Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Directed by George A Romero

box picture
Rating 5 (Hellacool)
Gore Score 3 (Bloody Moments)
Special Effects 3 (Pretty Decent)
Comedy Score 1 (Not Funny)
Horror Score 4 (Very Scary)
Nudity Score 2 (Just a Glimpse)

Movie Review by Al Fleshrot

While Barbara and her brother visit their father's grave a deranged lunatic attacks them. The brother gets in a scuffle and ends up cracking his head on a tombstone. Barbara flees the assailant and ends up finding an empty farm house. Ben shows up soon after in a truck, running from more of the crazy people. They start to board up the house as the radio broadcasts reports of people going insane and murdering. Soon we realize that these people are dead - zombies! More and more of them gather around the house. Then two more men emerge from the cellar - Harry and Tom. Harry has a wife and a sick (bitten!) daughter with him, and Joe has his woman Judy. The TV and and radio broadcasts reveal that the zombies have risen from death, apparently due to radiation from a satellite that exploded while returning from Venus, and that they attack the living and devour their flesh. They plan to escape in the truck to the nearest safe house, but they need to get fuel first. The zombies have become a horde outside the house, but Ben, Tom and Judy make a rush for the fuel pump - only Tom is a bit sloppy with the gas line (clearly not a seasoned gas station attendant) and ends up setting the truck on fire. The truck explodes with Judy and Tom inside, leaving Ben to fend for himself. He makes it back to the house and dukes it out with Harry, who refused to open the door. Soon the zombies start breaking down the fortified doors and windows. Harry and Ben scuffle over a rifle, ending with Ben getting it back and shooting Harry in the gut. Wounded, he stumbles to the cellar where his injured daughter has died and become a zombie. She kills him, gnaws a bit on his arm, and then kills her mother too. Upstairs the zombies pull a screaming Barbara outside, never to be seen again. Ben manages to escape to the cellar, barely escaping the zombie girl and barring himself inside. He has to dispatch Harry and his wife, now zombies too. The next day a search party shows up at the house, and one of them casually shoots poor Ben in the head through a window - assuming he's a zombie!

This movie is still great even by today's standards. It might be considered the grandfather of Zombie movies. The gore level isn't much compared to more modern movies, but we get to see a fair amount of zombies munching on various body parts. It also hints at the futility of humanity's struggle against the undead - all of the people who gather at the farm house save one end up dead in the end.

Zombie Traits

Speed 1 (Sloth)
Intelligence 1 (George W)
Strength 2 (Normal)
Zombie Sourceunknown, though perhaps realted to radiation released by an exploded satellite returning from Venus?

Slow and stupid - they wander aimlessly in search of live flesh. Once they have your scent, they keep coming!

Best Zombie Kill
In the cellar the little girl finally dies and becomes a zombie. The mother comes down to find her daughter snacking on Harry's arm. The girl picks up a small garden shovel and slowly backs her mother into a corner. She then viciously stabs her over and over, finally leaving the shovel buried in her mother's chest.

Best Zombie Death
Throughout the movie, Harry Cooper only worries about his own safety. Ben and Harry are at odds from the first time they meet. When the zombies start to break in, Harry steals the rifle. But Ben wrestles it away from him, then shoots Harry in the gut. Harry flees to the cellar, where he is attacked by his daughter. Later Ben is forced to retreat to the cellar, where he meets Harry the zombie. Harry gets his deserved end - Ben finishes him off with a few rounds from the rifle.

Memorable Scene
Ben, Judy and Tom jump in the truck outside the house, surrounded by zombies. They drive to the gas pump, but zombies are everywhere and closing in on them rapidly. Ben leaves the torch right next to the truck, and Tom accidentally sprays gasoline all over it. The truck catches fire, so Tom jumps in and tries to drive it away from the pump. But the truck is on fire, so Tom decides to bail. He tries to help Judy out, but the truck explodes. Ben is forced to fight his way on foot back to the farm house. Meanwhile the zombies make a feast out of Ben and Judy's corpses. We see them carrying off body parts and fighting over intestines!

Al Fleshrot wants your brains