Friday, October 31, 2014

Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead poster
Night of the Living Dead is one of my favourite movies of all time. I can't recall how old I was the first time I watched it but I do know it was on TV. I loved it instantly. Since then I have made it an annual Halloween tradition to watch it during the holiday. I hope some of you who've never seen it and stumble onto this page will take this opportunity as your inaugural viewing. I'm always happy when I can introduce a classic horror film to a new audience.

This is the film that is pretty much the Bible of zombie movies and set the standard for all imitators to follow. Since then, others have added their own twist to zombie lore such as running zombies which has become a controversial topic amongst zombie fans. You're either a fan of slow zombies or fast zombies. There's usually no middle ground. In NOTLD there are only slow, shambling zombies. The closest we get to a fast zombie is when the first one that appears (Bill Hinzman) in the film chases Barbra (Judith O'Dea) through a cemetery. He doesn't so much run as he does a swift but awkward, stiff-limbed stumble.

I almost forgot to tell you that the word "zombie" is never mentioned in NOTLD. The living dead in this movie are referred to as "ghouls". Also, the zombies in this movie do not have a preference for brains. They're perfectly content with gnawing on a juicy thigh or meaty arm. That was something that originated in Return of The Living Dead, which while not considered a sequel, does make indirect reference to the events of NOTLD but is more of a parody.

One of the things about NOTLD that impresses me the most is how authentic the TV and radio news reports look and sound. Unlike many other movies which feature news reports, the actors in this movie act like real life news reporters actually would and sound credible. Too many times in other films, the actors as newsreaders are trying too hard and sound like they're acting. Nobody buys it. When you hear the news reports in NOTLD, you get the sense that the horrific events unfolding are real and the audience is more easily able to suspend disbelief. It probably helps that one of the reporters in the movie is "Chilly Billy".

Bill "Chilly Billy" Cardille is a broadcaster from Pittsburgh who also hosted a late night horror TV show called Chiller Theater from 1963 to 1983.

So if you're looking for something spooky or creepy to watch for Halloween, make some popcorn, turn off all the lights and let George Romero's Night of The Living Dead feast on your fears.

They're coming to get you!

Happy Halloween!

Night of the Halloween Party

If you are hosting your own Halloween party, consider these NOTLD inspired invitations

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