Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead ★★★★★

#17 of 31 - CineMonster's HOOPTOBER 4.0

Night of the living dead was George Romero's directorial debut, 5 years after the film's debut it had become the highest grossing horror film ever! Its success ultimately catapulted his career in Horror films! Believe it or not prior to this film he was heavily involved in filming shorts for PBS's Mister Rogers' Neighborhood! ;-)

Apparently when the film was released the movie rating system wasn't in place, thus lil Johnny and Susie whom may have been too short to go on the county fair rides because they failed the height requirement, were now seated in the front row of local theaters crying their little eyes out while others became catatonic, frozen with fear in their seats due to the gruesome events unfolding upon the screen. Was it a coincidence or did the film inspire the MPAA rating system that was put in place a month later!

What really worked for this film was the black and white, gritty indie look and feel, the wily way he used the media both radio and TV news bulletins to drive home the truly horrific premise of the film, it lent credibility to the events taking place on screen! It also amplified the sense of urgency, desperation and impending doom! As a viewer I hung upon every word uttered by broadcaster's and their guests! It is an involuntary reaction but a reaction just the same that we are programmed by years/decades of fear induced by the cold war, duck and cover air raid drills in case of bombing, Emergency Broadcasts System that breaks into our local programming on a regular basis to this very day, Breaking News, Life threatening catastrophic Weather and other natural disaster announcements! Mass paranoia fanned over time has us salivating like Pavlov's dog at the very hint of disaster or potential loss of life.. and Romero used this to his advantage!

More damage was done to our psyche through psychological tension, paranoia, claustrophobia, hopelessness than any graphic depiction of violence or gore! This may be his 1st feature film but I feel it was his most masterful for he skillfully weaved a storyline that not only "pushed all of our buttons" but maintained unbearable levels of horror and despair throughout the entire runtime of the film! I cannot say I was this heavily invested in his other films! Dawn of the Dead came awfully close there's no doubt about that, but the rest of the filmography while I found them entertaining they did not shatter my world like Night of the living Dead!

Random Thoughts..

Romero missed out on an opportunity to capitalize on the nylon's that survived a Zombie Apocalypse without getting a run! He should have hooked up with the cadillac of Pantyhose makers at the time claiming the product was immune to runs! And that the only thing that ran was Barbara! ;-)

Why oh why did the Zombie pass up the free lunch lying on the ground and give chase to Barbara instead! Apparently running away from predator's triggers their predatory instincts, running is basically ringing the dinnerbell or yelling "Come and Get it!" however they neglected to include Zombies on the list of predators I researched on google! What a boondoggle, so many unnecessary deaths that could have been prevented if their list had been all inclusive!

Part of my weekend long birthday celebration! Good times ;-)

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