Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
Barbra and her brother Johnny travel by car from Pittsburgh to the countryside to visit the gravestone of their father in the cemetery. Out of the blue, they are attacked by a strange man and Johnny is murdered. Barbra runs and releases the brake of Johnny's car since the keys are in his pocket, and flees to an isolated farmhouse, where she locks herself inside. Barbra is in shock and soon she finds a man, Ben, who is also escaping from the inhuman creatures and he reinforces the doors, windows and openings in the house. He also finds a shotgun and a radio and they learn that the radiation from a satellite that was returning from Venus has somehow reactivated the brain of the dead. Then they find five humans hidden in the basement: Harry Cooper, his wife Helen and their daughter Karen that is sick; and Tom and his girlfriend Judy. Harry has an argument with Ben, since he believes that the basement is the safest place for them and Harry does not agree. Along the night, the tension ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bill 'Chilly Billy' Cardille, who played the television reporter, was indeed a local Pittsburgh TV celebrity. He hosted a horror movie program on Channel 11 and occasionally reported the news. See more »
Before Tom tries to convince Judy to leave, his left sleeve in cleanly torn, like someone has cut it cleanly away with scissors. In subsequent shots it turns to messily torn and then intact when he leaves for the trek to the gas pump. See more »
We were riding in the cemetery. Johnny and me... Johnny. We came to put a wreath on my father's grave... Johnny and... Then and he said, "Can I have some candy, Barbara?" And we didn't have any! And... oh! It's hot in here. Hot! And he said, "Oh it's late! Why did we start so late"? And I said, "Johnny, if you'd gotten up earlier, we wouldn't be late." Johnny asked me if were afraid, and I said, "I'm not afraid, Johnny." And this man started walking up the road, he came slowly, and Johnny kept ...
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There is no on-screen copyright notice, nor any of the usual legal disclaimers typically found in movie credits; this is the main reason the film has been in the public domain since its release. See more »
A wave of mass murder sweeps across America as the recently dead return to life to kill and feast on their victims. A group of people board themselves up in an abandoned house to try and hold out against a small army of the undead. This is the classic low-budget horror film that is the model for recent hits such as the Evil Dead and The Blair Witch Project. George Romero stages a national disaster but reduces it to a single house for greater effect. The story focuses on the weaknesses of each of the characters in the house - their cowardice, their greedy, their stupidity etc. This makes the drama inside the house almost as palatable as the danger from outside and makes the characters more believable and important.
The undead are not huge works of special effects, nor are they anything other than lumbering beasts. But the threat they pose is well demonstrated
the film makes them feel unstoppable and relentless and makes their
lingering presence more menacing and less comical than it could have been. The use of an unknown cast also makes it more realistic as none of them have any baggage. Duane Jones is the standout actor as Ben - who is not without flaws himself.
The downbeat, realistic atmosphere to the film gives it a greater sense of tension and continues right through to the very depressing conclusion. An excellent flagship for low budget horrors.
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