Warning: No good comes from Night Of The Living Dead. In more ways than you can imagine, this feature continues to be shocking, 42 years after its initial release.
Spoiler alert! There’s gads of mayhem in the film and everybody dies.
Following is the death count (undead ghouls not included):
This film was my introduction into Zombiedom. It’s a standard. I honestly cannot think of a better film to have started off my love affair with the genre. NOTLD, to me, is my A Christmas Carol as December 25th approaches. It’s lighting sparklers during the 4th of July, ringing in the New Year with champagne. It’s attending the Dodgers’ Opening Day. It’s The Ten Commandments around Easter.
In other words: It’s tradition.
It never gets old. (Yes … I used “never.”) It still brings gasps and frights. You cannot help but get caught up in the stock musical tracks which accent the scenes being played out. You can feel the fire flare in the face of Ben as the truck Tom drives away from the gas pump blows up with he and Judy inside it. You can feel your revulsion as you watch that one particular ghoul snatch an insect off the tree and eat it. You spew loathing at Harry and his faux-bravado. You can feel the urgency of Ben as he boards up the house in his effort to ward off the undead meandering outside.
Wait … wait … what? What was that? You mean … you’ve never seen George Romero’s masterpiece? You’ve never experienced the fear of Barbra being overwhelmed by the zombie horde led by her brother Johnny? You haven’t sat transfixed at the news reports continually cropping up throughout the film, detailing the horrors taking place? You haven’t marveled at Sheriff McClelland uttering “Yeah, they’re dead … they’re all messed up” … ?!?
And you call yourself a horror aficionado, never having witnessed this classic?!? (If that’s the case, you probably don’t know elements of NOTLD were used as the basis for AMC’s popular The Walking Dead.)
Look: Do yourself a favor. View this piece of genre history. It’s available in its entirety on YouTube for Pete’s sake, so you don’t even have to venture out.
You know what? I’ll even do you a favor: I’ll provide it for you ’cause I’m such a nice guy. Go here and marvel at its glorious black and whiteness, free of charge and at the comfort of your very own computer screen. How does that sound?
The only thing I ask in return? Enjoy it … and comment your experience below if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen Night Of The Living Dead.
Don’t forget the popcorn.