Watching this film is just a new experience every time I see it. Often times I forget the little things that make up the big picture. That's what this movie is all about. It takes little tidbits here and there, subtle satire, and a gloomy atmosphere and creates something that is just incredible. To define it is a challenge. Night of the Living Dead is many things...a horror film, a political statement, a kick in the seat of society. It is not any one thing...but if there was just a word to define this movie, it would be...timeless.
Night of the Living Dead will live on as a turning point in zombie horror. It put a clear cut stamp on defining WHAT a zombie is. How they move, where they come from, how they act. All of the things that make a zombie in this movie show up in almost EVERY zombie movie ever made from here on out. Sure you can twist the rules a bit, but in the end its the same old "Romero" zombie.
This movie will live on in the hearts of the fans. It lives with the cult heroes, the classic horror films, and even the mainstream. There are an almost countless supply of various versions of this film. Available on vhs or dvd, this film is almost always included on any horror classics box set. I personally have the Fox Entertainment remastered version that has the original black and white version with a new restored COLOR version. I love color. I think it adds more to a movie. I can understand what and why the film is so classic being in black and white...but I just enjoy color films more.
I have a hard time at finding the "little" things that are hidden in a story. But I did find one thing right at the end that I found interesting. (spoiler!) When Ben is shot at the end by the tribe of cops and townspeople. It just goes to show you what our society is like. Shoot now...ask questions later. No real question of if that might be a real person...just shoot him and lets move on with it. (spoiler end!) Also the fact that the lead character is black. I think that's awesome...and ballsy for the time it was done. It's a great turning point to see that racism is not a factor with Romero. A lot of his leads are black men. With Dawn of the Dead, Ken Foree (AWESOME actor) plays the lead guy. He is the only one I could connect with due to the fact that he is the only one that had a clear head on his shoulders. He didn't know what was going on exactly...but he made due with what he had. I love it.
Night of the Living Dead is the granddaddy of popular zombie films of today. Almost every zombie film to date has its roots buried in this film. George Romero has created a genuinely great horror film. There is little in between that even shakes the ground in the zombie genre...well that is until you see the sequel.