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Not Rated
Copyright 1968 Image Ten Inc.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Ben - Our hero, he is deadly with any improvised weapon and displays more common sense than ten of the other characters. Unfortunately shot by an overzealous bunch of zombie hunters.
  • Barbra - Spends most of the film in shock, right after her wits return she ends up the main course.
  • Harry - Wormy little asshole (now there is some verbal imagery) who does not like playing second fiddle to Ben. Ends up with 30-30 bullets in his belly and head, plus Karen gnaws his arm off.
  • Helen - Harry's wife, not a whole lot of love in the marriage. Troweled to death by her daughter.
  • Karen - Harry and Helen's daughter, she was bitten by a zombie and unconscious most of the film until becoming a flesh eating monster.
  • Tom and Judy - Country couple. He is definitely a good old corn fed boy, plus an expert at driving pickup trucks. Both are turned into barbecue.
  • Johnny - Barbra's mean brother, he gets bounced off a gravestone early on and returns as a zombie.
  • Chief McClelland - Leader of the local zombie hunters, he has a belt with some very large bullets in it. (.50 cal?) Odd thing is, they would never fit his rifle.
  • The Zombies - Dead people brought back to life by radiation from Venus.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Any horror buff will instantly recognize this film, actually any respectable film buff should. Shot in black and white on a shoestring budget, it defined the modern zombie movie and set the stage for a bloom of Italian horror films.

Barbra and Johnny drive several hours to visit their father's grave. At the cemetery a frightening man attacks, after watching the zombie kill her brother Barbra realizes she still has feet and quickly beats them to an old farmhouse. This is our main setting, normally being confined as such is a warning sign to audiences, but not here. Soon the others are present and between the characters' interactions with each other, the zombies, and their meager sources for information (radio and television) you will never be bored.

The television delivers the only serious goof. Authorities were not organized until after dark, nor did they realize these were zombies until sunset was long past, so the report showing Chief McClelland and his men creates a paradox. Another question, where was the television hidden upstairs? Did the woman who owned the farmhouse unplug and hide it every night in a closet?

Tom, Judy, and Ben make an attempt to refuel the truck so everyone can escape, but after shooting the lock off the pump a stray torch sets the gasoline stream on fire. The truck explodes (providing the zombies with an impromptu cookout) as Ben flees back to the farmhouse and a confrontation with Harry. With the two dominant males at each other's throats the zombies break in. It is a grim ending, among the most depressing ever, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Make sure you bury your parents close to home.
  • Zombies are responsible for most cases of vandalism.
  • Do not mess with some guy who has a tire iron, especially if his adrenaline level is skyrocketing.
  • Funeral clothes are made from polyester.
  • A house is full of scrap wood if you are creative.
  • Zombies are insectivores.
  • Only men are useful in any sort of emergency.
  • Zombies love barbecue.
  • Entrails have the same entertainment qualities as Play Dough.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 8 mins - Yes, yes, you're on the other side of a glass window. I think this zombie was a mime before he died.
  • 10 mins - Barbra is running through rough fields with no shoes on. Can you say ouch?
  • 27 mins - You are wearing an overcoat, no wonder it is hot. Stupid whacked out woman...
  • 52 mins - Not very sturdy as doors go.
  • 59 mins - Radiation is bringing the dead back to life?
  • 76 mins - That is probably a raw cow liver and you sir are the man.
  • 79 mins - Here is the suspect TV footage.
  • 92 mins - Ben, I would not stick my head out that window...

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note nightdead1.wav Johnny: "They're coming to get you Barbra."
Green Music Note nightdead2.wav A radio broadcast about the epidemic.
Green Music Note nightdead3.wav Harry: "You're insane, the cellar's the safest place!"
Ben: "I'm telling you, they can't get in here."
Harry: "And I'm telling you, those things turned over our car."
Green Music Note nightdead4.wav Reporter: "Are they slow moving, Chief?"
Chief McClelland: "Yeah they're dead, they're all messed up."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipnightdead1.mpg - 2.4m
I'm coming to get you Barbra.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #17. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Chris
I watched this film many years ago as a kiddy when it first came out and wasn't to impressed . However after watching it again as a mature individual I discoverd the film was actually a chilling social comment , in which maybe the director is suggesting that "we" the humans are the monsters.

The best character in this film is the mad prof who dishes out ruthless information to the s**t scared public.

Indeed the death of the lead character at the very hands of his suspossed saviours is still frightening to this day and gives rise to further debate about gun toteing mobs and non-cocasian folk.

Still as zombie films go its a must, its still at the core of this genre and shouldnt be ignored.

Chris -England-

Night of the Living Dead
Reply #18. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Dr. Maniac
    When Johnny says his famous line "They're coming to get you Barbra!" the film historians all say he is imitating Boris Karloff.  Is it just me or does he sound more like Roddy McDowall?  Also, Johnny is killed when his head slams into a tombstone (symbolic, I know but that isn't the point here) if the impact was strong enough to kill him shouldn't it have been to insure that he WOULD NOT return to life since we later learn a heavy blow to the skull can kill a zombie?
   Hey I am not trying to spoil the movie for anyone, I was just wondering.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #19. Posted on December 11, 2001, 09:39:43 PM by kellie
This is the only horror movie that can still scare me no matter when I watch it. I tried it in the afternoon with friends, and it still made me nauseous. Great surprise ending and incredibly realistic gore. A must see!!
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #20. Posted on October 27, 2003, 08:07:49 PM by Chris Schneider
You have to admit that they where the most considerate zombies ever to walk this planet; the way they stood in line by the car, waiting for their turn to pull those entrails out for dinner, shows that they have more manners than most people at a deli counter in a supermarket.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #21. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by APOCTOOT
This is a true classic.  With a surprise ending and twists at every turn, it is second in zombie movies only to Dawn of the Dead.  Note: You may watch the 90s version of the movie...but it just isn't the same.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #22. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Myddrin
I'm shocked...

There must be no Pittsburghers who read this site!  No mention of the Bill Cardille cameo.  Just about any one whose lived in PGH knows "Chilly Willy", a bad-movie show host whose show ran for years, and years and years(also a local journalist). He show was so popular with local bad movie buffs, that they still talked about it when I movied there in '90...almost 5 years after the show went of the air. (They did a special reunion show for a PBS drive in 93 or 94...)

Romero, an alumnus of Carnegie Mellon (my alma-mater, a small school in pgh), but him in as a tip of the hat to the PGH area, as he did with most of the town names.  (the ones that go across the bottom of the screen during the news casts)

Most of the towns listed are within a 100 miles or so of PGH...makes for _very_ crepy watching this film in the city itself. (Probably intentional, as given the budget, they probably didn't think it was going to be seen elsewhere).

If you know someone in PGH who hasn't seen this, do yourself a favor...arrange to visit them for a few days and throw this in. They will total freak.


(PS: the Mall in Dawn of the Dead is the Monroeville Mall, one of the first malls to open in the PGH area.)
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #23. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Masked_Nerd
Holy crap. My dad made me watch this movie as a child, and it warped me for life. I sleep with a baseball bat under my bed. I plan for 'zombie invasions.' I read every book on the subject. I play a lot of role-playing games, most involving zombies (Eden Studio's All Flesh Must Be Eaten; very nice, and White Wolf's Hunter: The Reckoning). And this is one of my favorite movies of all time. Egad, I get chills thinking of it. WHen Ben dies, it p**sed the crap out of me. When Mr. Cooper's daughter eats him . . . when the accident that caused the walking dead isn't explained well . . . wow. Mr. Romero, my hat goes off to you. You've ruined my life.

Keep up the good work!
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #24. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by scott b
     This is still one of the best horror movies ever made. Even the awful remake in the early 90' just show's you how good this picture is. It say's a lot for director Romero, who also scored with Dawn but missed the mark with Day.
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