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Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead  

7 members have voted

  1. 1. Does Night of the Living Dead go in the space capsule?

    • ✅ You can be the boss down there, I'm boss up here.
      7
    • ❌ OK, he's dead, let's go get him. That's another one for the fire.
      0


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Amy & Paul tear into 1968’s seminal zombie horror Night Of The Living Dead! They learn about director George Romero’s history making political advertisements, praise the way Romero makes you care about the characters he’s killing off, and analyze how casting a black lead actor in Duane Jones changed the tenor and meaning of the film. Plus: Weighing in on the eternal question, can zombies run?

This is the third episode of our “Unghouled” horror miniseries; next week’s film is Night Of The Living Dead! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also apply to be a guest on our upcoming game show Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall

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This film is one of the few that can compare with the Exorcist as one of the most influential of all time. And it still holds up today. If we're going to send the aliens one tiny-budget movie, I think it should be this.

I think in 1968 Vietnam was more salient than civil rights. LBJ didn't run for another term because his handling of the war was so controversial. The CRA & VRA had been passed in 1964 & 1965 (respectively). Also, this was filmed in 1967 and McGovern didn't announce himself as a presidential candidate until August 1968 (RFK and later Gene McCarthy were the "dove" rivals of LBJ and later Hubert Humphrey for the nom). Since he only reluctantly threw his hat in the ring and his candidacy was brief, I wonder if that commercial isn't from the 1972 election (when he actually obtained the nomination). So I'm inclined to think Romero is giving an accurate account of how the film was made. He didn't shy away from politics in later films.

I agree with Amy on "horror" films with unlikable characters whose deaths you root for. That's not scary. This is related to why most "horror-comedies" are just comedies in horror garb rather than actually working as horror movies.

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This is certainly not one of my favorite horror films. I like it ok, but I think there's so many more scary and interesting.

But I did vote yes, I think its influence is undeniable and pretty important and it might be a good elemental choice to be sending into space.

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This seems like a no-brainer to be shot into space. Its influence cannot be overstated, and while much of it may seem to be pedestrian if you're seeing it after seeing a slew of more recent zombie fare first, it does the genre in a genuinely intelligent and thoughtful way. Aliens would see what we're afraid of - in terms of both the monstrous and the human.

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This is one of many classic horror movies that I'd never got around to seeing, because I was never a horror-movie fan as a young person. I just didn't seek out horror movies as a rule. I don't have a particular taste for gore and blood in movies.

But as I get around to them now I find that the very best ones tend to be pretty clearly great right from the jump. Halloween was like that. So was Night of the Living Dead: that opening sequence in the cemetery is pretty masterfully done, especially considering the time period and the budget, and set up the rest of the film beautifully . . . just enough character development to get you hooked, and now here come the zombies! Boom, perfect. The only thing I have to forgive is that some of the acting is a bit amateurish at times (though not from the lead). The filmmaking itself is strong.

Given the genre influence and social impact I think it's an easy yes vote. Only question is whether this or Dawn of the Dead is the better representative.

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I haven't listened to the episode. I assume this gets discussed, but I remember being very surprised that the black man survived to the end when I first saw this in high school. Even now, that's a rarity. So, the double shock of him surviving only to get killed felt like such a powerful message.

I'd put this in easily over Dawn Of The Dead. San is still good but has some sections that drag for me. I've always found the section with the bikers having a party kind of silly (but probably appropriate for the characters). Night doesn't have any dull spots that I remember but it also doesn't have a zombie head cut off by a helicopter. So, maybe a roundup toss up.

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I have to agree with Paul that this would totally work as a play and take it a step further.  My first experience with Night of the Living Dead was actually watching a stage company do it as an audio play as part of their "Midnight Radio" series.  To be clear, they were on stage, but all we were watching was them reading the script and doing sound effects.  Even in that medium it works really well, and I think it's largely because it's not so much about the zombies as it is about the people reacting to them.  

And yes, I absolutely voted yes on this.  Among zombie films, I would say Shaun of the Dead is the only one that stands up as its equal, but Shaun can only exist because of what Night of the Living Dead created.

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