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‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968) Movie Review

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Directed by George A. Romero

Written by John A. Russo

Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman

A group of strangers converge upon a lone farmhouse for protection after a ghoulish contagion reanimates the dead, turning them into single-minded cannibals.

Night of the Living Dead might be the most serendipitous horror movie ever created. A group of friends, including George A. Romero, pitched in on a case of film stock and filmed a horror movie over several weekends. This act of passion and creativity spawned a recognized zombie genre that morphed and progressed through the changing times. Horror lovers are still obsessed with zombies. As I type, the survival-horror series, The Walking Dead, is the most watched show on television. Romero preferred the slow, shambling, bloodthirsty version of the zombie, and it remains my favorite.

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In this 1968 film, a pair of siblings are simply delivering flowers to their father’s grave when the horror begins. One shabbily dressed zombie is mistaken for a person and the film is easily set up. A group of strangers gather in a farmhouse for protection. An overbearing and cowardly man has a sick daughter in the basement of the home. Tactical options quickly creates opposition and tension, themes that ramp to a fever pitch before the shocking climax.

Night of the Living Dead refuses to deliver a spoonful of sugar at the end. The mid-sixties produced a shitload of campy horror films, replete with good triumphs over evil endings. Romero’s Vietnam era film travels a darker road. The true star of this zombie outbreak is Ben (Duane Jones), a black man who serves as a take charge hero. For all Ben’s work, his fate is a painful waste, reinforcing the situational horror of this iconic genre piece. The assassinations of Malcom X and Martin Luther King made American’s stop and think and caused social issues as expected. This is one of my favorite horror films, one even older than me for a change, and it never gets old. Enjoy the rich black and white beauty Romero crams into every frame.

About Fister Roboto (2216 Articles)
Just ring it up with the dong tea...

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