Night of the Living Dead

This movie isn’t the first to use zombies, but it’s one of the best. Almost no blood and only suggestions of violence (although the suggestions are pretty clear as to what’s happening). There are a lot of reasons why Anabel hasn’t been allowed to watch this with me.

This was George Romero’s directorial debut. Made in 1968 on a teensy budget and shot in black and white, it’s a pretty powerful story. Zombies have taken over a small western PA town. It’s never made clear why or what caused the zombie “virus”, but it’s happening. A young man and his sister escape from the zombies and hide in a farmhouse, already occupied by several other people. By the end of the movie, it’s hard to tell who the monsters actually are. The ending is sadly predictable, but still chokes me up every time I see this.

Romero has a lot of things to say about racism and politics. This becomes one of his trademarks through the years – using a horror movie to talk about society in general. It’s part of why I love his movies, and also the reason why I won’t let my daughter watch with me. Perhaps in another couple of years, and I’ll probably let her watch White Zombie first.

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