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Jose Roberts
Jose Roberts

Night Of The Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent horror film directed, photographed, and edited by George A. Romero, written by Romero and John Russo, and produced by Russell Streiner and Karl Hardman. It stars Duane Jones and Judith O'Dea. The story follows seven people who become trapped in a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania, which is under assault by a group of undead ghouls. It is frequently identified as the first modern zombie film.

Night of the Living Dead


Siblings Barbra and Johnny drive to a cemetery in rural Pennsylvania to visit their father's grave. Their car radio goes off the air due to technical difficulties. As they are leaving, a pale man wearing a tattered suit kills Johnny and attacks Barbra. She flees and takes shelter in a farmhouse, but finds the woman who lived there dead and half-eaten.

While the ghouls feed on the remains of Tom and Judy, the remaining survivors attempt to find a way out. However, the ghouls break through the barricades. In the ensuing chaos, Harry is shot dead by Ben.

I thought I Am Legend was about revolution. I said if you're going to do something about revolution, you should start at the beginning. I mean, Richard starts his book with one man left; everybody in the world has become a vampire. I said we got to start at the beginning and tweak it up a little bit. I couldn't use vampires because he did, so I wanted something that would be an earth-shaking change. Something that was forever, something that was really at the heart of it. I said, so what if the dead stop staying dead? ... And the stories are about how people respond or fail to respond to this. That's really all [the zombies] ever represented to me. In Richard's book, in the original I Am Legend, that's what I thought that book was about. There's this global change and there's one guy holding out saying, wait a minute, I'm still a human. He's wrong. Go ahead. Join them. You'll live forever! In a certain sense he's wrong but on the other hand, you've got to respect him for taking that position.[32]

Night of the Living Dead was the first feature-length film directed by George A. Romero. His initial work involved filming shorts for Pittsburgh public broadcaster WQED's children's series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.[46][47] Romero's decision to direct Night of the Living Dead essentially launched his career as a horror director. He took the helm of the sequels as well as Season of the Witch (1972), The Crazies (1973), Martin (1978), Creepshow (1982) and The Dark Half (1993).[48] Critics saw the influence of the horror and science-fiction films of the 1950s in Romero's directorial style. Stephen Paul Miller, for instance, witnessed "a revival of fifties schlock shock ... and the army general's television discussion of military operations in the film echoes the often inevitable calling-in of the army in fifties horror films". Miller admits that "Night of the Living Dead takes greater relish in mocking these military operations through the general's pompous demeanor" and the government's inability to source the zombie epidemic or protect the citizenry.[49] Romero describes the mood he wished to establish: "The film opens with a situation that has already disintegrated to a point of little hope, and it moves progressively toward absolute despair and ultimate tragedy."[50] According to film historian Carl Royer, Romero "employs chiaroscuro (film noir style) lighting to emphasize humanity's nightmare alienation from itself."[50]

A soundtrack album featuring music and dialogue cues from the film was compiled and released on LP by Varèse Sarabande in 1982. In 2008, recording group 400 Lonely Things released the album Tonight of the Living Dead, "an instrumental album composed entirely of ambient music and sound effects sampled from Romero's 1968 horror classic".[56]

Night of the Living Dead is the first of six ... of the Dead films directed by George Romero. Following the 1968 film, Romero released Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead. Each film traces the evolution of the living dead epidemic in the United States and humanity's desperate attempts to cope with it. As in Night of the Living Dead, Romero peppered the other films in the series with critiques specific to the periods in which they were released.

The same year Day of the Dead premiered, Night of the Living Dead co-writer John Russo released a film titled The Return of the Living Dead that offers an alternate continuity to the original film than Dawn of the Dead. Russo's film spawned four sequels. Return of the Living Dead sparked a legal battle with Romero, who believed Russo marketed his film in direct competition with Day of the Dead as a sequel to the original film. In the case Dawn Associates v. Links, Romero accused Russo of "appropriat[ing] part of the title of the prior work", plagiarizing Dawn of the Dead's advertising slogan ("When there is no more room in hell ... the dead will walk the earth"), and copying stills from the original 1968 film. Romero was ultimately granted a restraining order that forced Russo to cease his advertising campaign. Russo, however, was allowed to retain his title.[125]

Then things picked up. A television set is discovered, and the news commentator reports that an epidemic of mass murder is underway. The recently dead, he says, are coming back to life in funeral parlors, morgues and cemeteries. Apparently some sort of unearthly radiation is involved (some sort of unearthly radiation is nearly always involved, seems like). The ghouls attack the living because they need to eat live flesh.

A line of undead 'zombies' walk through a field in the night in a still from the film, 'Night Of The Living Dead,' directed by George Romero, 1968. The film has been reissued for screenings on the 50th anniversary of its release. Pictorial Parade/Getty Images hide caption

What they don't know is that an undead apocalypse is about to sweep America and Barbara's brother is about to get eaten by a shambling ghoul. In 1968, theater-goers were also in the dark, with no idea they were seeing a game-changing film.

What people got in Romero's film was their very first glimpse of what we now think of as zombies: shambling undead who hunger for human flesh. They're mindless and slow and kind of goofy looking, but nearly unstoppable. They just keep coming unless you destroy their brains.

As contemporary movie viewers, we have had the zombie subgenre clearly defined for us. We know what they are, how to kill them, and we certainly know not to get bitten. The very concept of a zombie no longer carries any surprise or shock value. But imagine in 1968. Sure, variations of the reanimated dead had been around in movies like Victor Halperin's 1932 pre-code "White Zombie" and 1966's "The Plague of the Zombies" from Hammer Films. But the concept of a zombie as explored by horror legend George A. Romero in "Night of the Living Dead" was quite new and shocking. It also generated controversy and outrage with Variety notoriously calling it an "unrelieved orgy of sadism" and questioning the "moral health of filmgoers" who chose to go see it.

Romero's chilling vision is made even more spectacular when considering his minuscule budget. Made for around $114,000, the money restraints not only shaped the production but also the story itself. Romero and company knew they couldn't spread their shoot to multiple locations. Instead his story brought the horror to one place -- a remote Pennsylvania farmhouse. This serves as the central hub for the conflicts to come from both inside and outside its walls; from both the flesh-eating dead and the small gathering of human characters.

Facing a growing mob of strange, bloodthirsty creatures, three couples seek refuge in an abandoned house... but will they survive the night?!? With an infectious original score, this rock 'n' roll comedy is this generation's Little Shop of Horrors!

This uncorrected 16 mm work print of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD features the alternate opening title and a day-for-night ghoul shot that was removed at the request of the original distributor. It is missing part two of the second reel. Unrestored audio from the finished film has been conformed as c...

George A. Romero's cult classic brought a virtually unprecedented level of realistic gore and disturbing grotesquerie to creature-feature fans (many of them children). When it premiered in 1968, critics and commentators were outraged that kids had been exposed to such a nightmare. Though it's unrated by the MPAA, some posters and ads carried an X rating (for gruesome violence, not sex), and that should tell you something. It's still intense today and pushes a lot of buttons, with its well-rendered camera angles, effective jolts, claustrophobia, and fate-worse-than-death zombie vibe.

George Romero's Night of the Living Dead is one of the most popular horror films ever, but an unfortunate error accidentally made it public domain. With Night of the Living Dead, Romero created the zombie as we know it today, a walking corpse with little intelligence that craves the flesh of the living. Without Night of the Living Dead, there would be no The Walking Dead, Zombieland, or hundreds of other zombie movies and TV shows. When it comes to zombies, Romero is the godfather.

Karen Cooper was one of the people who were trapped by a horde of zombies in a Pennsylvanian farm house during the early stages of the undead apocalypse. She is one of minor characters in Night of the Living Dead.

When the undead outbreak occurred, Karen, her mother Helen, and her father Harry were attacked by a horde of zombies which turned over their car and bit Karen on the arm. With Karen too ill to move, they joined with Tom and Judy and hid in the cellar of a Pennsylvanian farmhouse. 041b061a72


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