Review by Jason Minton
Night of the Living Dead - 1968
“They’re coming for you!” The most horrifying thought imaginable happens as the dead arise. The dead return as mindless creatures attacking the living. “They keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for human flesh!” A group of people from all walks of life hold up in a farmhouse. The struggle to persevere “pits the dead against the living in a struggle for survival.” The actions of the living in a world of the undead, brings to question who the real monsters are.
Overall I’m not a fan of the silver screen’s black and white movie era. Not to say there weren’t some spectacular movies made then. Night of the Living Dead commits the same sin most films from the era commits. Some of the performances are overacted like a stage production to the point of being unrealistic. In the late 1960’s, a young director in his late twenties and in charge of his first feature film put a black male actor in the lead role of a film where the rest of the speaking cast is all white actors. Not all actors in the cast go over the top in their performances with Duane Jones playing a nearly perfect hero Ben. Intentional of not, another dynamic is set-up with the black male lead Ben taking charge as he’s trapped in a house with a group of white people in the late 1960’s. The way this plays out on screen is perfectly realistic and is a huge part of why Night of the Living Dead became the iconic movie it is.
There are also very few films in life that are genuinely scary to watch. As a child the three that come to memory are the Exorcist, Hellraiser and Night of the Living Dead. The idea of the dead returning to life is seen everywhere today. In 1968 the concept was a lot more original. Night of the Living Dead may not have been the first zombie movie but it took the concept to a higher level and literally changed the world. It has inspired generations of movie fans.
A lot of horror movie fans cite Dawn of the Dead as the best zombie movie. I love the film too. For me, there’s never been a zombie movie more terrifying than the original Night of the Living Dead. It was done with a simple story and on a low budget. This week we lost the iconic director who inspired generations with his films. I’m very proud to review my favorite George Romero movie and make it the first review approved by all five Headless Critics.
5 out of 5 Headless Critics
WYH Interview with Judith O'Dea
Barbra of Night Of The Living Dead
WYH Interview with Russ Streiner & George Kosana
Johnny & Sheriff McClelland of Night Of The Living Dead
WYH Interview with John Russo
Co-writer of Night Of The Living Dead