Monday, 24 November 2014

Night of the Living Dead (1968) - favourite zombie horror

For me, this film, produced in 1968 originally black and white, is my favourite zombie film. It is honestly one of my favourite horrors of all time. It doesn't matter if it's really old, or lacks in quality. It is a masterpiece. I thought to myself - surely this film cannot deliver such an exquisite horror, after being made in 1968.
However, I was definitely wrong. This horror is a true icon in the horror genre and I'm sure it will be for a long time in the future. Ratings online clearly convey how successful this film is:

  • IMDB - 8/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - 96%
  • Meta Critic - 65%
For me, IMDB even gives this film a low rating. Meta Critic in my opinion is really harsh on this film, and Rotten Tomatoes are spot on. I genuinely cannot think of anything that was majorly wrong in this film as it definitely contains all the horror - intense moments, extreme violence, blood and guts - it's the true horror package!

It was directed by George. A Romero and lasts roughly 96 minutes. I usually complain about the timing in films that are less than 100 minutes, but I simply cannot complain about this remarkable zombie horror. The plot is fairly straightforward - the dead come back to life and eat the living in this low budget, black and white film. Several people barricade themselves inside a rural house in an attempt to survive the night. Outside are hordes of relentless, shambling zombies who can only be killed by a blow to the head. Nowadays, it reminds me of the old Nazi zombie maps in Call of Duty: World at War where you would barricade the small building up with wooden planks. This film is exactly the same as this and the dead have the same characteristics in that they can easily take walls down.

What I must talk about immediately is the level of violence in this film after being made in 1968. Not only are there numerous scenes where zombies are shot in the head, but the film actually shows you small moments of zombies literally munching on human bones of those who have recently died. It actually looks like they are eating a chicken drumstick or something. It was pretty smart how the film was made to make this look so casual to the zombies. Also it consists of many moments where you witness the zombies ripping apart bodies with their hands, and ripping out long stringy intestines to feed on. It really is very gory and a bit disturbing at the same time. The acting of the zombies in this film is also remarkable. I love how it shows you a view looking out of the window a few times, as it gives us a chance to watch the walking dead slowly approach the house, with numbers increasing every minute. I also miss the zombies from the 60's because they had that complete numskull sense in that they were clueless and merely trudged over to the nearest human. There are also a few scary moments within the film that I was personally startled with, and the film has a very dramatic end! I won't spoil the ending obviously but it is brilliant. The face point of the zombies themselves is also admirable. The film is so low budget, which clearly proves that you don't need ridiculous amounts of money to create the perfect horror. I really wish horrors were more like this nowadays, however most horrors today are full of repetition. I could speak about advantages all day, honestly.

Perhaps for the only time in my blog's history, I do not have any weaknesses to discuss within this review. The film was completely filled with strengths, and so I cannot possibly think of any weaknesses.

I am simply begging all horror fans to watch this film as soon as possible if you haven't seen it. I picked a copy of it up for only 75p pre-owned, and so I reckon you could get it very cheap. Even if you have seen it, it definitely deserves to be a film in your movies collection, and definitely in the top 10. It is full of horror, gore, blood and guts, sympathy, panic and intensity - all contributing towards the perfect horror movie for me. Honestly - good work Romero, you've made the perfect horror.

Overall Rating - 10/10. 

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