime that is regularly available on streaming services, or something that can compete with other animated titles on the market.
Whatever you do, don’t do what Night of the Animated Dead has done, which is to remake a movie in the most bland, unappealing, unimaginative way, with arguably the poorest animation in years. This film is dreadful, with animation that at times looks as if it was created for a ‘web series’ back in 2000.
What is the point of this movie? Can anyone tell me?
It’s not scary, it’s not captivating, it doesn’t look good, and the actors involved with this movie have clearly associated themselves with utter rubbish. If I have one good thing to say about Night of the Animated Dead it is that the voice cast do their best, and deliver strong performances, despite the limitations of the production.
Every actor involved with this movie, gives their all to bring their character to life. And yet every performance that is presented here is completely torpedoed by the animation and the lack of imagination.
If these actors had been hired for a radio play, then it would be a whole different ball game and I would be urging you to listen, as they do a fab job! But this isn’t a radio play – Warner Bros. spent money on making a movie, and what a waste of everyone’s time it has proved to be.
The original movie which this film is based on, Night of the Living Dead, is one of the most famous horror films of all times. It is also a film which is notorious for entering the public domain decades ago, due to a cock-up over its copyright status.
As Night of the Living Dead is not under any copyright law, it is readily available on home video through various formats and can legally be found online for free with ease. As such, the movie has been remade, referenced, and retold countless times, by countless people, with Night of the Animated Dead being the latest iteration.
But any new iteration needs to be (at the very least) halfway decent, to even stand out from the crowd. Night of the Animated Dead is not halfway decent, nor does it stand out from the crowd.
This film is lazy, it’s unnecessary, and feels like a money-making exercise to gain a few sales in the run-up to Halloween. Would I ever watch this movie again? No, I can tell you with extreme certainty that I would not.
Before I started watching Night of the Animated Dead, I had little hope that it would work. The trailer looked pretty bad, and there was no originality going on in the preview footage.
Having now seen the film from start to finish, I can confirm that it doesn’t work at all. How the jerky animation made it past test screenings is beyond me, and why anyone would sign off on this thing is another matter entirely.
Warner Bros. produce some great straight-to-home video titles, including many awesome DC films, as well as a whole heap of incredibly popular Scooby-Doo movies, so I know this studio can deliver the goods. This film is a huge misstep.
If you not familiar with the story of Night of the Living Dead, then I urge you to watch the black-and-white original from director George A. Romero, it is definitely worth your time. Alternatively, if you want something a little more modern, then watch the 1990 remake from Tom Savini – the one that stars Tony Todd.
Don’t watch Night of the Animated Dead, because it’s rubbish. You will get nothing out of this movie, and if you make it through to the end, you’ll wonder why you bothered.
The movie is mercifully short at just 70 minutes, but I expect it will still test your patience. Should you want to check it out, then it’s available through the likes of Amazon UK and Amazon US, but by now I imagine I have put you off.
Good. You can thank me later.
Disclaimer: I earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
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