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Film

The 'Night of the Living Dead' Zombies Will Still Get to You

George A. Romero's definitive zombie movie finally gets a definitive release on Criterion -- and it goes straight for your gut.

Recent
Television

Zombies, Reavers, Butchers, and Actuals in Joss Whedon's Work

Zombies have been one of the more popular monster types in films and television in recent decades following the popularity of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Joss Whedon's somewhat different take on the Zombie in his various projects is here examined in detail.

Gerry Canavan
Film

Zombie as Change

Night of the Living Dead is the first representation of an exciting and gruesome “hate generation” substituting – and burying – the ‘60s love generation.

Christian Caliandro
Film

Tender Is the Night of the Living Dead

Another slice of social commentary disguised as zombie flash fiction inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald and George Romero.

Rodger Jacobs
Film

The Kind of Murder-happy Characters We Have Here

Zombies have nothing to fear from us aside from our absence, which is perhaps how they know us best: as ‘those things that are always running away’.

Stephen Graham Jones
Film

Night of Night of the Living Dead

On a cool October night in 1970, I was witness to something so shocking, so outside my sphere of fear influence that it ended up being a never-ending journey into total terror.

Bill Gibron
Film

Reanimating the Dead at the Fringe of Hollywood

Amidst the deluge of shrieks, gasps, laughter and vomit, a certified independent horror movement was born. The rulebooks were burned and the inmates were running the show, opening the doors to a legion of filmmakers with a camera, some friends and zero budget.

Drew Fortune
Film

Life Amongst the Undead

Just as Johnny utters,“They’re coming to get you, Barbra” someone lurched through the door with a zombie shamble and a flashlight held under his face for a ghastly lighting effect.

Barry Keith Grant
Film

Day 5: The Undead as a Life-changing Experience

On the last day of our week long celebration of Night of the Living Dead’s 40th anniversary, PopMatters offers six essays that delve on the subjective appreciation of Romero’s landmark film. In strong contrast to the previous installments of this collection, these articles offer a more personal perspective of the everlasting influence of Night of the Living Dead.

Film

I See Dead People

The real legacy of Night of the Living Dead is the way it became a quintessential icon that perfectly represents the patriarchal conflict for phallic control, as well as the confrontation between the primitive and the civilized.

Marco Lanzagorta
Film

1968 is Undead

To what do we owe ourselves? To what do we owe our future corpses? Will we go on living like we're already dead, like the past is inevitable, like we're doomed to repeat ourselves, doomed to recapitulate the terms of our decease?

Film

1968 is Undead

The radio and television broadcasts of Night of the Living Dead depict a government unable to protect, alert, and prepare its citizenry for a national crisis, which reminds us of the mass bureaucratic bungling of the September 11th tragedies and the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Timothy Gabriele
Film

Decade of the Dead

After a decade in which the dissemination of powerful images of human suffering—911, Abu Ghraib, Darfur, Iraq, New Orleans—have had little impact on changing the status quo, it’s hard to grudge Romero for his pessimism.

Michael Curtis Nelson
Film

We’re Coming to Get You, Barbra

The real monsters in Night of the Living Dead are the hobgoblins we face every day: jealousy, selfishness, anger, lies, rage, and simple misunderstandings.

Ian Chant
Film

Forty Years On and It Still Ain’t Worth Saving

Between the '60s and the present day, there seems to have been little meaningful social progress. Forty years on and Romero’s America is still a divided nation.

Linnie Blake
Film

Victim or Vigilante? The Case of the Two Barbras

It has been argued that feminists cannot embrace the first film because of all the female characters’ passivity and stereotyped deference to the men. And gun-toting Ripley has become something of a feminist icon, so why not embrace Tallman’s red-haired spunky version?

Cynthia Freeland
Film

Victim or Vigilante? The Case of the Two Barbras

We cannot say that the original Night of the Living Dead’s racial politics trump the gender politics of the remake, but rather, that the great power of tragedy can still grip us long after a movie’s more superficial aspects have been superseded.

Cynthia Freeland
Film

Day 4: A Zombie is Forever

On our fourth day of celebrating the 40th anniversary of Night of the Living Dead, PopMatters presents six articles that discuss the everlasting legacy of Romero’s zombie masterwork. As such, these contributions help us understand why Night of the Living Dead continues to be of relevance to modern audiences.

Film

Zombie Nation

As a concept, the dead returning to destroy the living is worse than Germany invading Poland, worse than Islamic fundamentalists destroying a New York landmark, worse than a tsunami killing tens of thousands of people.

Matt Nida and Carl Swift
Film

Zombies on Wardour Street

Although British audiences were becoming familiar with an evolution in horror, Night of the Living Dead still presented a startling leap into the unknown.

Andrew Smith
Film

Why Can’t We Just Eat Brains and be Happy?

Ben must die for the world to return to normal and the racial hierarchy is re-established. This is Romero’s most incisive critique: that even in the face of unimaginable horror, humanity reverts to its status quo.

Chris Deis
Film

The Unhappy Undead

The Civil War is reenacted on a micro level in Night of the Living Dead. Your neighbors are the real monsters.

John Grassi
Film

Subverting the Subversion

The seemingly progressive casting of Night of the Living Dead actually reinforces the message from racist groups of the time: a well-spoken African American is the person responsible for the deaths of all of the white characters in the film.

Jeffrey Uhlmann
Film

The Trouble with Harry

In Night of the Living Dead, the most unpleasant character just happens to also be the most insightful.

Peter Hutchings
Film

Day 3: Reanimation Politics

The race and patriarchal subtexts of Night of the Living Dead deeply resonated with the torrid social and cultural landscape of that bleak period in American history. As such, no discussion of Night of the Living Dead can be complete without considering these important issues. On our third day celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Night of the Living Dead, PopMatters offers six articles that discuss issues related to race conflict and phallic control.

Film

Zombie Walk This Way

Witnessing the Zombie Walk phenomenon in action is almost like watching the display of a worldwide death wish.

Dan Brian
Film

Resurrection Revisited

The idea of the resurrection promises a reunion with lost loved one, but in Night of the Living Dead, this reunion is a frustrated one.

Victor Calderin
Film

I’m Coming to Get You, Barbra

Zombies present a wholly different kind of terror, especially when that ghoul is your friend or brother or child.

Ian Mathers
Film

Blood, Guts, and Identity Fragmentation

The struggle for ascendancy in the most powerful nation in the world is perfectly embodied in Night of the Living Dead.

Rajith Savanadasa
Film

An Anthem for the Undead

The allure of the undead stems from the idea that a zombie apocalypse strips man to his barest self and essentially subverts thousands upon thousands of years' worth of moral discipline.

Spencer Tricker
Film

Satiety in Numbers

Night of the Living Dead counters the swarming crowds of the walking dead with a seemingly antithetical mode of social organization, namely the nuclear family taken to its destructive, quasi-incestuous extreme.

Jay McRoy
Film

Day 2: Understanding the Undead

Few would disagree that Night of the Living Dead is one of the most important and talked about films in the history of cinema. On our second day celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Night of the Living Dead, PopMatters offers six articles that give a rationale as to why, after 40 years, Night of the Living Dead continues to provide a frightful and nightmarish viewing experience.

Film

Camping Out at the Graveyard

When we relax and revel in the campy ghouls, our nerves are left fresh for the film’s terrifying bite; the last and sharpest of which comes at the searing downbeat ending.

Matthew Sorrento
Film

Cannibalizing Consumers

As long as consumerism dominates the marketplace, the cannibal zombie horde archetype created by Romero will always have a place in the popular imagination.

Tim Mitchell
Film

Of Mice and Maggots (and Other Nasty Things)

What makes it so scary is that the people you know, the people you love the most, might turn against you in the most inhuman manner imaginable—by becoming inhuman; and that you might suffer the same fate; and that, even if you somehow escape this living death, you might become a beast through fear of becoming a beast.

Kelly Roberts
Film

Of Mice and Maggots (and Other Nasty Things)

Every film in the horror genre leading up to Night of the Living Dead offers some kind of release, a resolution to the terror. Romero's great innovation was to rip away this delight, this false hope, and replace it with an even deeper terror.

Kelly Roberts
Film

A Controversy Is Born

Films that cause outrage frequently become the focus of cults and of spirited defences exactly because their capacity to outrage is seen as a challenge to mainstream tastes and sensibilities.

Mark Jancovich
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