Chew On This!

Whoa… a feeding scene! And one that appears only in the so-called Director's Cut. Guess I'm getting old, but I can remember when the Long Version was more difficult to track down than a taxi on 5th avenue in the pouring rain.

The first time I saw the Long Version was back in September 1981 and was, coincidentally, my 13th viewing. A Dawn buddy named Paul Fox and I had driven to nearby New York City to catch a double feature of Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. On the way, cruising down the West Side Highway and lost in thought, I speculated on how much brain damage would be caused by a drug that could somehow erase memory for a brief time, thus enabling me to experience Dawn of the Dead as if it were the first time again. Such were the crazy thoughts of a musician in his early twenties...

We arrived at the Harry Clorman Theater (on 42nd street near 9th avenue) a bit early. With Dawn of the Dead still into its morning screening, we walked around the block to 'clear' our heads. A half-hour later and back at the theater, we were surprised to found that all the times on the marquee had been shoved back twenty minutes. Inquiring, the bewildered theater manager said that all the times on the Dawn of the Dead canisters were incorrect, and it had run over the listed time by about 15 minutes.

With more time on our hands, we walked back around the block to once more 'clear' our heads and to contemplate what this time inconsistency could possibly mean. Later, as I sat through Night of the Living Dead I could hardly concentrate I was so excited wondering if the upcoming screening of Dawn of the Dead would somehow be different. Finally… Dawn of the Dead came on, and, to my joy, it was indeed a longer, different version. It was as if my dream back in the car had come true.

This was a cool experience.