Night of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead follows a group of people trapped inside a cabin as zombies attack.
The first week of food month we considered food to be human flesh. This week we’re going with that again with a review of a zombie movie, and a great one at that. This film spawned many sequels and is regarded as one of the best movies of all time. It made 250 times its budget, not that that’s saying much (the budget was $114,000). Why did it do so well? Let’s find out.
Similar to Blair Witch Project, which also gained an impressive cult following, this film happened to work on very little budget. The graininess of the camera and the black-and-white color scheme added a grim feeling. Although not much happens plotwise, you’re still interested in what’s happening throughout. There’s always tension. You don’t get to see a ton of locations yet you don’t need to. The house itself is horrifying enough, especially given how old and quiet it seems, despite the fact that there are people in it.
This film was controversial at the time for its depiction of violence and gore, and there’s a reason for that. While then any gore would be considered gratuitous, given today’s standards it’s more cool then ungodly. Although there isn’t too much gore, there are some pretty gnarly scenes that’ll still make you queasy… in a good way, and this is for a film where the zombies look like silent film actors.
The way the characters use the environment is impressive. Although they added nothing plotwise, I loved the scenes towards the beginning where Ben is sorting through the closets to find stuff to use against the zombies. The film felt real despite the zombies, again, looking like silent film actors. The way they interact with the environment was similar to how we might see ourselves, realistically, in this situation.
Although I loved this movie, it had flaws. For example, there was a chunk of the movie dedicated to the characters watching the TV as the events were explained. This is the only section where I almost got bored. The music and the acting style is very much in the vein of the 1960s. You get an orchestral soundtrack, and if you like that, that’s great. If not, you’ve been warned.
I liked Ben more than I’ve liked most horror movie protagonists. He’s just a good guy. He tries to help those around him, acts rationally, but doesn’t let anyone overpower him. Especially given the film was created in 1968, Ben diverts stereotypes given to black men at the time by being the calmest, and best, character. He doesn’t die first. Ben’s biggest problem is that he’s too nice of a guy, and cares too much about everyone around him. The ending of the movie, for this reason, is very topical.
Night Of The Living Dead changed forever how we look at zombies. Before NOTLD zombies were re-animated corpses that served the will of the person, usually a voodoo priest or priestess–also known as “houngan–and did not eat people. Night Of The Living Dead changed that to the point that “real” zombies are almost never seen any more. From Return Of The Living Dead to The Walking Dead, zombies are insatiable monsters who exist only to chow down on people. For a good old fashion zombie movie see I Walked With A Zombie or the Kolchak The Night Stalker episode “Zombie”. And for some strange reason the word “zombie” does not seem to exist in the world of The Walking Dead or its sequels. But that is a tale for another time. Bon Appetit!
This is a good, woke zombie flick that is worth your time.
Bon Appetit: Night of the Living Dead
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Acting - 9.1/109.1/10
Music - 7.5/107.5/10
Production - 7.5/107.5/10
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