Virtual NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

George Romero / Cert 15 / 96 mins / USA (1968)

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"Romero conjures moments of eeriness and dread throughout, keeping the lighting low and the special effects to a minimum, though there will be blood, fire, cannibalism and a great deal of death." ★★★★★ Guardian (2018)  "George A. Romero's debut set the template for the zombie film, and features tight editing, realistic gore, and a sly political undercurrent."  Rotten Tomatoes

When industrial filmmaker Romero cobbled this feature together for only $150,000, the major studios shunned it for being so bleak, and being in black and white. Romero turned instead to a small distributor, which unceremoniously dumped the film onto the kiddie matinee circuit.  After attending a screening with an audience of scared-witless youngsters, a mortified Readers Digest journalist printed a scathing condemnation of Night of the Living Dead - an article that had the immediate effect of arousing interest. The rest is history.

One of the first of the 'midnight movies,' Night of the Living Dead still packs a wallop today, even in the light of the uber sophisticated special effects that elevated the infamous splatter movies of the 80s.  The film was raw and angry, inspired by and in step with the racial and political strife of the times, and the allegory of the zombie representing society devouring itself from within is still fitting.  Long live Romero's undead!

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