Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Directed & Cinematography by: George A. Romero

Written & Edited by: John A. Russo & George A. Romero


Duane Jones .... Ben
Judith O'Dea .... Barbra
Karl Hardman .... Harry Cooper
Marilyn Eastman .... Helen Cooper
Keith Wayne .... Tom
Judith Ridley .... Judy
Kyra Schon .... Karen Cooper

Release Dates: Theatrical: October 1, 1968; Reykjavik International Film Festival: September 30, 2005






Two siblings named Barbara (Judith O'Dea) and Johnny (Russell Striener) travel up to a graveyard to visit their mother's tombstone as a storm is about to occur and then while Johnny is teasing Barb about the dead rising he encounters a zombie and the zombie attacks and kills him as the dead start rising due to a satellite from Venus causing a radiation .
Barbara hides out in a farmhouse where there she meets a man named Ben (Duane Jones) as he is hiding out in the farmhouse for the same reason as they try to lock themselves in.
They listen to the radio to find out on how to stay safe from this hellish nightmare and the radio announcer tells people these zombie's are also eating the people's flesh.
Ben discovers that the zombie's don't like fire and also some other survivors come to the farm house for safety but however the dead are finding ways of getting in.


We have a nice creepy beginning on a car driving towards a graveyard which is a perfect touch for a horror flick as this moment was very well remembered.
Perfect still moments between Barbra and her brother Johnny paying a visit to a dead relative at the graveyard as well as the famous moments on Johnny taunting her as well as a strange figure in the background slowly apporaching them which looked pretty eerie and showing off a good old fashioned horror moment including lightning striking adding more great touches. Also a good struggling moments with this figure attacking Johnny as this looked disturbing to watch as well as making you wonder if he will survive or not.
Perfect camera shots on Barbra trying to get away from the madness as this looked powerfully suspenseful to watch on how she's trying to run and find a place to hide.
Nice powerful moments with Ben trying to talk to Barbra in the house they're hiding in as she doesn't answer and is too shaken up by what is happening which looked well done for a flick such as this one. Plus some nice moments when he goes near the upstairs and a good dark shot on a dead corpse lying there which looked creepy to watch.
Some nice intense moments when Barbra loses it by discussing her brother out there and trying to go and get him as well as intense discussions between her and Ben which makes you wonder or not if he will smack her to snap her out of it.
Plus we get effective camera shots on Ben boarding up the house to prevent zombies from coming in as well as spotting zombie hands trying to reach at him as this looked powerfully done. Also nice night shots on zombies slowly approaching the home which had a nice creepy touch to the story.
Nice effective moments with a family entering the home as well as discussing their sick daughter that's lying down in the cellar as this leaves an impression that she will turn into a zombie which grabs your attention and making you watch for more and to wonder what will happen to her.
Perfect effective moments with them watching the news to find out on what is happening in their area as well as explaining on what these zombies do as well as how they came to be or what can happen. This for sure was well put into the story.
Nice discussion between both Judy confronting Tom about going out to try and get help with her concerns to him as the moments looked good and still as well as perfectly drawn in to the story.
Nicely focused shots on Ben using a flame stick towards the zombies when him, Tom and Judy tries to get to their vehicle which was carefully done and making you wonder if they will be safe.
Also a suspenseful moment when the vehicle catches on fire as both Tom and Judy try to get out but Judy has something stuck to her on the seat in which this leaves a sinking feeling that it will be too late for them to get out before the vehicle explodes as this for sure leaves you gasping big time.
Perfect sickening situations with the zombies going to the exploded vehicle as there's close up shots on canniballism involved which is a perfect shocking moment from a horror film during it's time as it still stands out nicely for what we see here. Probably one of the first american flicks that we spot something gruesome as it will make you cringe.
Also a great moment with Ben attacking Harry for not letting him in at first as you feeling like hitting this jack ass for being so arrogant which is what he behaves like for what you see in the story as this was nicely put into the story. You wonder if he will get his in the end.
Great moment when Harry is down in the cellar and spots his daughter now a zombie ready to attack him as there's great shots on this zombie child which was memorable to anyone who saw this flick.
Also a great moment when Helen tries to plead towards her daughter and she grabs an oject to strike down on her with great echoey screaming which looked genuinely twisted and disturbing to watch all of this happening.
Also great horrific and suspenseful moments when Barbra and Ben are trying to prevent the zombies from coming through the windows as well as these things grabbing at her as this makes you watch in terror by what happens with all that goes down. This was a great horror moment.
We have a nice creepy dakr moment when Ben is down in the cellar with his shotgun and there's two dead bodies and one of them rises and he shoots it as well as a good camera shot on another one and seeing their eyes opening as it leaves a perfect errie feeling to it all while seeing all of this.
Bottom line is that this is a very interesting zombie flick and one of the most original one's too that inspired many others. The zombie's mostly looked like people with pale faces but that was the time when people didn't have great effects with the make up etc. It starts off wonderfully and perfect for a drive in movie. It does give you a fear thinking your world could be extinct by the living dead. Followed by decades of sequels like Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, Survival of the Dead as well as two remakes.

The acting was great for it's time as Duane Jones (Ben) is wonderful trying to portray a man who tries to stay calm and sane from this incident. Plus seemed to show it off well by being strong minded and courageous too for all that he had to do. Brings his energy to a good hype while revealing his frusterations or aggressions. However there's a scene when he hits someone which looked a bit phony. But does a good job revealing on how pissed off he is to that person which makes up for the off blocking. Definetely was convincing playing a heroic type.
Judith O'Dea (Barbra) was a natural and shows great acting skills especially when she starts tripping out after realising what is happening. Does a good job being irritated and annoyed during the near beginning of her performance which she offers some natural energy. Also does a good job acting disturbed and shaken up as well as losing control of herself which looked impressive. She knew this role inside out. Although she never stuck to acting after this film years later she became a cult item and nowadays occasionally acts in other people's indepdendent horror films.
Karl Hardman (Harry Cooper) is someone you'd love to hate and he does it very well.
He shows off a convincingly ignorant type of behavior along with showing the right aggressions for someone whom is closed minded. Offers good adrenaline when trying to survive as he reacts well to all of this. Has a good energetic speaking in his voice by acting hyper within what he does here. Seemed to show off with his effective supporting role. Offers nice characteristics.
Marilyn Eastman (Helen Cooper) seemed to do well as the passive wife in which she offers a nice mellow type of behavior acting opposite of her onscreen husband. Shows a nice concerned type of behavior as well as acting like a close basket case too. Plus does well screaming in terror and pain during the near end of her performance and driving it to the extreme.
Keith Wayne (Tom) had the perfect clean cut boy next door appeal to what he did here. He for sure shows off a nice smart type of person showing common sense. He was energetic within everything that he did. Plus does well with his conversations and being another good heroic and a brave type of fellow. He for sure had alot of spunki into what he did here.
Judith Ridley (Judy) was perfect as the girlfriend in which she also offers a nice innocent and smart type too. Shows a nice soft spoken voice and mellow behavior. Had the beautiful looks too which works in well for a horror flick. Plus does well in a conversation by having a worrysome and concerned behavior which looked quite natural.
Child actress Kyra Schon (Karen Cooper) was passable with her sick and weak speaking as she offers a good mysterious presence. Then when she turns she was terrific with her angry expressionless face along with acting deadly and menacing too offering a nice dangerous appeal to her part in the flick. Does well attacking others at full thrust.

A rotting corpse is in a farmhouse.
Zombies eat people's body parts and guts.

The music is excellent by Scott Vladmir Licina as he plays chilling keyboard effects during the beginning of this film as well as at certain times during the outside events around the farmhouse with the zombie's. He also showed terrific thumping type sounds during the canniballistic moments and is shown during other zombie events in the farmhouse. Plus some creepy effective echoey trombone playing when suggested terror is about to happen. Also there's other classical trombone playing for the adventureous moments but at times it sounds a little off. However it seemed to fit into the story. This man is a true legend.

Johnny: Hey, come on, Barb. Church was this morning.
[pause as lightning is seen]
Johnny: I mean, prayin's for church.
Barbara: I haven't seen you in church lately.
Johnny: Well, there's not much sense in my going to church.

Johnny: [in a creepy voice] They're coming to get you, Barbara!
Barbara: Stop it! You're ignorant!
Johnny: They're coming for you, Barbara!
Barbara: Stop it! You're acting like a child!
Johnny: They're coming for you!
[points to the cemetery zombie]
Johnny: Look, there comes one of them now!
Barbara: He'll hear you!
Johnny: Here he comes now! I'm getting out of here!

Barbara: Don't you understand? My brother is alone!
Ben: Your brother is dead.
Barbara: NO! My brother is NOT dead!

Newscaster: It has been established that persons who have recently died have been returning to life and committing acts of murder. A widespread investigation of funeral homes, morgues, and hospitals has concluded that the unburied dead have been returning to life and seeking human victims. It's hard for us here to be reporting this to you, but it does seem to be a fact.

Harry Cooper: [to Barbara] Now you'd better watch this and try to understand what's going on.
[Ben looks at him]
Harry Cooper: I don't want anyone's life on my hands.
Helen Cooper: Is there anything I can do...?
Ben: I don't wanna hear any more from you, Mister! If you stay up here, you take orders from ME! And that includes leaving the girl alone!

[to Harry Cooper after having been locked outside]
Ben: I ought to drag you out there and FEED you to those things!

Barbara: You can't start the car, Johnny has the keys!

Field Reporter: Chief, if I were surrounded by eight or ten of these things, would I stand a chance with them?
Sheriff McClelland: Well, there's no problem. If you have a gun, shoot 'em in the head. That's a sure way to kill 'em. If you don't, get yourself a club or a torch. Beat 'em or burn 'em. They go up pretty easy.