Monday, July 1, 2013

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Today's film is Night of the Living Dead, a landmark film that started the zombie craze.  Without this we wouldn't have Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, that Walking Dead show, or many others.

Our main characters are holed up in a farmhouse, trying to survive the zombie attacks.  But they weren't even called zombies back then.  They were called 'ghouls'.  No one knew what they were or what they were capable of.  We learn most of what is happening from the TV and radio.  Apparently the recently dead's brains are reactivated by passing satellite from Venus or some other cock-eyed sci fi excuse.  One thing that stands out to me is the reason for 'zombie-ization' is different.  For example, in Resident Evil, it is the T-virus that reanimates cells.  Anyways the end result is always a dangerous thoughtless creature bent on eating us and spreading the infection.

The best character was Ben.  He was capable of thinking under pressure and wouldn't take shit from anyone.  Especially that coward who wanted to stay in the cellar.  He kept trying to boss Ben around, but he was having none of it.  Barbra was infuriating.  Sure, she did lose her brother, but she was reduced to an almost catatonic state.  There's a couple also hiding in the cellar who try to help out, but only succeed in blowing up the truck outside.

Then there's the little girl lying injured downstairs.  We know that if anyone is bit by a zombie, they will soon become a zombie themselves.  But people watching this for the first time wouldn't know because the ground rules for zombies had not been set yet.  This leads to a confusing point.  The girl has been bitten.  Later, she arises as a zombie to kill and eat.  Did the bite itself cause her to transform?  Or did she die from her injury and become reanimated?

The greatest part was my husband's reaction.  He walked past and asked what it was.  I told him, his eyes got huge (that is a feat for him) and ran into the bedroom to play some video game.  He kept hollering "Is it over yet?" and would not come near the living room until I said yes. I asked him why he didn't want to stay with me, and he replied "I do not like black and white movies.  They are stupid.  Every movie on that stupid list of yours is stupid."  He means the 1001 list of movies, and yes he is a master of words.  He brings me a copy of the Expendables 2 and claims it is far superior to anything on the list and anyone who thinks differently has the wrong opinion.  Never mind that he himself has not seen the movie yet.  I asked him if he was afraid of zombies, and of course he denied it.  So I asked why he always refuses to play Resident Evil with me, and he replies that he hates shooter games.  This is my reaction the entire time he is ranting:

Also, the dark ending was great yet expected.  It's a zombie apocalypse, it can't end happy!  I can imagine this must have been terrifying back when it first came out, long before our zombie obsessed culture arose. (Lol, arose).  Anyway, I enjoyed it and I will give it an 8/10.

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