01 Reviews from the Vault

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When it comes to zombies in cinema, there is no shortage of options. And titles range from the lighthearted (Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland) to the downright gory (Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later) and from the horrible homemade schlock (Redneck Zombies) to the big time Hollywood productions (World War Z). I have watches undead cinema for decades now and my obsession began with a little indie film from the 60s with a campy title and, at the time the film was made, an unknown director with a budget of only $114,000. Geeking Cool now opens its vaults to bring you our review of George A. Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead.

From IMDB.com

Chaos descends upon the world as the brains of the recently deceased become inexplicably reanimated, causing the dead to rise and feed on human flesh. Speculation rests on a radiation-covered NASA satellite returning from Venus, but it only remains a speculation. Anyone who dies during the crisis of causes unrelated to brain trauma will return as a flesh-eating zombie, including anyone who has been bitten by a zombie. The only way to destroy the zombies is to destroy the brain. As the catastrophe unfolds, a young woman visiting her father’s grave takes refuge in a nearby farmhouse, where she is met by a man who protects her and barricades them inside. They both later discover people hiding in the basement, and they each attempt to cope with the situation. Their only hope rests on getting some gasoline from a nearby pump into a truck that is running on empty, but this requires braving the hordes of ravenous walking corpses outside. When they finally put their plans into action, panic and personal tensions only add to the terror as they try to survive.

Curly Q. Link

This film from an unknown director on a shoestring budget about zombies manages to do what no other zombie film has. To me, the characters of this film trapped in the farmhouse are the perfect allegory for humanity and what will happen if we don’t work together despite our differences. You have people young and old, man and woman, black and white, cooped up together (humanity in all of its various incarnations) besieged by the undead (all of the differences that plague humanity). The tragic ending of the film is a dismal look at what will happen to the world if we cannot overcome our differences. The acting in the film is actually quite good for an indie film even by today’s standards. And what of the zombies themselves? Do not expect amazingly detailed walking corpses like you would find in The Walking Dead. The dead in this film are the traditional sunken eyed walkers and only a sparse few have visible wounds. Overall, this is a solid movie and, in my mind, the king of zombie films to this day. Watch it below if you don’t believe me, it’s now public domain. 

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