Monday, 5 January 2015

Review: Night of the Living Dead (1968) (January 2015)

Night of the Living Dead (1968)... "They won't stay dead!"
"They're coming to get you, Barbara!" torments the ill-fated Johnny to his sister in the graveyard they are visiting one evening!  Night of the Living Dead (1968) starts as it pretty much means to go on, Johnny and Barbara are attacked by lead zombie Bill Hinzman where the brother is left for dead and the sister runs for cover in a nearby farmhouse. There, she encounters dead corpses on the stair landing before trying to leg it before meeting our hero, Ben (a leading black actor). From there, making sense of the zombie apocalypse is too much for Barbara who fears that her brother Johnny is still out there! It's up to the survivors to board windows and doors to keep the undead out before discovering that they are not along in the house... only then does survival really start for the human characters in Night of the Living Dead!

The zombie genre of the modern age starts with director George A Romero and crew's nightmarish, black and white classic, NOTLD. It is considered the pinnacle walking dead movie with a cult film series following which continued into 2010 with Survival of the Dead (2009). NOTLD is well known for being in the public domain of the horror genre through mistakes made by the film-makers, hence endless re-releases and spin-offs done in the past and in recent times!

Romero was a university drop out and tv commercial maker before turning to feature films. His cult following in the horror field is legendary and in recent times, he turned his interest and skills to comic book writing in Empire of the Dead from Marvel. I would also recommend that you check out the documentary, Birth of the Living Dead (2013).

With zombies, we kinda take them for granted with shows like The Walking Dead (2010). However, NOTLD was followed by the sequel: Dawn of the Dead (1978) - ten years later - see, HERE! From there on in, the flesh-eating zombie genre really took off on the silver screen.


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