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Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead

4.2 22
Director: George A. Romero

Cast: Judith O'Dea, Russ Streiner, Duane Jones


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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.


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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Legend Films
Region Code:
[B&W, Color]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

CC; Includes all new color version and restored black-and-white version; Audio commentary by Mike Nelson of tv's "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and Rifftrax; "Separated At Birth" - celebrity zombie game; Vintage horror trailers

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

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Night of the Living Dead
1. One Way Trip [2:05]
2. They're Coming to Get You Barbra [3:32]
3. Zombies Hate Clotheslines [6:07]
4. Fun With a Tire Iron [4:47]
5. Let the Board Nailing Begin [3:28]
6. Barbra Wigs Out [:28]
7. Nothing Like a Loaded Gun [7:27]
8. Enter Scuff Head [1:04]
9. Ben the Alpha Dog [7:36]
10. Barbra's Still Out to Lunch [3:47]
11. Willard [6:08]
12. Barbra's Still Out to Lunch [2:22]
13. Einstein At the Gas Pump [4:29]
14. Feast of the Living Dead [3:13]
15. Dad, Your Arm Tastes Great! [3:21]
16. Ending Credits [6:31]


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Night of the Living Dead 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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...
Scorpion451 More than 1 year ago
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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-c-a-l-e-b--b-a-n-k-s- More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
akfrizz More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This influenced so many horror directors. One of the first low budget horror movies that became a phenominal.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.