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Monday, October 25, 2010

Night of the Living Dead: The Grandfather of Zombie Films

Night of the Living Dead = 4 and 1/2 out of 5 Stars
Johnny: They're coming to get you Barbara.  Look! There's one of them now.
The original film about Zombies, though they are never called zombies, at least in the majority of Romero and others zombie movies.  Regardless, this is the one that started it all, and it still gets what tries to do right.  Well made, fairly graphic for its time, and unintentional or not, full of some Romero-style social commentary.

Field Reporter: Are they slow-moving, chief?
Sheriff McClelland: Yeah, they're dead. They're all messed up.


The story is simple.  The dead start to walk, and attack whoever get in their paths.  Some random people manage to find shelter in a farm house.  They try to survive the night.

  
What's great about this film, is that it's more about the tension inside the house between the people trying to figure out what the hell to do, than the walking undead outside.  That's not to say that the zombies aren't deadly, because they are. They have no purpose but to cause death and carnage, and nothing will stop them, and that makes it even more eerie.  What do you do to a threat that can only be handled in one way?

Ben: Don't you know what's goin' on out there? This is no Sunday School picnic!  


Romero's film is very low budget, to the point of using non copy written music from older B-movies, but it is still well done. Seeing the image of a lone person stalked by tons of walking dead make for a sticky situation.  Dealing with characters that are all confused, frighten, and irritated helps things further.


As a huge fan of well done zombie films, in particular these early Romero films, its always pleasing to continue revisiting this film.  It sets the standard for how others should follow.  A bleak situation that paves the way for more interesting plot threads involving the characters stuck in said situation.   

I not one to knock a film for its age.  If I am entertained for find something to keep me intrigued, I don't care when it came out or the state of its production values.  As far as I am concerned, the film is well done, good horror fun.

Dr. Grimes: In the cold room at the University, we had a cadaver, a cadaver from which all limbs had been amputated. Some time early this morning, it opened its eyes and began to move its trunk. It was dead, but it opened its eyes and tried to move!

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