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Not Rated
Copyright 1968 Image Ten Inc.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Ben - Our hero, he is deadly with any improvised weapon and displays more common sense than ten of the other characters. Unfortunately shot by an overzealous bunch of zombie hunters.
  • Barbra - Spends most of the film in shock, right after her wits return she ends up the main course.
  • Harry - Wormy little asshole (now there is some verbal imagery) who does not like playing second fiddle to Ben. Ends up with 30-30 bullets in his belly and head, plus Karen gnaws his arm off.
  • Helen - Harry's wife, not a whole lot of love in the marriage. Troweled to death by her daughter.
  • Karen - Harry and Helen's daughter, she was bitten by a zombie and unconscious most of the film until becoming a flesh eating monster.
  • Tom and Judy - Country couple. He is definitely a good old corn fed boy, plus an expert at driving pickup trucks. Both are turned into barbecue.
  • Johnny - Barbra's mean brother, he gets bounced off a gravestone early on and returns as a zombie.
  • Chief McClelland - Leader of the local zombie hunters, he has a belt with some very large bullets in it. (.50 cal?) Odd thing is, they would never fit his rifle.
  • The Zombies - Dead people brought back to life by radiation from Venus.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Any horror buff will instantly recognize this film, actually any respectable film buff should. Shot in black and white on a shoestring budget, it defined the modern zombie movie and set the stage for a bloom of Italian horror films.

Barbra and Johnny drive several hours to visit their father's grave. At the cemetery a frightening man attacks, after watching the zombie kill her brother Barbra realizes she still has feet and quickly beats them to an old farmhouse. This is our main setting, normally being confined as such is a warning sign to audiences, but not here. Soon the others are present and between the characters' interactions with each other, the zombies, and their meager sources for information (radio and television) you will never be bored.

The television delivers the only serious goof. Authorities were not organized until after dark, nor did they realize these were zombies until sunset was long past, so the report showing Chief McClelland and his men creates a paradox. Another question, where was the television hidden upstairs? Did the woman who owned the farmhouse unplug and hide it every night in a closet?

Tom, Judy, and Ben make an attempt to refuel the truck so everyone can escape, but after shooting the lock off the pump a stray torch sets the gasoline stream on fire. The truck explodes (providing the zombies with an impromptu cookout) as Ben flees back to the farmhouse and a confrontation with Harry. With the two dominant males at each other's throats the zombies break in. It is a grim ending, among the most depressing ever, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Make sure you bury your parents close to home.
  • Zombies are responsible for most cases of vandalism.
  • Do not mess with some guy who has a tire iron, especially if his adrenaline level is skyrocketing.
  • Funeral clothes are made from polyester.
  • A house is full of scrap wood if you are creative.
  • Zombies are insectivores.
  • Only men are useful in any sort of emergency.
  • Zombies love barbecue.
  • Entrails have the same entertainment qualities as Play Dough.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 8 mins - Yes, yes, you're on the other side of a glass window. I think this zombie was a mime before he died.
  • 10 mins - Barbra is running through rough fields with no shoes on. Can you say ouch?
  • 27 mins - You are wearing an overcoat, no wonder it is hot. Stupid whacked out woman...
  • 52 mins - Not very sturdy as doors go.
  • 59 mins - Radiation is bringing the dead back to life?
  • 76 mins - That is probably a raw cow liver and you sir are the man.
  • 79 mins - Here is the suspect TV footage.
  • 92 mins - Ben, I would not stick my head out that window...

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note nightdead1.wav Johnny: "They're coming to get you Barbra."
Green Music Note nightdead2.wav A radio broadcast about the epidemic.
Green Music Note nightdead3.wav Harry: "You're insane, the cellar's the safest place!"
Ben: "I'm telling you, they can't get in here."
Harry: "And I'm telling you, those things turned over our car."
Green Music Note nightdead4.wav Reporter: "Are they slow moving, Chief?"
Chief McClelland: "Yeah they're dead, they're all messed up."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipnightdead1.mpg - 2.4m
I'm coming to get you Barbra.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #25. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by
I really like this movie if you are a zombie fan like I'am you shouls check it out. If you like this one you should check out the 1990 verison of it. I think this one is better though.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #26. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by johnny lockjaw
Not to be a dick, but this dubious honor we're tossing around here would probably go to White Zombie (1933) over three decades before Last Man ever came out.  That's to say, if not to some other movie, that being the earliest zombie flick I own.  They didn't eat flesh in that one though, so you may have me on a cinematic technicality.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #27. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Ponch
Night of The Living Dead is a great movie. It is one of those movies that you never forget. I was shocked as hell when Ben died at the end but in my mind I was thinking man it's 1968 and the black guy isn't dead yet.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #28. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by zero g
This film is one of my all time favorites.This did'nt require any fake kung-fu fights or any of that cartoon crap,this was zombie survival at it's best.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #29. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Ludovico
I first saw this flick at the long-defunct Orsen Welles Cinema in Cambridge, MA.  I was living in Waltham at the time (1970) and had just graduated high school.

Anyway, my friends called and picked me up and we smoked a huge bowl of hashish beforehand.  By the time I walked in the theatre, I was ready for anything.  Except this. What a jolt!

I watch it to this day and can't get enough of this classic.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #30. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Apollyon
Honestly I was no more sympathetic towards Ben than Harry in this film, since both wanted to be "in charge". Let's be real here: If by chance a horde of flesh-eating undead did try to take over the world, NO ONE would be in charge, it would be every man for himself (and maybe just agree to help each other out). I think the film plays with this idea a bit: Note that Ben's "leadership" eventually got everyone killed (thanks in part to everyone else's screwups, though) and the greatest irony of the film is that Harry was actually right about the basement being the safest place, but Ben was far to stubborn to listen, insisting instead that HE was "in charge". I think this is why I preferred the remake of this film - there were actually one or two level-headed characters to balance out all the macho power-struggling.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #31. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Anonymous
What's wrong with the 30th Anniversary Edition?

George A. Romero was originally supposed to direct the new scenes, but he got tied up with another project.

And Scott Vladimir Licina's new score was excellent.

Okay, so the new scenes didn't mix in very well, but the original cut of the film is included on the disc as well (with Licina's excellent score as well).

And it's still an interesting experiment. Too bad it didn't work.

But it's still one of the greatest horror films of all time, and no matter what you do to it, it's still that same old classic.
Night of the Living Dead
Reply #32. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by
The first of Romero's classic "Living Dead series" this one  is bleak, relentless, and brilliant.
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