Criterion can sometimes be thought of as an “artsy” label, but that’s not entirely true. Sure, they put out a lot of critical darlings, but at the end of the day, their focus is just releasing good films in general. Case in point, Criterion is set to bring home brand new editions of two horror classics to Blu-Ray in February.
The first film on their slate is the late George Romero’s original zombie epic, Night of the Living Dead. Despite the film’s status as a public domain item – which has enabled all kinds of terrible transfers to be released to DVD by low budget companies – NOTLD has yet to receive any type of notable Blu-Ray release in the U.S.
Criterion is set to right that wrong, bringing Night to Blu-Ray in an all-new 4K restoration that was supervised by Romero prior to his death. The film’s original mono soundtrack has also been restored. Also being presented to fans is a never before seen workprint of Night – under its alternate Night of Anubis title – and a bunch of extras, some old and some new.
As for Criterion’s release of Silence of the Lambs, it too presents the film in a restored 4K transfer. As for extras, fans will get a nice package, including both the great supplements from the existing MGM Blu-Ray release, and the old supplements from the now long out of print Criterion DVD of Silence.
Of special importance to diehards will be the return of a vintage audio commentary track featuring director Jonathan Demme, actors Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas. This track was recorded in 1994, and has never appeared on any other disc release since the aforementioned Criterion DVD.
Both Criterion releases will hit shelves on February 13th, 2018. Presented below are the full list of features for each.
- BRAND NEW 4K DIGITAL RESTORATION, supervised by director George A. Romero, coscreenwriter John A. Russo, sound engineer Gary R. Streiner, and producer Russell W. Streiner
- NEW RESTORATION OF THE ORIGINAL MONAURAL SOUNDTRACK, supervised by Romero and Gary R. Streiner, and presented uncompressed on the Blu-ray
- Night of Anubis, a never-before-presented work-print edit of the film
- NEW program featuring filmmakers Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, and Robert Rodriguez
- Never-before-seen 16 mm dailies reel
- NEW piece featuring Russo about the commercial and industrial-film production company where key
- Night of the Living Dead filmmakers got their start
- Two audio commentaries from 1994, featuring Romero, Russo, producer Karl Hardman, actor Judith O’Dea, and more
- Archival interviews with Romero and actors Duane Jones and Judith Ridley
- NEW programs about the editing, the score, and directing ghouls
- NEW interviews with Gary R. Streiner and Russel W. Streiner
- Trailer, radio spots, and TV spots
- PLUS: An essay by critic Stuart Klawans
- NEW 4K DIGITAL RESTORATION, approved by director of photography Tak Fujimoto, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 1994 featuring director Jonathan Demme, actors Jodie Foster and
- Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas
- NEW interview with critic Maitland McDonagh
- Thirty-five minutes of deleted scenes
- Interview from 2005 with Demme and Foster
- Inside the Labyrinth, a 2001 documentary
- Page to Screen, a 2002 program about the adaptation
- Scoring “The Silence,” a 2004 interview program featuring composer Howard Shore
- Understanding the Madness, a 2008 program featuring interviews with retired FBI special agents
- Original behind-the-scenes featurette
- PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin along with, in the Blu-ray edition, a new introduction by Foster; an account of the origins of the character Hannibal Lecter by author Thomas Harris; and a 1991 interview with Demme