Although pic's basic premise is repellent - recently dead bodies are resurrected and begin killing human beings in order to eat their flesh - it is in execution that the film distastefully excels.
Although pic’s basic premise is repellent – recently dead bodies are resurrected and begin killing human beings in order to eat their flesh – it is in execution that the film distastefully excels.No brutalizing stone is left unturned: crowbars gash holes in the heads of the living dead, monsters are shown eating entrails, and – in a climax of unparalleled nausea – a little girl kills her mother by stabbing her a dozen times in the chest with a trowel. The rest of the pic is amateurism of the first order. Pittsburgh-based director George A. Romero appears incapable of contriving a single graceful set-up, and his cast is uniformly poor. Both Judith O’Dea and Duane Jones are sufficiently talented to warrant supporting roles in a backwoods community theatre, but Russell Streiner, Karl Hardman, Keith Wayne and Judith Ridley do not suggest that Pittsburgh is a haven for undiscovered thespians. John A. Russo’s screenplay is a model of verbal banality and suggests a total antipathy for his characters.
Night of the Living Dead
Image Ten. Director George A. Romero; Producer Russell Streiner, Karl Hardman; Screenplay John A. Russo, George A. Romero; Camera George A. Romero
(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 90 MIN.
Judith O'Dea Russell Streiner Duane Jones Karl Hardman Keith Wayne