Night of the Living Dead (1968) Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman Movie Review

Night of the Living Dead (1968)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Dead On

"There coming to get you Barbara" says Johnny to his sister Barbara when they make the 6 hour round trip to place flowers on their father's grave. But it turns out it was Johnny who ends up got when a zombie attacks Barbara and as he tries to protect her ends up becoming a victim. Having got away a shell-shocked Barbara hides in a farm house where she meets Ben who has sought sanctuary there from the zombies. And it turns out they are not alone as in the basement are Harry, Helen, Karen, Tom and Judy all trying to keep out of sight of the living dead. But with issues mounting outside issues are mounting inside over who is in charge.

George A. Romero's 1968 movie "Night of the Living Dead" is what I call a need to have been there movie. By that I am suggesting that if you were a teen back in 1968 when this movie was made you would probably be impressed by this zombie movie which created a sense of horror and gore on a limited budget. For movie lovers there would have been the directing on a budget to be impressed by. And I am sure adults who watched, especially American adults would have picked up on its social commentary as creates parallel situation between those taking refuge in the farm house. I would even imagine during the 70s it probably spoke very loudly to those who would watch it for the first time as it gained cult status.

That is all fine and dandy but what happens when a movie fan watches the 1968 version of "Night of the Living Dead" for the first time now, especially if they have watched and enjoyed many of the zombie movies which have followed? Well in my case I can appreciate why this movie made such an impact on audiences following its initial release but it didn't have the same impact on me. Yes there is plenty of atmosphere and the special effects are enjoyable whilst the writing of the conflict between characters certainly gives it an edge many a zombie movie chooses to ignore but for me I needed something else when it come to the horror side which sadly the movie doesn't deliver.

What this all boils down to is that "Night of the Living Dead" is a good movie and it impresses even when watched now but to truly appreciate this movie I just feel you needed to have watched it when it was released.

Tags: Zombie Movies