Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Director(s): George A. Romero
Genre: Horror


"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." - from DVD Pacific

My oppinion:
"They're coming to get you, Barbara!"
This is classic B/W horror at it's absolute best and was the beginning of the zombie genre as it came to unfold over the years! Many say it hasn't withstood the test of time, but I disagree. Sure, it isn't very scary, but it has a great atmosphere, and I was just drawn into this movie, and that is something that rarely happens for me with these old B/W classics! The cinematography is really good and the acting is (mostly) very impressive as well! The score must also be mentioned, as it really helped create the right atmosphere. I can really understand that this movie made an impact on audiences when it came out. It shows no mercy to anyone and it's a perfect introduction to the second of Romero's Dead trilogy, "Dawn of the Dead", which is my favourite horror movie of all time! The reason I rate "Dawn" higher then this one, is probably because I saw that first, had I seen this first, it might as well have been this one! What can I say, if you're into zombie movies or horror in general for that matter, this is essential viewing.

(Also check out the quotes section)

My rating:

Want more info on this movie?: IMDB

"Night of the Living Dead" is available in lots of different editions and versions, from very cheap ($2-3) to about $15-20. It's even available for download free and completely legal at: Internet Archive

If you do decide to buy it on DVD, I recommend you get one of the more expensive versions, because the great picture and sound quality (and lots of extras) is defiantly worth it in my opinion! I own Elite Entertainments "Millennium edition", wich is a great release and is available at:
DVD Pacific or VideoUniverse

Other versions/editions are also avaliable at: DVD Pacific or VideoUniverse