Saturday, October 15, 2011

Horror movie month #3 - Night of the Living Dead

Come on!  You know this movie had to make the cut!  When it comes to zombie movies no one makes a better flick than George A. Romero.  While there have been some other good zombie movies to come along the way Romero is the grand daddy of the genre.

When it comes to the movie that put Romero on the map I'm divided between the black and white 1968 original and Tom Savini's 1990 remake.  Most people would agree remakes of movies aren't as good as the originals.  I can think of a few that buck the trend and the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead is one of those for me.  Having seen both versions multiple times I just seem to gravitate to the 90's version for several reasons.

1) Color.  It makes a difference.  Alfred Hitchcock may have made some great black & white movies in his time, but seeing everything happen in vivid colors makes a lot of difference in my book.

2) The actors and actresses.  I love Tony Todd and his character of Ben in the 90's version is better.  Same goes for Patricia Tallman as Barbara.  The original actress that portrayed Barbara was so freakin' annoying in the 1968 movie.  At least we see this new version of Barbara get over her fear and fight back.

3) Tom Savini!  I love gore in my horror movies and Tom did a great job with the updated special effects in the 1990 version.

4) The ending.  If you haven't seen either version (what have you been doing?  Seriously!) then I don't want to spoil it for you.  I just find the end of the 1990 remake that much better and satisfying.

While I love all of (Romero's) sequels that spawned from this movie there is just something so special about the original - whether you prefer 1968 or 1990 - both are classic movies that deserved to be watched each October.




  1. I haven't seen the 1990 version, but I can say that the 1968 is a classic. I also don't get into the film theory side of things, but the B&W and the ending are both unintentional social commentary. A large portion of the impact comes from having a black leading man in control of a fragile white woman amongst others. It's tough for me to believe the remake could come close to touching that subliminal appeal, but I'll reserve final judgment for when I get around to the 1990 version.

  2. You do bring up some valid points Jon. Romero laced all of his movies with social commentary and the 1968 version is no exception.

    I prefer the acting of both Ben and Barbara better in the 1990 version. It's hard to pick one version over the other as they both are really really good.