I'm pretty sure I read that he only did that at the insistence of the distributor and did not want to do it.
When I was probably 7 I was next door at my older cousin's house and Night of the Living Dead was on tv. The scene where they drive a spade through a zombie's head is a very vivid childhood memory. Even though there was only like 30 feet between our houses I ran home as fast as I could.
There's a really good essay by David Banks over at The New Inquiry that outlines why this (well the Reddit model in general not the film fest in particular) is not a good way to highlight the best content. http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/very-serious-populists/
Pretty neat that he was adapting still lenses for cinema use decades before it became really commonplace.