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Critical Analysis – Night of the Living Dead Essay

1968’s “Night of the Living Dead” is one of the most influential zombie movies of all time. Despite its extremely low budget the movie was a great success. I actually believe that the limited budget is what made the movie successful. Due to the fact that it was shot in black-and-white, it gave the film an unique look contributing to its style. In various instances during the movie it the movie looks like a documentary, which adds to the realism of the movie. But what makes the movies scary? The zombies are the main element of horror in Night of the Living Dead. The viewer is afraid of the threat the zombies represent. They carry the horror, hold our attention, instill dread and act as the prime motivator. During the 1960s, this movie really shocked its audiences with its gory violent scenes and twisted plot lines.

The brutal scenes in the movie produce a type of “pain” on the viewer – the images of the vicious deaths allows the audience to envision what it would be like to be in that situation. So, when we view a scene like the eating of the flesh from the victims of the car explosion, we are reacting bodily to the actions of the zombies. Scenes such as that one feel and look real to the viewer contributing to the horror and truthfulness of the movie. 1. After decades of cinematic re-releases, the film was a financial success, grossing $12 million domestically and $18 million internationally. This fact shows how successful this movie really was.

2. The initial budget was $6,000 with the ten members of the production company investing $600 each for a share of the profits. When it was found that another $6,000 was required another ten investors were found but this was also soon found to be inadequate. Image Ten eventually raised approximately $114,000 for the budget.

3. “Night of the Living Dead” has been remade twice. The first remake was made in 1990 and it included more gore and a revised plot. The other remake was made in 2005.

All of these facts contribute to the fact that “Night of the Living” dead is one of the most influential zombie movies of all time. The director, Geroge A. Romero, completely revolutionized the horror film genre with this movie. “Night of the Living Dead” also redefined the word “zombie”. While the word “zombie” itself is never used, Romero’s film introduced the theme of zombies as reanimated, flesh-eating cannibals. [1]

“Night of the Living Dead.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 24 Jan. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Living_Dead>. [1]

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