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Birth of the Living Dead (2013)

Year of the Living Dead (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary | 18 October 2013 (USA)
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A documentary that shows how George A. Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers to shoot his seminal film: Night of the Living Dead (1968).

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Himself (archive footage)
H. Rap Brown ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Himself - Film Historian
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Herself - Film Producer
Chiz Schultz ...
Himself - Film & TV Producer
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Himself - Filmmaker
Jason Zinoman ...
Himself - Author, Shock Value
Christopher Cruz ...
Himself - Filmmaker & Teacher
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Himself - Host, The Treatment
Samuel D. Pollard ...
Himself - Professor, NYU Film (as Sam Pollard)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
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Herself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

In 1968, Pittsburgh native, George Romero, would direct a low budget film that would revolutionize the horror genre forever, Night of the Living Dead. Through interviews with the talents involved, the story of this film creation is told and how it reflected its time with a grotesque and powerful immediacy. Furthermore, the film's difficult and controversial release to an unsuspecting film public is also recounted as it survived the early revulsion to become a landmark cinematic creation with a profound effect on popular culture. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Taglines:

1968. Peace. Love. And the undead.

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Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

18 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Birth of the Living Dead  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,239, 18 October 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,590, 8 November 2013
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The credits still refer to the film by its working title, "Year of the Living Dead." See more »

Connections

References The Conversation (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A little more George, a little less of everyone else.
26 July 2014 | by See all my reviews

While I am certainly no fan to zombie films in general because the genre has been WAY over-saturated in recent years, I have enjoyed a few of the films and understand that they still are very popular and important films despite my misgivings about many of the recent films. So, because of this, the new documentary Birth of the Living Dead is well worth seeing and is rather timely. It is THE granddaddy of all modern zombie films—the one that led to subsequent generations of such pictures. In fact, it's one of the most important movies of the 1960s and it's one every film student and horror fan should see and appreciate. It managed to overcome its low production values and humble origins to become a cult favorite.

Not surprisingly, the creator of the original film, Night of the Living Dead, George Romero, is featured in this documentary. When he's being interviewed is when the film is at its best. His tidbits about the making of Night of the Living Dead are really interesting and I wanted even more of this than Romero provided. Additionally, a variety of experts are interviewed and they discuss what they love about the movie. Also not surprisingly, various clips from this seminal film are shown throughout this homage. Among the topics covered are the director's expectations as well as how he made the film, the impact of the film on pop culture, the reaction of the critics (both immediately after the film was released and later after many re-assessed the movie), the political and racial themes in the film (whether intended or not) and how the film was groundbreaking as well as how it mirrored the times in which it was made.

This documentary certainly is well worth seeing and I recommend you see it provided you first see the old film it's based on—otherwise it might be a bit confusing. However, it's not a perfect making of film and could have been a bit better. As I mentioned above, the inside information from Romero was great but too often various 'experts' (and I have no idea what constituted this in many of the folks chosen to discuss the film) talked a lot more about hidden social significance (something that Romero revealed is NOT always in the movie) and the times instead of talking more about the original movie itself and how it was made. Still, despite this, the film is reasonably well made and kept my interest throughout. For horror fans and film students, it certainly should be a film to watch.


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