John Russo

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
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

The Return of the Living Dead

By Amy Lynes

Retro ROTLD poster

Directed by: Dan O'Bannon
Starring: Clu Gulager, Thom Matthews, Jewel Shepard, Linnea Quigley, Miguel Nunez, Beverly Randolph, James Karen, Don Calfa, Mark Venturini, John Philbin, Allan Trautman and Brian Peck


The Return of the Living Dead has long been one of my most revered horror films. It hit the theaters the day after my 13th birthday. I can remember the trailers alone, which would always be played right before bed, giving me panic inducing nightmares and terror unlike any I had ever experienced.

At this point, I was still cutting my teeth on horror and I had never seen anything with zombies in it before. I had never even heard of them, and I am telling you, the idea of them scared the living shit right out of thirteen year old me. I became obsessed with seeing this movie. I BEGGED my parents to let me go see it but my efforts were all in vain. My mother, having been thoroughly repulsed by George A Romero's Night of the Living Dead, wouldn't hear of it.

Flash forward to my Freshman year of high school and my parents leaving me alone for the weekend to go to a high school reunion. I, at long last, had a copy of the film in my hands. Victory was mine! I watched it near the Halloween season, home alone, in the dark. I was both horrified and humored. It was a delicious balance. Just when I got so freaked out I thought I couldn't handle anymore, the comedy would come full force and it kept me from totally freaking out. I think I must have watched it at least five or six times that weekend. I was totally unlike most horror films I had seen and the zombies scared me shitless, but I fucking loved it. As scared as I was, I loved every damn minute of it and it spawned an intense fascination with zombies that would last a lifetime.

There was nothing, and I mean NOTHING, I didn't like about this classic. From the wardrobes to the soundtrack, the zombie make-up, the comedy and the gore, I was completely and thoroughly hooked. It ALL pretty much rocked my thirteen year old world. And you know what? At 43, it still fucking does!

The film may be set in early July, but I will forever equate it with the Halloween season because of my first experience watching it. Halloween just wouldn't have the same feel for me if I didn't watch it this time of year. And I recommend you do the same. For me, it is definitely a must watch. If you have not seen this, and I can't imagine how the hell that would have happened, do it. Now.

Rating: 10/10 Paramedics

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments