It's hard to imagine how shocking this film was when it first broke on the film scene in 1968. There's never been anything quite like it, though it's inspired numerous pale imitations. Part of the terror lies in the fact that this one's shot in such a raw, unadorned fashion it feels like a home movie, and all the more authentic for that. Another is that it draws us into its world gradually, content to establish a merely spooky atmosphere before leading us through a horrifically logical progression that we could hardly have anticipated. The story is simple. Radiation from a fallen satellite has caused the dead to walk and hunger for human flesh. Once bitten, you become one of them. And the only way to kill one is by a shot or blow to the head. We follow a group holed up in a small farmhouse to fend off the inevitable onslaught of the dead. And it's the tensions between the members of this unstable, makeshift community that drive the film. Night of the Living Dead
establishes its savagery as a necessary condition of life. Marked by fatality and a grim humour, it gnaws through to the bone, then proceeds on to the marrow.--Jim Gay
George A. Romero's low-budget horror classic. One quiet morning, Barbara (Judith O'Dea) and Johnny's (Russell Streiner) visit to their father's grave is interrupted when Johnny is killed by a flesh-eating stranger. Barbara escapes to a nearby farmhouse, meets up with a few other desperate individuals, and prepares to do battle with the zombies who gather outside.
George Romero's Night of the Living Dead
is a low-budget classic that had great difficulty finding a distributor at the time of its release in 1968, and has since become one of the most influential horror films of all time. Aside from its visceral impact years before realistic gore became the fashion, the film is also important for its portrayal of a black man as the protagonist during a time when race relations were an extremely sensitive issue in the United States. The plot is simple: seven people, secluded in a Pennsylvania farmhouse, face relentless attacks by reanimated corpses seeking to eat their flesh. The group, which includes a married couple and their daughter, a pair of young lovers, and an African-American man, try to keep their sanity as the living dead try endlessly to enter the house. Radio news reports tell of the plague taking over the eastern United States, while the ever-decreasing band of survivors rapidly loses ground in the battle to both keep peace with one another and stay alive.
The grandaddy of them all. Created a whole new genre! --Nolan's Pop Culture Review
A tightly-edited, claustrophobically-framed horror film that retains, along with its relevance, its ability to startle and appall. --Film Freak Central
This is horror at its most probing, subversive and socially aware, with a truly harrowing ending that reveals the dangers of misdirected fear and prejudice. --Eye for Film
About the Actor
Cult figure who will forever be remembered as Ben, the resourceful, yet ill-fated hero, of George A. Romero's low budget zombie film Night Of The Living Dead (1968). Jones was a former English professor who directed at the Maguire Theater at the Old Westbury campus of New York State University, and he additionally served as artistic director at the Richard Allen Center in New York City. His casting as the hero of the Romero film was rather unique, as it was the first occasion that an African American actor had portrayed the hero in a horror film. The tall, well spoken Jones appeared in a handful of other B grade horror movies such as Ganja & Hess (1972) and Vampires (1986), but none are remembered as well as his first on screen role.
About the Director
George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; however, by all indications, he was very successful. The director of the ground-breaking Dead pentalogy was born February 4, 1940, in New York City. He grew up there until attending the renowned Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduation, he began shooting mostly short films and commercials. He and his friends formed Image Ten Productions in the late 1960s and they all chipped in roughly US$10,000 a piece to produce what became one of the most celebrated American horror films of all time: Night of the Living Dead (1968). Shot in black-and-white on a budget of just over US$100,000, Romero's vision, combined with a solid script written by him and his Image co-founder John A. Russo (along with what was then considered an excess of gore) enabled the film to earn back far more than what it cost, became a cult classic by the early 1970s and was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress of the United States in 1999. Romero's next films were a little more low-key and less seen including There's Always Vanilla (1971), The Crazies (1973), Hungry Wives (1972) (where he met his future wife Christine Forrest) and Martin (1977). Though not as acclaimed as Night of the Living Dead (1968), or some of his later work, these films had his signature social commentary while dealing with issues, usually horror-related, at the microscopic level. Like almost all of his films, they were shot in, or around, Romero's favorite city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Elite Entertainment DVD of George A. Romero's horror classic. Includes 2 audio commentaries and the short spoof "Night Of The Living Bread"