Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Night of the Living Dead


As a zombie apocalypse starts to sweep the US, seven people (Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne, Judith Ridley, Kyra Schon) take refuge in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere, where they fight off the reanimated bodies of the unburied/uncremated dead in a desperate bid for survival.

Night is Director George A. Romero's first film, and ever since then the genre of zombie films has been a popular one - most recently with 28 Days Later (2002); Shaun of the Dead (2004), a comedy spoof of Romero's Living Dead Saga; and Zombieland (2009) - and is a low budget independent film shot in black-and-white.

Although, particularly in the first half hour, there are long periods of silence, the film isn't at all dull. There is always some form of zombie-related action happening in the film and the silence is an eerie kind as you wait to see what happens next in this almost hopeless bid for survival during a zombie apocalypse, with the fact that it is shot in black-and-white only enhancing this eerie and creepy feeling.

The group of humans holding up in the house, while learning what's happening/what to do via television and radio, are a really mismatched group. Ben (Jones) is determined to survive and thinks logically during the hold out. Barbra (O'Dea) is in huge shock after witnessing a zombie (Bill Heinzman) kill her brother (Rusell Streiner). Out of fear and the fact nobody will pay any attention to his attempts at leadership, Harry (Hardman) doesn't think with his head, while wife Helen (Eastman) just wants to protect their daughter (Schon), who is at death's door after being bitten by a zombie. Tommy (Wayne) and his wife Judy (Ridley) support Ben fully as they feel he has a logical plan that will work and they are too desperate for survival to discredit it. With this bizarre and ridiculous mismatching you know that things aren't going to work out easily, if at all. Their arguments/debates build up tension in the film, and their will/desperation to survive truly carries it.

Opening the door for hundreds of zombie films, and starting a successful career for Romero, this is a chillingly powerful, deep and complex horror film, and an excellent example of just how good independent films can truly be.

Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne, Judith Ridley, Kyra Schon, Charles Craig, George Kosana, Rusell Streiner, Bill Heinzman.

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