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HoTS Celebrates 50 Years Of: Night Of The Living Dead

HoTS Celebrates 50 Years Of: Night Of The Living Dead

Night Of The Living Dead / IMDB

Although it opened on Tuesday, October 1, 1968 in Pittsburgh only, today is a special day in history. On Friday, October 4, 1968 Night Of The Living Dead made its nationwide debut.  Although there had been a couple of zombie movies prior, this film would go on to set the standards of the zombie sub genre. Originally titled Night of Anubis, writers George A. Romero and John Russo  would give the film a more fitting name. Romero directed Night Of The Living Dead. The film tells the tale of seven people trapped in a farmhouse, attacked by people risen from the dead.

Night Of The Living Dead / IMDBNight Of The Living Dead opens with Johnny and Barbara, visiting their father’s grave. They see a man who looks disoriented and Johnny teases Barbara. He reminds her of a chant from their youth, ‘they’re coming to get you Barbara”. The man attacks and throws Johnny onto on a grave. The blow to the head kills Johnny.

Barbara escapes to a farmhouse and meets Ben. She is catatonic and Ben tries to get her to help him board the house. They discover a family of three hiding in the basement with another couple. Everyone but Ben is eventually killed by zombies (one is the young girl of the older couple from the basement). Ben survives but, the next morning a posse mistakes him for a zombie and shot him dead.

Night Of The Living Dead / IMDB

That is a very brief description of the movie. Today we are  focusing on the impact it has made in 50 years. Five “of the Dead” films followed, all directed by Romero. 1990 saw a remake of the film as well. Night Of The Living Dead introduced the world to the only way to kill a zombie. You must kill its brain.

How many movies and TV shows come from the idea of the the zombie? Night Of The Living Dead was not the first zombie film remember, but it stemmed the most followers.  The Walking Dead draws millions of viewers each week. The Walking Dead which spawned from a comic book, uses the same principles but in a more modern era. In fact, one could argue that any film or TV show since 1968 depicting zombies were inspired by Night Of The Living Dead. Romero and Russo created the blueprint and reinvented the sub genre.

Today, the remaining surviving cast and crew members attend several conventions nationwide to meet with fans. New generations of movie goers experience meeting Judith O’Day (Barbara), Russell Streiner (Johnny), Kyra Schon (Karen) and John Russo. George Romero actively attended cons until his passing last summer. With Romero’s passing, the franchise did not fade away. George’s son, George Cameron Romero is working on a prequel to the 1968 original. It’s a safe bet however, to say we are looking forward to that.

Happy 50th Anniversary Night Of The Living Dead and here’s to 50 more great years!

 


Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in Categories, HORROR NEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, STAFF PICKS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments