Night of the Living Dead title

Tag Line : They won't stay dead!

Night of the Living DeadThis low budget classic horror pic by director George Romero, successfully opened up a whole new sub-genre in the horror world, with its depiction of the world being terrorised by re-activated corpses, that have turned into flesh eating zombies.

The film starts off innocently enough, showing a young couple, Barbara (Judith O'Dea) and her brother Johnny, visiting their mothers grave in an out of town cemetery. Johnny is joking around, talking about the dead coming back to life. "They're coming to get you Barbara" he keeps saying.

As he continues to joke, they are then suddenly attacked by a REAL zombie, leaving Johnny in a bloodied mess on the floor and forcing Barbara to flee to a nearby farmhouse. The house is apparently empty, but she is soon joined by six others, who are seeking refuge from the zombie menace.

They are Ben (Duane Jones), Tom, his girlfriend Judy and the Cooper family. As night falls, they find themselves under siege from the flesh eating ghouls, who are attempting to break in from all sides. Matters are complicated by the fact that Mr Cooper (Karl Hardman) is only interested in looking after himself and is constantly fighting with Ben over what they should do.

Attempts to make a break for it end in disaster, as they find out the hard way that it is not advisable to fend off zombies with a burning torch, whilst trying to re-fuel your truck. The film is very ironic in many ways, particularly as Ben spends most of the film arguing with Cooper that they shouldn't try hiding in the cellar, only to end up having to take refuge down there himself, and then there's the ending (which I won't spoil for you) which is probably the most ironic ever filmed.

Filmed back in 1968 using old black and white stock film, rather than colour, Night of the Living Dead transcended the world of B-movies and became a true horror classic. Although looking somewhat old and dated compared to today's standards, the film is still hailed by both horror fans and critics alike.

Overall marks : 7/10

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines used, "There is a fate worse than death", "Don't watch this alone", and "They scream louder in colour" (the last one used for the "Colourised" version).

  • The film was made on a budget of $114,000.

  • The antics employed by Romero and the other filmakers to complete filming were quite unbelievable. The film was shot on old black and white film stock, because it was much cheaper then colour. Director Romero and the investors William Hinzman and Karl Hardman doubled as extra's, they actually slept in the old farmhouse they were filming in so they could shoot long hours, and the score was made using old classical records that the copy write had expired on.

  • Though filmed in Black & White, there is a "Colourised" version of the film available on various budget DVD releases.

  • There have been 3 official sequels, namely Dawn of the Dead (1979), Day of the Dead (1985), and "Land of the Dead" (2005). There was also an official remake in 1990 and a couple of unofficial remakes in 3D in 2006 and 2012 respectively. To confuse matters, there are also a number of unofficial sequels and there are unofficial sequels to "Dawn.." and "Day..".

  • There is a 30th anniversary version of this film by producer John Russo, which was released in 1999. This featured 15 mins of newly filmed sequences, deleted 15 mins of the original footage and used a different soundtrack score. But this is truly awful and not worth buying.

  • Apparently, Columbia Pictures were the only major Hollywood studio interested in distributing this film, but eventually passed because the film was in black-and-white, and this was at a time when movies had to compete with new colour televisions. Ironically, Columbia did distribute the 1993 colour remake.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

Cover Gallery.

 

Video Clips.
MP4 format.

Original theatrical trailer. (2.70MB)

Buy Online.

Buy it from Amazon

Buy the UK DVD.

Buy the UK BD

Buy it at Amazon.Com

Buy the US DVD

Buy the US BD

Notes on affiliate sites.
 

 
Other films in the series.   Remakes
Dawn of the Dead Day of the Dead   Night of the Living Dead 1993
 

All Time Classics.

Reviews A-Z.

Reviews index. Home. Menu.