Night Of The Living Dead is one of the most important horror films of the ’60s, considered a classic by critics, horror fans, and cinephiles alike. When it was originally released in 1968, the film’s theatrical distributor, the Walter Reade Organization, cut nearly ten minutes out of the film that has never been seen to this day. However, according to Bloody Disgusting, that previously lost footage has been unearthed by George Romero himself. The The sequence—which the director found a in a 16mm work print—takes place at the jump cut in the basement and is said to be the “largest zombie scene in the film.”
Night Of The Living Dead has famously long been in the public domain; when the film’s title was changed from Night Of The Flesh Eaters to Night Of The Living Dead, the distributor neglected to place a copyright notice on the new title card and thus copyright law does not protect the film. As a result, you can easily buy a DVD copy for three dollars taken from a shoddy print and released by Goodtimes Home Entertainment (might as well pick up White Zombie and The Terror while you’re at it). Up until now, the most complete—and best-looking—releases of Night Of The Living Dead were the 2002 Millennium Edition from Elite.
This recently unearthed footage, however, has never been released on home media. And Martin Scorsese is working on a new restoration of the film from the original negatives, which is why Romero dug up the 16mm work print in the first place. No concrete plans have been announced yet, but—making the (safe) assumption that Scorsese’s restoration is coming to Blu-ray—no matter how many times Night Of The Living Dead has been released, this will be the first time it’s been released in its entirety.