Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead

4.2 22
Director: George A. Romero

Cast: George A. Romero, Judith O'Dea, Russ Streiner, Duane Jones

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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 (Russ Streiner) and Barbara (Judith O'Dea) whine and pout their way through a graveside visit in a small Pennsylvania town, but it all takes a turn for the worse when a zombie kills Johnny.… See more details below

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 (Russ Streiner) and Barbara (Judith O'Dea) whine and pout their way through a graveside visit 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 group of people 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 dollars, 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.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
One of the most successful independent films of all time, Night of the Living Dead helped pave the way for every low-budget horror hit that followed, from Halloween to The Blair Witch Project. This terrifying classic, in which a band of mismatched strangers find refuge in a deserted Pittsburgh farmhouse during a mysterious wave of zombie attacks, masterfully builds suspense and tension through the conflict of the humans inside the house and the never-ending presence of the flesh-eating ghouls outside. For years, viewers assumed that the grainy, pseudo-documentary look of inferior prints was director George Romero's original intention. But a recent restoration has brought out the film's crisp, black and white cinematography, and viewing it is a revelation. All but ignored during its initial release, Night of the Living Dead became a true word-of-mouth hit, with the midnight and drive-in circuits wholeheartedly embracing the film's audacious shocks. It remains among the most terrifying films ever made.
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.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
01/24/2012
UPC:
0874757025599
Original Release:
1968
Source:
American Pop Classic
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
19,968

Related Subjects

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 Actor
Rossie Harris Actor
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

Read More

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >