Night of the Living Dead

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Here it is...

This film was made right here in my neck of the woods, so hearing the news broadcasts with familiar town names and seeing newscasters that are still around made the flick a little creepier for me.

Although it's campy, cheaply made, and some of the acting is just abysmal, and the characters are all conveniently stereotypical (and one of each type), I always liked the fact that the film didn't sell out for a happier ending (like the remake did). It's depressing and despairing, but it works.

Although I'm not much moved by zombie flicks (and I don't think the later sequels were that great), this one does creep me out. The B&W adds to the creepiness, as does the ploddingly methodical way the zombies just keep coming. It's not a fast-paced horror -- it's a slow, thump-thump-thump type horror. And I think that's its charm (if you can call it that). To me this is definitely one of Romero's most fun flicks.

Linda



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Get Low, Get Low, Get Low
Linda...You make an excellent point about the movie....Great pick btw. For it's time this movie was a great horror movie and still is today a great classic horror movie. The only problem i had was: The part towards the end when the guy is in the house and the zombies are trying to get to him really annoyed me (maybe it was the noises they were making, but i kept thinking "ok...get to him already...damn!!". GREAT Flick GREAT Flick
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I went out today to by it so I can see it, unfortuatly couldn't find it.
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It was beauty killed the beast.
First Kong must admit that he didn't watch Night of the Living Dead this past week, but Kong had recently watched it and it was still fairly fresh in his mind. It's one of the few horror flicks that Kong has given a **** of **** star rating to, so that should let you know how highly Kong regards it.

Night of the Living Dead isn't scary as much as it is creepy. The black and white film adds great atmosphere; most of the movie is shot in and around the house which gives it a claustrophobic feeling; and the actors are (very importantly) not famous so it's easier to suspend your disbelief. Added to these things is the terrific pacing; Romero deliberately paces the film like a plodding Zombie adding a little more tension with every step and causing us to slowly inch forward on to the edges of our seats until remarkably brave conclusion. Brilliant!

Another thing that really elevates the film above other horror flicks is the allegorical aspect of it. Austruck said, "the characters are all conveniently stereotypical (and one of each type)," but this is pretty deliberate. The film is a social critique that echos Lincoln's famous words, "...divided we fall." The film is a warning about how our society's infighting leaves us vulnerable to a greater collective threat, and this is why the end had to be so tragic. If Ben wasn't killed, if the film opted for a happy ending, the message would've been lost. The message might not be that radical for the late 60s, but it fits in perfectly with the times, especially when you look at the zombies as representing something like our enemies from the Cold War.

Anyways, Kong has gone on too much.
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It's been about a year or two since I have seen it, but I remember liking it quite a bit. I also think Dawn of the Dead is quite good for a horror movie.
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Originally Posted by Kong
First Kong must admit that he didn't watch Night of the Living Dead this past week, but Kong had recently watched it and it was still fairly fresh in his mind. It's one of the few horror flicks that Kong has given a **** of **** star rating to, so that should let you know how highly Kong regards it.

Night of the Living Dead isn't scary as much as it is creepy. The black and white film adds great atmosphere; most of the movie is shot in and around the house which gives it a claustrophobic feeling; and the actors are (very importantly) not famous so it's easier to suspend your disbelief. Added to these things is the terrific pacing; Romero deliberately paces the film like a plodding Zombie adding a little more tension with every step and causing us to slowly inch forward on to the edges of our seats until remarkably brave conclusion. Brilliant!

Another thing that really elevates the film above other horror flicks is the allegorical aspect of it. Austruck said, "the characters are all conveniently stereotypical (and one of each type)," but this is pretty deliberate. The film is a social critique that echos Lincoln's famous words, "...divided we fall." The film is a warning about how our society's infighting leaves us vulnerable to a greater collective threat, and this is why the end had to be so tragic. If Ben wasn't killed, if the film opted for a happy ending, the message would've been lost. The message might not be that radical for the late 60s, but it fits in perfectly with the times, especially when you look at the zombies as representing something like our enemies from the Cold War.

Anyways, Kong has gone on too much.
Kong, thanks for the great review but did you have to tell me the ending!



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Oops, I guess we assumed that the discussion contained people who'd seen the movie! Should we be using spoiler tags in here??

Kong, yes, that's a good way to put it: creepy more than scary. It really does make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. And the plodding pace works well.

I've also always liked the way it takes a while before anyone even begins to try to explain how these things got here -- and really, they don't ever go into too much detail on that anyway. That's not the point, is it? (At least not for the people stuck in the farmhouse. They're a little too busy to worry about why this all started.)

If anyone here has seen the newer remake, it's a far cry from this one. They changed the ending and although part of the ending was all right, other parts of it just lost the whole feel of the original. The only thing about the new one that I liked was the woman's insistence that they try to just make a run for it because the zombies are so dang slow. She really pushed this point in the remake, and yet in the original the thought never seemed to occur to anyone to any great degree. I always wondered why the whole group didn't just make torches and make a run for it to the nearest town, even if it took all night.

But then, of course you'd lose the claustrophobic feel Kong mentioned, that makes the microcosm of the house so effective.



It worked, you feel guilty.

I am very excited I just bought the dvd of 'Night of the living Dead' 30yr special, I am still looking forward to watching it so don't worry, you are right it is for people who have watched it.



Hi guy's I just thought that I would talk about the living dead trilogy.

1. Night of the living dead= I only watched about 45 minautes of this because I lost all interest when I saw the zombie blokie RUN after a car. Zombies are suppost to be slow but they run in this part of the film. Was I too harsh, should I re-watch it again ???????? please tell me.

2. Dawn of the dead= I quite liked this film and it's ideas right up to the point where the bikers broke in and started to put whipt cream into the zombies faces, this totaly took the piss out of the film and made a mockery of the zombies that we where made to belive was dangerouse.

3. Day of the dead= Good idea but with poor acting. that little mexican blokie was getting on my nerves and why would anyone want to sleep down in the caves with those zombies running around Is beyond me. Best part of the film was the soldier zombie blokie.

Personaly I was hopeing the resi evil film would have been the main zombie flick but I was very disserpointed in that one as well, especially after playing all the games, wow those where good storylines.

I say re-do all the resi evil games into film and call them biohazard .

But was I to harsh on NOTLD,
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You were way, way too harsh, and any true zombie fan must watch this film. It is IMO the greatest zombie movie ever.

I love Night of the Living Dead. It is one of the best horror films ever.

I, like Kong, did not watch it this past week, I'm sorry to say. I did see it several times recently though.

It is very unsetteling. I could say many things, but what I do say would just be a re-hash of what others have said. (particularly Kong, who nails pretty much everything I'd planned to post). I will remark on how brilliant the ending was. Great!

I haven't seen either of the sequels, but I plan to sometime (although i hear Day of the Dead sucked....I'll see...I'm not the biggest Zombie film fan....as long as they are good though....)
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Nice review "Kong",

I totally dig NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, its a superb B&W horror that ranks right alongside Don Siegel's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS.

I bought the 30th Anniversary edition DVD about a year ago. It has 2 versions of the film, one is the original cinematic version from 1968, the other has 15 minutes of extra footage.

Since Ive watched the original to many times to count I thought Id brave this "newer" version with extra scenes inserted. All I can say is steer clear of this abismal mess of a re-edit. taking out all sense of urgency and quite frankly dragging the film down to that of cliche. All the pacing and editing genius that went into the original is destroyed by the insertion of these extras scenes.

So be warned gang, make sure you steer clear of this horrible re-edit and stick with the original majestic vision instead.

Great film and definetly the finest Zombie effort yet.
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Originally Posted by Austruck
Here it is...

This film was made right here in my neck of the woods, so hearing the news broadcasts with familiar town names and seeing newscasters that are still around made the flick a little creepier for me.

Although it's campy, cheaply made, and some of the acting is just abysmal, and the characters are all conveniently stereotypical (and one of each type), I always liked the fact that the film didn't sell out for a happier ending (like the remake did). It's depressing and despairing, but it works.

Although I'm not much moved by zombie flicks (and I don't think the later sequels were that great), this one does creep me out. The B&W adds to the creepiness, as does the ploddingly methodical way the zombies just keep coming. It's not a fast-paced horror -- it's a slow, thump-thump-thump type horror. And I think that's its charm (if you can call it that). To me this is definitely one of Romero's most fun flicks.

Linda
I have allways said this is the scariest movie of all time. And what's scary about it is our own mortality , and that every city and every town has a cemetary ,where not talking about monsters and aliens , where talking about the dead coming back to life , the thought of that is creepy to most people and Romero knew it and tapped into that fear.
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The Adventure Starts Here!
Deckard, I'm curious now. What's in those scenes that changes things? I could easily see how deleting or snipping scenes would ruin it, but I'm curious as to how adding a few things could change the effect for you. (Gahh, they didn't change anything around the plotline or ending, did they??)



o.k guy's I will watch it again when the chance arrives but are we talking about the same film here. The film I seen 45 minautes of did'nt seem all that good but if it is the same film I'll watch it again.

o.k here's what happend.

It starts off in a cemitry and this blokie in the background is walking towards them very slowly. All of a sudden this zombie blokie starts to chase them, the woman gets in the car, the car roles down a hill, the zombie blokie RUNS after her and she then comes to a old house in the woods, she goes in and finds a extra clean skeleton upstairs. Then a blokie runs in the house and keeps saying is it only those two because I can take them. she does'nt say much and a load of zombies slowly gather around the house ??????????? does that sound like the same film.

Is it realy that good, the best zombie flick yet.???????????

I like zombie films but 90% are just two cheesy and rubbish to take seriousley, I like the evil dead trilogy and films like 28 days later but is NOTLD realy that good, please tell me.



The Adventure Starts Here!
If it was also in B&W, yes, it's the same film. You stopped watching just as it was going to start getting really good! This film builds on you, and I admit that the acting in that first part is sub-standard. But trust me, it builds on you. Oh, and try watching it late at night in the dark too.

Alone is even better.

Linda the Masochist



yes it was black and white. Thanks Austruck mate I'll give it another go.

The only other thing I liked on zombies that was short and sweat was michael jacksons thriller. I know it was only a music video but the zombies where brilliant (because they where done by the same guy who did an american wearwolf in london).

I think that this is right up your ally AUSTRUCK buddy .



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I loved Thriller and American Werewolf. AW is another underrated movie, ahead of its time for effects and very dry weird sense of humor. I wonder why these things almost have to have bleak endings to be good. (BTW, try not to read the spoilers about the ending to NOTLD.)

AW is a goody. And Thriller pays good homage to good zombie flicks. Yes, good effects and also very creepy.



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The thing about this zombie movie is that it was the pioneer of zombie movies. It inspired a whole new level of horror. Generations that have grown up on the recent zombie films may look at the original NotLD as too much of a low budget film. The acting, sound, and lighting seem to prevent certain viewers from taking it seriously. I, on the other hand, think these elements of the film are very appealing. I like the idea that Romero made this film pretty much on his own and was unable to get a distributor or able to recoup what little money he had invested. Only when Reader’s Digest wrote an article rallying to ban the film did it climb to cult status.

This was probably the first horror film I ever saw, so it holds a very special place in the dark corner of my heart. I was probably around 8-years old when I first saw it with my teenage brother in the early ‘70s. My brother had already seen it and kept prompting me to the creepy parts. Here are a few of the things I remember being a big deal to my teenage brother:

- the half eaten face of the woman at the top of the stairs
- the naked zombie walking toward the house
- the zombies fighting for the intestines
- the girl stabbing her mother with the trowel
- Johnny coming back and grabbing Barbara
- the ending

Because my brother made a big deal out of those scenes thirty years ago, they are still my favorite parts of the film. After rewatching it again yesterday, I was amazed at the scene of the girl stabbing her mother. The music, the echoed screams, the shadows on the wall, the sounds of the trowel entering the body, the blood hitting the wall, the camera angle of the girl above her mother, the defenseless mother laying on the ground. That is a terriffic scene!

As a kid, the most memorable line from the film was this: “They’re coming to get you, Barbara.” When my brother and I had to stay at home alone in the evenings while my parents went out, he used to scare the hell out of me by inserting my name in place of Barbara’s.

Here’s a line from the film that I had forgotten about that I thought was hilarious:

Newsreporter: Are they slow moving?
Sherriff: Yeah, they’re dead...they’re all messed up.

I love that line!

One thing that no one has mentioned is the genius of Romero placing an African-American man as the protagonist of the film. There is certainly meaning to this that relates to what Kong stated regarding the infighting of our country. The Civil Rights movement was a huge issue at the time, and having a black man take charge, slap a white woman, strike a white man, and shoot a white man was a very bold thing for Romero to do.

The ending of this film has a huge impact if it is unexpected. About ten years ago, when I was rewatching the film for the first time since I was a kid, I had forgotten about the ending. I remember being very disturbed by it. It always bothered me that the search and destroy team didn’t bother to check the house before shooting blindly. I loved the grainy still photos as the men used hay hooks to place the man onto the bonfire. I wanted so badly for these men to realize their mistake by seeing the rifle in the man’s hands.

Here are some other films with endings that may have been inspired by NotLD:

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry
Race with the Devil
Easy Rider


Can anyone think of others that don’t involve Peter Fonda?
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Hey "Austruck"......

In The EXTENDED VERSION I saw there is an alternate opening scene where 2 guys are packing a coffin on the back of a truck and discussing how it is a "Murder/Rapist" they are taking to the cemetary- we also are told that the parents of one of the little girls the guy raped and killed are waiting in the cemetary for the body. This body turns out to be the first zombie in the movie who attacks "Johnny"the brother in the original 68 opening scene.


***************************SPOILERS**********************************************



Now for the travesty just after George is shot instead of going straight to the fire scene Finale there is a 4 MINUTE scene with a priest from the alternate opening sprouting cliches about god and the devil, a shalow attempt to add metaphoric depth to what was once a perfect ending............So to answer your question, yes they destroy the ending. It is no longer abrupt, but drawn out.



It was beauty killed the beast.
Originally Posted by nebbit
Kong, thanks for the great review but did you have to tell me the ending!
Sorry Nebbit. Kong knew you hadn't seen it and knew you were browsing this thread, but Kong just forgot about those things when he made those posts.

If it makes you feel any better, Kong knew about that part of the ending before seeing it as well, and, although it may kill some of the surprise, it doesn't dull the entertainment value at all.

Originally Posted by Mark
One thing that no one has mentioned is the genius of Romero placing an African-American man as the protagonist of the film. There is certainly meaning to this that relates to what Kong stated regarding the infighting of our country. The Civil Rights movement was a huge issue at the time, and having a black man take charge, slap a white woman, strike a white man, and shoot a white man was a very bold thing for Romero to do.
Certainly. Has there even been a horror movie since that has had such a take charge, dexterous, and intelligent leading black character? There are probably some examples in blaxsploitation and black cinema, but probably only a precious few in horror films that have recieved a large theatrical distrobution (of course, as you pointed out, NoTLD didn't have a real theatrical release either).