October 4: Night of the Living Dead

movie reviews

I must have been about twelve when I found a VHS copy of Night of the Living Dead in a discount movie bin at Walmart. I think it cost me $3.

I’d like to say the movie had a lasting effect on me, but it did not. It was boring. It was black and white and featured slow, lumbering zombies that no one could ever realistically be killed by. I watched the whole thing, but only because I’d paid money for it. That, and I had to prove my mom wrong. She predicted that I wouldn’t like it.

I gave it another watch a couple years back. It was, of course, much better. The plot has that great political subtext that Romero was into back when he had vision. But, still, the movie didn’t make a big impression on me. Because it’s a little bit boring.

Like Crime and Punishment and War and Peace, though, it’s good for you. It’s the vitamin you need to take in order for your horror movie brain to grow big and strong. Night of the Living Dead has a good Halloween feel and sets the stage for pretty much every zombie movie that came out after it. I’m not terribly excited about today’s pick, but it’s necessary for tomorrow’s. Which will be better. I promise.

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