By Raymond Knowby


Mention NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD to anyone, and you’re likely to get wide eyes and nods of acknowledgement along with a “the first time I ever saw that…” story. It is THE classic. The original that still kicks so much behind, it freaks even kids out today who are raised on spooky Marylin Manson.

On a bleak summer day, Barbara and her brother Johnny visit the grave of their grandfather. As Johnny teases Barbara that “They’re coming to get her!”, a decrepit “man” approaches from the cemetery, only to turn and attack the terrified girl. Johnny tries to help her, but is overpowered and knocked unconscious, leaving Barbara alone to fend against the crazed assailant.

We know what he is even before Barbara goes completely over the edge. She flees the creature and finds an abandoned farm house…or is it? From there on out, it’s seven strangers, trapped in the rural location, holding up as more of the carnivorous dead appear and ravage the countryside. If only these embattled humans could work together to overcome the slow moving threats just outside the walls they keep trying in vain to reinforce, perhaps they could survive until a rescue team arrives to get them out.

A clausterphobic nightmare made even more scary by its grainy black and white documentary feel, Romero’s debut zombie flick changed the iconic creature forevermore and horror cinema along with it. It also features perhaps the ballsiest, bleakest knockout ending ever saddled to a genre flick, and it’ll stay with you for long after the credits roll.

The recently deceased roam the earth in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.