Night of the Living Dead

( 22 )

Overview

When unexpected radiation raises the dead, a microcosm of Average America has to battle flesh-eating zombies in George A. Romero's landmark cheapie horror film. Siblings Johnny (Russell Streiner) and Barbara (Judith O'Dea) whine and pout their way through a visit to their father's grave in a small Pennsylvania town, but it all takes a turn for the worse when a zombie kills Johnny. Barbara flees to an isolated farmhouse where a family, a teen couple, and a lone man named Ben (Duane Jones) are already holed up. ...
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Overview

When unexpected radiation raises the dead, a microcosm of Average America has to battle flesh-eating zombies in George A. Romero's landmark cheapie horror film. Siblings Johnny (Russell Streiner) and Barbara (Judith O'Dea) whine and pout their way through a visit to their father's grave in a small Pennsylvania town, but it all takes a turn for the worse when a zombie kills Johnny. Barbara flees to an isolated farmhouse where a family, a teen couple, and a lone man named Ben (Duane Jones) are already holed up. Bickering and panic ensue as the group tries to figure out how best to escape, while hoards of undead converge on the house; news reports reveal that fire wards them off, while a local sheriff-led posse discovers that if you "kill the brain, you kill the ghoul." After a night of immolation and parricide, one survivor is left in the house ... . Romero's grainy black-and-white cinematography and casting of locals emphasize the terror lurking in ordinary life; as in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963), Romero's victims are not attacked because they did anything wrong, and the randomness makes the attacks all the more horrifying. Nothing holds the key to salvation, either, whether it's family, love, or Law. Topping off the existential dread is Romero's then-extreme use of gore, as zombies nibble on limbs and viscera. Initially distributed by a Manhattan theater chain owner, Night, made for about $100,000, was dismissed as exploitation, but after a 1969 re-release, it began to attract favorable attention for scarily tapping into Vietnam-era uncertainty and nihilistic anxiety. By 1979, it had grossed over $12 million, inspired a cycle of apocalyptic splatter films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and set the standard for finding horror in the mundane. However cheesy the film may look, few horror movies reach a conclusion as desolately unsettling.
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Special Features

Interactive menus; Scene index; Digitally mastered
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
When George A. Romero, a Pittsburgh-based director of TV commercials and industrial films, persuaded a few buddies to pitch in some money for a case of film stock so that he could shoot a zombie movie on the weekends, he had no idea that he would forever change the American horror movie. With his first effort, Romero shattered the rules of the horror genre; Night of the Living Dead retained many of the iconic elements of the traditional horror movie, but without the emotional buffering of most films that preceded it. In this film, the good guys didn't win, the monsters became only more powerful, the authority figures protecting us were both dangerous and inept, the source of the contagion was both unexplained and unstoppable, and, as friends and families were pitted against each other, no one got away unscathed. The early films of Herschell Gordon Lewis predated it in putting graphic gore on screen, but while Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs seemed almost comical in their candy-colored carnage, Night's stark black-and-white images of zombies feeding on their human victims possessed a blunt and troubling realism that broke new, stomach-churning ground. And while Night's political allegories are more subtle than those of such later Romero films as The Crazies and Dawn of the Dead, its open distrust of authority and depiction of society on the verge of collapse certainly mark it as a film of the Vietnam era; the grim fate of Duane Jones, the film's sole heroic figure and only African-American, had added resonance with the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X fresh in the minds of most Americans. At a time when most horror movies took the tack that fear could be fun, Night of the Living Dead offered terror without a spoonful of sugar, and the genre would never be the same again.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/28/2002
  • UPC: 096009045197
  • Original Release: 1968
  • Rating:

  • Source: Platinum Disc
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 4,291

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Judith O'Dea Barbara
Russ Streiner Johnny
Duane Jones Ben
Karl Hardman Harry
Keith Wayne Tom
Judith Ridley Judy
Marilyn Eastman Helen
Kyra Schon Karen
Charles Craig Newscaster
Bill Hinzman Cemetery Zombie
John Simpson
Rossie Harris
George A. Romero Washington Reporter (uncredited)
John A. Russo Washington Military Aide, Zombie in House (uncredited)
Technical Credits
George A. Romero Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Original Story, Screenwriter
Marilyn Eastman Makeup
Karl Hardman Makeup, Producer
Tony Pantanello Special Effects
John A. Russo Screenwriter
Russ Streiner Producer
Regis Survinski Special Effects
Vincent Survinski Production Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Night of the Living Dead
2. Opening Credits [8:40]
3. They're Coming for Your Barbara [7:53]
4. They Know We're Here Now [8:12]
5. We've Got to Go Get Johnny [7:00]
6. Their Victims Are Partially Devoured [8:56]
7. You Bastards! [7:40]
8. Dying Together Isn't Going to Solve Anything [8:15]
9. Willard [7:41]
10. Ten Minutes to Three [8:44]
11. I Have to Get That Gun [7:28]
12. Someone Sure Had a Cookout Here [6:58]
13. That's Another One for the Fire [8:03]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Night of the Living Dead
   Play
   Chapters
   About Film
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This DVD is NOT the Tom Savini Remake !!!

    If you want to buy the orginal Geo. Romero B/W movie this may be for you. But contrary to what is stated here this is NOT the Tom Savini Remake. Carefully look at the info provided here...Format: DVD - Black & White??? Tom Savini's remake is in Color...Rated 5 stars just because the original and the remake are both great movies. I just bought it and did not notice till I received it in the mail. It's still worth the 5 bucks...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2011

    The Zombie movie all the rest are copying.

    This is the ultimate Zombie movie, and also the first true "Zombie hoard" movie.
    What most people don't realize, however, is that this is more than a simple indie horror flick-
    Its smart social commentary wrapped in a veil of grindhouse noir; from the brilliant opening sequence parodying the campy horror flicks of the 50's, to the chilling and thought-provoking end.
    The acting is top notch by 60's grindhouse standards, and its clear that Romero and his crew had the intention of making a film that was a work of art, from the brilliant camera work to the dialogue.

    If you're a horror fan, a movie buff, or just want to see a film that will leave you with goosebumps as much from what it says about people as from the zombies, you cannot miss the original Night of the Living Dead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Horror for Twenty First Century Movie Watchers

    The Night Of The Living Dead is an independent black and white zombie horror film directed by George A. Romero. Released in 1968 the movie features terrible special effects, what was horrendous violence for the time, and terrible acting. The movie starts with siblings Barbra and Johnny unhappily visiting there fathers graveyard. Some three hours from home, the movie makes it clear that not only are Barbra and Johnny in the middle of nowhere, that there radio has been out. After joking to his sister about the undead rising, Johnny is killed by some unknown man. Barbra flees and the story goes downhill from there. In an attempt to get away from the creature that killed her brother Barbra runs into a near bye farmhouse. Barbra is joined by clearheaded Ben, the one character I found interesting, and a number of uninviting and unoriginal characters. The characters decide to stay and attempt to survive through the night. For quite a while the plot focus's solely on interaction between these characters, which was a pleasant distraction from zombie attacks but all around unnecessary.
    All around I loved the movie. The acting was enjoyably pathetic, the effects laughably terrible. For the time I believe the movie would have been terribly violent however for me, a child raised on the violence of the twenty-first century, I barely noticed. Throughout much of the movie there is a radio in the background, broadcasting news on the 'living dead'. While the explanations take themselves to seriously, I found the radio to be a wonderful plot device. Early in the movie Ben punches Barbra in the face and knocks her out, which is one of the scenes I remembered the most. My friend and I found this scene hilarious. While I know that is terrible to say, it is a depart from Ben's character and a memorable scene.
    Sadly the movie fails to deliver a solid ending. After zombies break into the house, all but Ben are killed. Before revealing the fate of Ben, the movie switches to a band of militia men, going through the country killing zombies. Just as it is revealed that Ben survived the night, he is mistaken as a zombie and shot through the head. Regardless the movie was fun, different and is definintly a must see, as a cult classic, for horror fans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    one of the best horror movies ever

    i thought that this movie was awsome. i watch it everytime it comes on tv. i bet that back in the day it would have been considerd to be very graffic, because of the zombies killing and eating people. this movie was alot better than the remake that they did in the early 90s.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Incredible Cult Classic

    This is one of the first movies to scare the hell out of me when I was a kid.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    good night

    What made this a stand out movie of it time was the lead. There were few if any Black male leads or black men period in a movie who wasn't killed in the frist reel. The Black man was the glue that held very other chara ter together thoughout the movie. Not only was he the last to survive but ended up being killed as a non zombie by a white mob. This is the social aspect of ther movie that most miss. Everything else is gravy to horror fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cheap movie.

    This was cheapy made. When i saw a "zombie" it looked just like a human. I could have made a better movie with $20 and a cheap camera and cheap make up.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best horror movies.

    This influenced so many horror directors. One of the first low budget horror movies that became a phenominal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A REAL HAND SWEATER

    I love it! One after the other dies in the house, thirsting for more people to eat on. The ending is normal, not too surprising, but good!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    30th anniversary edition Very Disappointed

    This dvd has two movies, the original one with added music score and the 30th anniversary ed. with about 15 min. added scenes-newly directed by the original screenplay John A. Russo. Those new scenes are not needed nor helpful, and even poorly performed. I don't understand why scene from 'Flesh Eater' and ridiculous DOTLD music video have been featured. I regret buying it and don't recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2001

    The Best Zombie Flick Ever Made

    The dead are brought back to life by radiation (I think) then exit their graveyards, morgues, and cemetaries looking for human brains to munch on. The film follows a pair of siblings who are terrorized by the zombies before the sister takes refuge in an abandoned house filled with other people hiding. Entertaining and very spooky horror movie is a cult favorite and the best zombie flick of all-time, no contest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews