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Film Review: Night of the Living Dead

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.

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Image Ten/Kobal/Shutterstock

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.

Film Review: Night of the Living Dead

  • Production: Image Ten. Director George A. Romero; Producer Russell Streiner, Karl Hardman; Screenplay John A. Russo, George A. Romero; Camera George A. Romero
  • Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 90 MIN.
  • With: Judith O'Dea Russell Streiner Duane Jones Karl Hardman Keith Wayne
  • Music By: