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 Johnny visit their father's grave in a remote cemetery when they are suddenly set upon by zombies. Barbra manages to get away and takes refuge in what seems to be an abandoned farm house. She is soon joined by Ben who stopped at the house in need of gas. Beset by the walking dead all around them Ben does his best to secure the doors and windows. The news reports are grim however with creatures returning to life everywhere. Barbra and Ben are surprised when they realize there are 5 people hiding out in the basement: Harry, Helen and Judy Cooper; and a young couple, Tom and Judy. Dissensions sets in almost immediately with Harry Cooper wanting to be in charge. As their situation deteriorates, their chances of surviving the night lessen minute by minute. Written by
The character of Ben was originally written as an angry person. When Duane Jones was given the role, he expressed concern that the character be rewritten to remove some of the anger - such as the scene where Ben hits Barbara - afraid of how it would be widely perceived in the United States at the time to see a black man acting in this way. The nation was still plagued with high racial tensions during the late sixties; the film was released to theaters shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Nonetheless, George A. Romero and most of the rest of the predominantly white crew decided against it, thinking they were being "hip" by not changing it. Years later, Romero lamented that he had not taken Jones' concerns more into consideration, and thought that he was probably correct. He's expressed that he wishes he could speak with the late Jones again, asking him how he felt about the film's legendary status, and believes Jones would just say "Who knew?" and laugh. See more »
While Harry and Ben are fighting for the rifle, the door to the main room, near the basement door, opens and shuts between cuts. See more »
Don't you understand? My brother is alone!
Your brother is dead.
NO! My brother is NOT dead!
See more »
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 »
Romero is sublime. His ability to take a small budget and turn it into a stratosphericly giant film is unparalleled. This is one of the best apocalypse films ever (along with the rest of the trilogy). The zombies represent a slow moving enemy. It is easy to escape them. You have only to fear your own mistakes. On these the zombies will capitalize. One of the best aspects of this film is the lead character. Romero has always presented intelligent non-stereotypical black characters in his films. This film was made in 1968 while civil rights tensions were high, and the most "in control" character in the whole movie is a black man. If you can get past a couple of cheesy supporting performances, this is one of the best horror films ever.
108 of 124 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?