Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

I hadn't seen this picture before and it arrived from Netflix (tm) appropriately in time for Halloween. The special effects are laughable, the cause of the zombie-i-zation of people is absurd and the acting is wooden--but this is a very good film. My friends and I heckled the first half of the picture...but by at least the halfway point we shut up. We were drawn into the impossible dilemma the characters faced and which they could not resolve due to their own madness, ineptitude and selfishness. The plot was not moved by the stupidity of the characters, the way it so often happens in horror movies (don't go into the basement! don't open that door!). Rather, the wrong moves were pretty obvious and the solution to their problem was not that difficult to achieve. Yet, they failed because they just could not get it together. They could not trust each other; they could not communicate; they failed to cooperate. The zombies became a metaphor and it did not matter howun -zombie-like they appeared. The end of the movie was truly chilling. I also loved the totally spot-on and hilarious news casts that let citizens know what was going on. So great and absurd, but very real too. If you haven't seen this film, you must. It's a gem.

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