Night of the Living Dead
1968
As dead bodies inexplicably return to life and feast on human flesh, young Barbara (Judith O'Dea) joins a group of survivors in a farmhouse hoping to protect themselves from the hordes of advancing zombies. But soon enough, only one person remains. Writer-director George A. Romero's low-budget horror classic continues to inspire heebie-jeebies, in part because of the randomness of the zombies' targets.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

A stone-cold classic that's just as unnerving to me today at age 35 as it was at age 5, as the tension finally erupts after a masterful slow build. The sense of unyielding doom is palpable. I thought the racial and sexual overtones of the black man and white woman struggling to survive in a white man's world were clear, but at least the racial part was a coincidence, as IMDb says the character of Ben was not written as black and Duane Jones was simply the best actor for the part. I saw this classic lampooned by the RiffTrax Live team, who made great comedy out of it (Ben tells Barbara "look, I'm scared too" and they riff "I'm the black guy in a horror movie, you do the math"), but the power of the original film beneath their quips was undeniable.

− October 26, 2013 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

Steve West: I loved it when I first saw it as a young teenager. It's easy to see how pieces of the film have been borrowed by other films. The ending, if not completely unpredictable, was a satisfying conclusion to an enjoyable frightening. − October 26, 2013 • more by Steve

Samir Mehta: Agreed. I'm torn, Scott, regarding the RiffTrax. Will it undermine my affection for such an amazing movie or will it be awesome?

Also, does Romero have maybe one of the most unique legacies of any filmmaker? He basically invented a genre, created at least three of the best horror movies ever, and defined the horror-social commentary idea. And yet he didn't do a lot else. Simultaneously, he's deeply influential and yet underrated. − October 28, 2013 • more by Samir

Scott Hardie: The RiffTrax was fun. They didn't say much to denigrate the movie itself, because it's a classic; mostly they just riffed on topical things like Miley Cyrus to take advantage of the fact that it was performed live. This edition seems to have been updated from an earlier production.

Agreed about Romero. It's strange that he was never able to find success beyond the zombie genre, despite making numerous other films. I presume you're referring to Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead as his other two good films, or perhaps Creepshow?

Speaking of which, what did you think of Zach Snyder's revised Dawn of the Dead? Me, I enjoyed it as slick entertainment, even though it was devoid of the thoughtful satire present in the original, but Snyder is not exactly well-regarded among cinephiles so I don't expect my opinion to be a common one. − November 4, 2013 • more by Scott

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