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.
Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths And must survive the terrors of leatherface and his family.
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 Karen 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
S. William Hinzman and Karl Hardman, two of the original $300 investors had were cast due to a shortage of available talent. Another investor was a butcher, who provided some blood and guts. See more »
When Barbara runs the car into the tree, it is already dented before the impact (see trivia). See more »
They ought to make the day the time changes the first day of summer.
Well it's eight o' clock and it's still light.
A lot of god the extra daylight does us, you know we've still got a three hour drive back, we're not going to be home until after midnight.
Well, if it really bugged you, Johnny, you wouldn't do it.
You think I wanna blow Sunday on a scene like this? You know, I figure we're either going to have to move mother out here or move the grave to Pittsburgh.
Well she ...
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The credits play over still frames of the hunters dragging Ben out of the house with meat hooks. After the credits, there's a short scene of the hunters setting a pile of zombies on fire. See more »
The 30th Anniversary Edition from Anchor Bay Entertainment removes 15 minutes of footage from the original film and inserts 15 minutes of new footage shot especially for this edition. George A. Romero was not involved with this version. The newly-shot scenes include the following:
A new opening sequence in which two graveyard workers bring the body of an executed child murderer to the cemetery. The parents of the murdered child are waiting at the cemetery, along with a priest, to view the murderer's body before it is buried. Before the body can be buried, it returns to life and begins attacking the group. This is the same zombie who is later seen wandering the cemetery and attacking Barbra and Johnny.
A scene where the victims of a recent car accident return to life as zombies. Three of the car's occupants, a mother and two daughters, return to life and begin wandering down the street, while the fourth victim, the father, is eaten by another group of zombies who come across the accident. One of the prominent zombies during this scene is a one-armed waitress zombie, who appears again later.
A few brief new shots of zombies wandering around outside the farm house, including the waitress zombie and the mother and daughters from the car accident scene.
A new scene where the priest from the beginning of this version of the film is interviewed by a TV reporter while local townspeople are hunting zombies in the background. During the interview, the priest is attacked by a zombie and bitten on the cheek.
A new ending sequence in which the TV reporter goes to a medical center to visit the priest, who has survived his zombie attack. The priest claims that the reason he did not become one of the undead is because he was been chosen by God. He continues by saying that the zombies are actually demons from hell, occupying human bodies, and that all dead bodies should be crucified. The TV reporter becomes frightened by the priest's ramblings and leaves the room. This release of the film is controversial among fans, and should not be considered the definitive version of the film.
A car drives up a road, towards a graveyard. Cut to the graveyard, a woman and her brother have brought flowers to their mother's grave. Soon the brother starts taunting his sister, saying: "They're coming to get you, Barbara". Barbara laughs it off and after her brother runs away, she heads to the seemingly innocent man visiting a family member's grave to apologize, and out of nowhere he grabs her. Her brother attempts to fight him off but ends up being killed in the process and Barbara escapes to a farmhouse nearby.
That's how this incredible, highly influential masterclass in horror film making begins. What is still so fascinating about this film is that it retains its ability to genuinely, truly scare the crap out of you. It's not just a 'jump moment' film, George A. Romero sets the mood perfectly with a sublime script and truly effective use of music. As far as modern low budget horror films go, this is nearly the best of them, surpassed only by Sam Raimi's masterpiece "The Evil Dead".
"Night of the Living Dead" isn't scary because of the zombies (although the flesh eating sequences are still among the greatest and most horrifying horror scenes ever made). The film is still effective because it all has a feeling of impending doom. It seems hopeless, disturbing, terrifying because of the claustrophobic mood it sets. It's not the zombies that scare us, it's the idea of being trapped in a small area with nowhere to go and death itself standing right outside your door. What a brilliant film!
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