Halloween Horror Classics | Night of the Living Dead

31 10 2008

We continue our list with an absolute classic, the 1968 zombie thriller, “Night of the Living Dead.” The film that changed horror films forever, 40 years later the title still resonates as one of the most popular films of its genre.

“Night of the Living Dead” is a classic not only of horror in general, but of black horror in particular. Supposedly, the racial commentary that can be read into the film was never intended, as the role of Ben wasn’t written for a black man. Still, the fact that director George Romero picked Duane Jones for the lead role is racially significant in and of itself, particularly since he gets to smack around some white people.

We imagine that there were quite a few black people in 1968 who would’ve done that for free. Jones’ presence is commanding and perfect for the character of Ben, who doesn’t hesitate to take charge of the group hiding from the zombie horde. Though he meets resistence, race is never a spoken issue. Still, you can’t help but read into the fact that while Ben survives through the night, he’s unceremoniously shot the next day by a bunch of zombie-hunting rednecks. Though low-budget, “Night of the Living Dead” is well-acted, well-paced, and still impressive to this day, making you wonder why so many of the monetarily challenged zombie movies made today are such utter crap.

As a bonus, you can watch the ENTIRE film here on our blog!

Special thanks to Black Horror Movies.com

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