The Night of the Living Dead Movie Trailer
Night of the Living Dead Explained In a Nutshell
Barbara and her Brother venture out to the middle of nowhere to visit their dead mother. Upon arrival we find that the town is more than it seems. The dead have returned to life to feast on the flesh of the living, and there is nowhere to hide. Barbara and a small group of others holds up in a farm house not far from the cemetery and pray they survive The Night of the Living Dead.
The Night of the Living Dead Movie Review Breakdown
Tagline: There IS a fate worse than death.
Who is in it? Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, Tom Towles
Was it scary? Yes.
Would this movie be for every horror fan? If you dig Zombies, you’ll dig this movie.
Should you see it? Yes.
Run Time: 92 minutes
When someone goes and remakes a legendary movie classic like Night of the Living Dead, it usually results in harsh criticism for ruining the film’s legacy. This is NOT one of those films. I first heard of this movie from Joe Bob Briggs on MonsterVision. This is the movie that unleashed by life long love for zombie movies, and for that I have to thank Joe Bob, Tom Savini, and the legend himself George Romero. This remake didn’t stray far from Romero’s original film, and Savini did a great job at staying true to the classic story. Perhaps in the future I will write a ‘Head-to-Head featuring this film and the original.
They’re coming to get you Barbara…
We start out on a winding road in Pennsylvania. Barbara and her Brother Johnny are driving to the cemetery to put flowers on the grave of their dead mother. Upon arriving, we almost immediately find that something is terribly wrong with the town. Johnny is killed by zombies and Barbara wrecks the car trying to get away from them. She runs to a near by farm house and makes her way inside to find that the house’s inhabitant is still inside moving around… but not alive. Barbara is hysterical and runs from the house to find a truck barreling down the long gravel drive way towards the house. After running over a zombie the truck parks. A man exits the truck with a crowbar, his name is Ben.
Ben calms down Barbara and they take care of the undead creatures inside the house. As night begins to fall, Ben tells the story of how he made it to the house after barely escaping a large outbreak at the near by town. Their goal is to find the Gas Pump keys so they can fill up the truck and make it to safety, wherever that is. As Ben makes his way upstairs to investigate, the downstairs door opens to reveal Harry Cooper and a small group of people that have been in the house for quite some time already. Cooper and Ben don’t see eye to eye on what the group should do and there is quite a bit of tension when the two are together. Cooper, his wife and daughter stay in the basement and Ben, Barbara, Tommy and his girlfriend Judy decide to stay upstairs and board up the windows and look for the keys.
Upon finding some keys Ben, Tommy and Judy take the truck to the gas pump to fill it up. During the drive, Ben falls off the truck and gets left behind. At the pump we find out that they have the wrong keys and Tommy shoots the lock on the pump with his shotgun which triggers a large explosion. Ben witnesses the explosion and the death of both Tommy and Judy and barely gets back to the house in one piece. While the gas pump expedition was going on, Barbara gets disarmed by Cooper upstairs, and downstairs Cooper’s wife is getting her neck munched on by their now zombie daughter. Ben enters the house at the moment that the daughter makes her way upstairs. The zombie daughter attacks Barbara and she kills it which causes Cooper to turn to shoot her, but Ben fires first. Ben takes a bullet and Cooper runs and hides in the attic like a coward. Ben orders Barbara to leave and get help and he barricades himself in the basement.
As the lights go out in the basement, Ben ironically finds the gas pump keys and laughs as the screen goes to complete darkness. Barbara is running in the dark and meets up with some rednecks that are killing the zombies. The rednecks are everywhere now, killing zombies, and making sport of them. They enter the house and chop down the door to the basement to find Ben a zombie. Cooper runs into the room happy to see Barbara and she shoots him in the head, saying “Here is another for the fire”. The film ends with shots of the rednecks killing zombies and burning them in a large bonfire.
Official Nutshell-Movies Explanation
Night of the Living Dead (1990): House full of random people fight off a zombie epidemic. Then rednecks take over and humanity wins.
- Bill ‘Chilly Billy’ Cardille appears as a reporter in both the 1968 version and the remake.
- The Macgruder zombie was a man that director Tom Savini saw in a diner and told him that he would make a great zombie, the man agreed. He showed up to all of the premieres.
- The man who comes through the door after they throw Macgruder out was a cab driver who Tom Savini took a ride from.
- Contains numerous references to Dawn of the Dead (1978).
- The car driven by Johnny at the beginning of the film was owned by Tom Savini.
- Tom Savini’s directorial debut.
- Tom Savini originally wanted to start the film in black-and-white, then slowly add color.
- The film was banned in Germany when it was released.
- Tom is wearing a shirt that says “Iron City” on it. This is the brand of beer the hunters are drinking in the original Dawn of the Dead (1978).
- When Sarah bites her mother Helen on the neck, blood splatters on a garden trowel hanging on the wall. This is a reference to the original Night of the Living Dead (1968), in which the daughter kills the mother with a garden trowel.
- The scene at the end of the film, where several zombies are lynched from a tree and shot at was in fact scripted in the original 1968 film, but was cut because of the racial tensions gripping the country at the time. The scene pays homage to the cut.
- As is tradition with most zombie films, the word ‘zombie’ is never once used in this movie to describe the Living Dead.
- According to the director’s commentary someone sent a copy of the footage of the car rolling down the hill into the tree to the car maker, showing the air bag not deploying. They were apparently rewarded with a new car.
- The characters take refuge in an isolated farmhouse early in the film. Next to one of the doors, visible in shots of the exterior of the house, is the name of the owner – “M Celeste”, in nail-on letters in a script font. This seems to be homage to the sailing ship “Marie Celeste”, which was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and under sail heading towards the Strait of Gibraltar in 1872. Her crew was not on board and the only lifeboat gone, but the ship had no damage and was sea worthy. Like the ship, the house was (relatively) undamaged by it’s ordeal and could have been immediately occupied. According to Tom Savini’s commentary on the DVD, the name is deliberate reference to the state of the house.
- At one point in the film, a female zombie can be seen walking through a field with the house in the background. This zombie hears the banging from the humans in the house trying to board up the windows and is attracted to the noise, so she turns and begins staggering to the house. This woman actually owned the house in real life. The producers wanted to use the house in the film and agreed to give the woman a small acting part in exchange.
Russell Streiner who appeared in the original Night of the Living Dead (1968) as Johnny, appears in this movie as Sheriff McClelland, who comments about the zombies, “Yeah, they’re dead, they’re all messed up.”
Night of the Living Dead was the movie that started the Zombie Frenzy, and this remake in my opinion made it even better!