George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is a low-budget homegrown classic that had great difficulty finding a distributor at the time of its 1968 release 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. 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. The only way to stop the zombies is to burn them or issue a severe blow to their heads. 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.System Requirements: Running Time 96 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: HORROR Rating: NR UPC: 790594111724 Manufacturer No: EE1117
We can hardly imagine how shocking this film was when it first broke into the film scene in 1968. There's never been anything quite like it again, though there have been numerous pale imitations. Part of the terror lies in the fact that it is shot in such a raw and unadorned fashion that it feels like a home movie, and is all the more authentic because of 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 hardly could 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 who are trying to fend off the inevitable onslaught of the dead. The tension between the members of this unstable, makeshift community drives the film. Night of the Living Dead
establishes savagery as a necessary condition of life. Marked by fatality and a grim humor, the film gnaws through to the bone, then proceeds on to the marrow. Unfortunately, this version is somewhat marred by a poor transfer. If you're on a budget, this is adequate. Otherwise, you'll probably be happier with the collector's edition with THX sound, put out by Elite: Night of the Living Dead
. It is complete with two commentaries, one by the filmmakers and the other by the "zombies" themselves. It's also packaged as a Fright Night Horror Classic
along with Francis Ford Coppola's Dementia 13
and Revolt of the Zombies
. --Jim Gay
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.