Thursday, July 2, 2015

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Director: George A. Romero

Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Harman

Run time: 1:36

Rant: Here it is. The black and white, low-budget classic that not only started George Romero's legendary "Dead" series of movies but created the zombie genre we know and love today. If you've ever purchased a 20 or 50 HORROR MOVIE collection or anything like that, this is usually the only good flick of the bunch. Another thing this movie is famous for is having a black man play the lead role, as it was uncommon in the 60s.  Also a really depressing ending that was interpreted as a social commentary. Romero has stated the ending was in the original script before anyone was cast, saying it was simply a case of "mistaken identity." The movie took on a life of it's own, not only as an important awful horror movie but an important movie in film history.

But fuck all that bullshit. Does this son of a bitch hold up? Yes and no. Of course you have to look at it through an eye of the times and realize this is a legendary director's first movie. That being said, some things are inexcusable. Judith O'Dea plays Barbara. She's fucking garbage. Nothing gave me more pleasure than seeing Ben punch that white bitch in the face. With the exception of her I'd say the acting is solid overall. Karl Hardman does a great job playing the annoying fuck Harry, and Duane Jones is terrific as the hero Ben. As great as they are their fight scene is horrendous.

What I love about Night of the Living Dead is there's no fucking around. 5 minutes into the movie shit goes crazy and you're not even given a chance to know what the fuck is going on. Why are the dead rising? Why must they feast on human flesh?! Who gives a shit? You don't ask these questions. It all happens so fast you don't give a fuck. This movie is about survival and how these characters interact with each other during a crisis. That blended with a simple but excellent story makes for great horror. Night of the Living Dead is no doubt a classic and one of the most important awful horror movies of all time.

Terrible Lines: "Stop it! You're ignorant!"

Total Kill Count:
Johnny (7:10) Hits his head on a tombstone.
Tom and Judy (1:11:58) Blown up in a car.
Harry Cooper (1:23:13) Shot by Ben.
Helen Cooper (1:25:08) Stabbed to death with a trowel.
Barbara (1:26:09) Killed by zombies off-screen.

Ben (1:33:36) Shot in the head.

             Horror Film: 8
             Entertainment: 8
             Gore: 6
             Overall: 7.5