We thought we would cover a classic old zombie movie today as a lot of the reviews we’ve done so far are based on films released over the last decade or so.
It was my choice to pick one and it was a pretty easy choice if I’m honest with you – The George A. Romeo masterpiece Night of The Living Dead…
Breaking Every Rule
The Night of The Living Dead owes it’s popularity to the fact it broke each and every horror rule up until that point in time – it was awesome!
It’s pretty hard to sit here and look at my laptop knowing I have to write some sort of review on the greatest horror movie ever made!
Sure it’s an old zombie movie but it shaped the horror genre without even trying – and the genre has never recovered ( thankfully! ).
George A. Romeo is and always will be the Godfather of the zombie. He took the creature out of the voodoo zone and made it into a flesh eating army with no remorse!
The film is extraordinary – that’s all you need to know! I would go as far as saying if you are reading this and you have never seen the film stop right now, f**k this site and stream it from Netflix or something similar!
The next logical step is to cover the plot of this old zombie movie otherwise I will be sitting here singing it’s praises for the rest of the article!!!
The film begins with with Barbara ( Judith O’Dea ) and her brother Johnny ( Russell Streiner ) visiting a cemetery – I forget why they are visiting. Her brother is being a bit of a wanker and teasing her about the dead ( she seems to be a little disturbed by this! ).
And rightly so! All of a sudden a stumbling man approaches them and jumps on Johnny ( that’ll teach him! ).
It’s a zombie of course and Barbara barely escapes the monster’s clutches! She does a bit of a runner to a local farmhouse and in that farmhouse is Ben ( Duane Jones ) who becomes the unlikely hero of this old zombie movie.
They find out that another family is hiding in the basement of this farmhouse and they all attempt to become friends ( which doesn’t last long! ). They resort to boarding up the house to keep the approaching hoards of flesh eaters at bay!
The film was filmed in black and white because it was a lot cheaper that way. I have noticed a few reviewers trying to convince the public that it was shot this way to create atmosphere – not true!
In fact the total cost of the film came in at about $114,000 and it showed the younger generation of filmmakers at the time that you didn’t need a budget to do horror.
Nothing had ever been done like this before. Sure we had a bit of blood here and there in a few Dracula or Frankenstein movies but nothing near the level of this classic!
You see Night of The Living Dead was the first film to really make use of gore ( blood and guts!). It became an instant success with teenagers frequenting drive-in cinemas.
MPAA or ratings board
This is the main reason George got away with releasing this horror movie at the time – there was no MPAA or ratings board to worry about.
Every director was near enough allowed to try out whatever they wanted to but not many of them decide to think ‘outside the box’ like George.
It was controversial of course and just as many people hated it as liked it but this only added to it’s success – all publicity is good publicity after all!
This film allowed horror fans to become a lot more mature overnight. Sure there were buckets of blood and even raw sausages being used as intestines but the whole film was not just based on this.
It was frightening and because of this we identified with the characters. As we’ve witnessed so many times before – a film without decent characters is a film not worth watching.
Being locked in a farmhouse with zombies trying to get in is something we can all relate to and understand. It’s a frightening concept and the various characters all react differently to it!
It’s a landmark in the history of horror – period! The goalposts were moved for the first time and the floodgates were well and truly opened.
This is one of the most important horror movies of all time!