My Blu Ray copy of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead arrived today, and I couldn't help but pop it in for a quick look (sorry Netflix, The Road will have to wait until tomorrow). Just to clarify, this is the Forgotten Films release, which is available direct on eBay for under $20 or for twice that through Amazon. This is not the region locked Optimum nor region free Network UK release, but an actual domestic Blu Ray edition.
Considering I've seen this movie more than 100 times through the years, and on every format it's been released, in every imaginable condition, my expectations were pretty low. Would this be another dupey, public domain print forever preserved in high definition? Considering it wasn't coming from Elite Entertainment or Dimension Films, I assumed it could not live up to their definitive DVD version.
Based on a cursory review - the first 15 minutes followed by skipping through chapters up through and including the end credits - I was blown away. In many scenes I was seeing a level of detail I had never seen before, even from watching my own personal 16mm prints of the film. While I have not gone back to do an A/B comparison to the DVD yet, I am comfortable saying that this edition has far exceeded my expectations.
The presence of a 'The End' title present on the Elite Entertainment LaserDisc leads me to believe the folks at Forgotten Films had access to a print struck from that restoration. It's generally that clean (I spotted a line in one of the outdoor zombie scenes, and will have to go back and look for that on the Elite release).
It's important to note that the copyright listed is to Forgotten Films and not Image Ten, so it's clearly not an 'authorized' edition (which I would happily purchase and support in the event of its release). For now, I can't imagine there's a better way to watch the greatest horror film of all time. If you're a fan, you'll definitely want to pick this one up.