Friday, January 26, 2018

"They're coming to get you, Barbara."

First up in my "Zombies and Their Souls" seminar this week was Night of the Living Dead, the 1968 classic that set into motion all of the classic zombie tropes: the staggering creatures who rise from the dead, their standard menu of flesh and brains, the infection-like transmission of the condition by zombie bite, and a cast of survivors holed up together, fighting off the hungry, lurching hordes outside. It would be hard to overstate how many cinematic rules George Romero broke in this film, and not just rules against gory on-screen violence. Romero cast a black man, Duane Jones, in the lead; his script kills off a child and transforms her into a zombie (who then slams a gardening trowel through her mother's forehead); and the ending of the film is so nihilistic that even now, audiences are shocked. 

Who knew that (due to an oversight) the film is in the public domain?  This HD version is pretty spectacular (and looks way better than I remember the film when I first saw it in the 70s.)

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