Movie: #Zombies George A. Romero – Night of the Living Dead

My Take:

  • Opens on a discussion of daylight savings time.  Co-inky-dink…. that is THIS weekend!
  • “They’re coming to get you Barbara”
  • Zombies had reasoning skills in the black and white days???
  • There is a zombie who is walking with a stanky leg.
  • The first zombie kill scene – the blatant beating of the ground NEXT to the zombie and not actually hit the zombie!!
  • The cricket sound….ugh
  • Fred Rogers tried to stop the film because George Romero was a producer on Mr Roger’s Neighborhood!
  • Poor actors…they had such a low budget that they had to do all the moving, pushing and pulling!
  • The radio announcement had more lines that Barbara
  • NAKED ZOMBIES!
  • Barbara is a fucking nutcase!
  • Everyone smokes in this movie!
  • That romantic kiss…oof
  • TOGA ZOMBIE!!
  • Mom with the Amy Winehouse hair!
  • So radiation from a spaceship caused this?  The Ghouls!!
  • As the radiation levels increase more dead people turn into ghouls!
  • “Beat ’em off and blast ’em down!”
  • Sheriff – the guy with the three cigars stuck in the hat!
  • damn….that ending

I love old B&W movies.  This movie reminded me of the days when I would stay up late on a Saturday to watch the horror flicks.  I give this movie a B+ for the cheese factor alone!

Did you see the movie?  Did you like or hate it?  Let me know in the comments below!

IMDB Synopsis: Barbra and Johnny visit their father’s grave in a remote cemetery when they are suddenly set upon by zombies. Barbra manages to get away and takes refuge in what seems to be an abandoned farm house. She is soon joined by Ben who stopped at the house in need of gas. Beset by the walking dead all around them Ben does his best to secure the doors and windows. The news reports are grim however with creatures returning to life everywhere. Barbra and Ben are surprised when they realize there are 5 people hiding out in the basement: Harry, Helen and Judy Cooper; and a young couple, Tom and Judy. Dissensions sets in almost immediately with Harry Cooper wanting to be in charge. As their situation deteriorates, their chances of surviving the night lessen minute by minute.

Starring:

Trailer:

Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes review of 96% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 87% liking it.  Average Rating: 3.8/5 with a number of User Ratings: 129,824.

Movie Reviews:

Specs:

It had an estimated budget of $114,000.  It has a 96 minute run time. Release date: 31 October 1968.

Additional IMDB Trivia:

  • When the zombies are eating the bodies in the burnt-out truck they were actually eating roast ham covered in chocolate sauce. The filmmakers joked that it was so nausea inducing that it was almost a waste of time putting the makeup on the zombies, as they ended up looking pale and sick anyway.
  • Readers Digest tried to warn people away from watching the film in 1968 by claiming if it’s ever watched, it will inspire cannibalism.
  • George A. Romero saw very little profit from the film when thanks to his lack of knowledge regarding distribution deals, the distributors walked away with practically all of the profits.
  • Bosco chocolate syrup was used to simulate the blood in the film.
  • When discussing the film for Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004), Romero said that the moment they finished editing the film in Pittsburgh, they put the reels into the cans, threw it into the trunk of the car and drove straight to New York City that night in hopes of having it screen at any willing theater.
  • The zombie hand that Tom hacks up with a kitchen knife was made of clay and filled with chocolate syrup.
  • The house used for this film was loaned to the filmmakers by the owner, who planned to demolish it anyway, thereby ensuring that they could do whatever they wanted to the house.
  • The body upstairs in the house was made by Romero who used ping-pong balls for the eyes.
  • The word “zombie” is never used. The most common euphemism used to describe the living dead is “those things,” mostly by Cooper. Other characters refer to the creatures as “ghouls.” However, the film codified many tropes about zombies that have been used in many movies since, including zombies eating human flesh and that zombies can only be killed by shooting them in the head.
  • The first movie filmed in Pittsburgh.
  • One of the first films to graphically depict violent murders on screen. It is also one of the first films to have an African-American main character.
  • One of the working titles for this film was “Night of Anubis”. Anubis is the god of embalming/mummifying in the ancient Egyptian (Kemetan) religion.
  • One of the Walter Reade Organization’s publicity stunts was a $50,000 insurance policy against anyone dying from a heart attack while watching the film.
  • The film’s world premiere was at the Fulton Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 1 October 1968 (At 8PM, admission by invitation only). The film was met with a standing ovation.
  • There are two known deleted scenes that were removed at the insistence of distributor Walter Reade Organization. They include a 8-minute expository scene in the basement between Helen and Harry at the bottom of the stairs (which explains the abrupt jump cut shown) as well as a wide shot of numerous zombies covering the landscape, which was replaced with footage of zombies eating near the end of the film. This footage was presumed lost when a flood damaged the storage facility years later at Latent Image, Inc.
  • 200 extras were cast in the parts of townspeople and zombies.
  • The US rating system was instituted November 1968. *Night of the Living Dead* was released October 1 1968, making it one of the last films released in the US without a rating.
  • When Ben is nailing wooden boards to the door, small numbers can be seen on them. These were written on the backs of the boards so they could be removed and replaced in between shots, preserving continuity. Some numbers are visible because some of the boards were nailed on backwards.

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