• There are two movements going on here in George Romero’s debut film Night of the Living Dead– a changing of the guard for the horror genre, and an important film for the history independent cinema
  • From the outset Romero has an excellent and far-reaching subtext—the US flag in the cemetery (in that really well-done and haunting opening) in the center of the frame. You pair that with the distressing still-frame montage ending over the credits—powerful
From the outset Romero has an excellent and far-reaching subtext—the US flag in the cemetery (in that really well-done and haunting opening) in the center of the frame. You pair that with the distressing still-frame montage ending over the credits—powerful
  • Another montage- the mounted animal head trophies on the farm house wall
  • Handheld camera—this was nearly a decade after Godard and is an exact decade after Cassavetes’ Faces but still – anyone can make a movie—even this no-namer out of Pittsburgh
  • Radiation and the atomic in sci-fi horror was nothing new- Godzilla
  • Back to the opening you have to have the right context for horror in 1968 for Romero’s work—this is an key film to auteurs like Cronenberg who would come later. Tobe Hooper and Wes Craven and what they would do on shoestring budgets in the genre in the 1970’s. In the 1960’s Bava was in Italy, the Hammer films in the UK—the Vincent Price American Independent Picture films—all very gothic, set in the past, based on legend—this was contemporary, Vietnam-era, Civil Rights (lynch mob ending, dogs going with the good ol’ boys)
  • Pretty poorly acted outside Duane Jones. Jones’ performance, and the casting of Jones is significant. He’s smart, strong, calm, controlled. He hits both a white man and white woman in 1968 but he also thought of others (unlike the Cooper character who is insecure and selfish—the polar opposite)—
Pretty poorly acted outside Duane Jones. Jones’ performance, and the casting of Jones is significant. He’s smart, strong, calm, controlled
  • Nice creative hand-held angle and low-angle work
  • The radio and television as characters in the film
  • The ending—tragic, ironic, historically accurate—Romero uses the zoom to dive into the still photographs
  • A Highly Recommend/Must See border film – I do feel that it’s pretty clear that even a second-tier (but still wonderful) Hitchcock film like Marnie is stronger.