Night of the Living Dead...not too good...heresy?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by JonathonSan, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. JonathonSan

    JonathonSan Stunt Coordinator

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    OK. With the coming of the Dawn of the dead remake, I decided to delve back into Romero's world of zombies. It has been many years since seeing NOTLD...say 15 or more, and I scarcely remembered any of it. I can honestly say that I thought the movie sucked. I know I will be denounced and flamed to death, but I did not find the movie even slightly compelling. The characters all annoyed the hell out of me...except Ben, who was of course the only sane person in the group. I just found it very boring. The atmosphere, while sufficiently ominous, did not a great movie make. Having said that, I also recently viewed Dawn of the Dead and have to say...what a killer movie. Despite the cheesy grey painted zombies (intentional, I'm pretty sure), it was very well done. I liked all the of the charcters...the satirical nature of the flick was very well done. The in mall zombie exterminations were just plain fun...overall just a very memorable and watchable flick. Anyone else feel the same as I...not liking NOTLD at all but being quite fond of DOTD? Discuss.

    Jonathon
     
  2. TommyT

    TommyT Stunt Coordinator

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    I've always liked Night more than Dawn. I saw Dawn for the 1st time last summer & I thought it was dull. Night is much better at conveying the paranoia of an army of zombies trying to eat the living. Also, the focus on the story is tighter & the film is much scarier.
     
  3. David Forbes

    David Forbes Supporting Actor

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    Night was a very low budget film made in the sixties. It's a classic for a number of reasons:
    1. Atmosphere of dread and paranoia
    2. cannibalism shown on film for the first time
    3. Older white man (who is normally the "hero" in horror and other kinds of movies) is shown to be a racist and coward
    4. Child killing (and eating!) her parents
    5. A black man is shown to be the most resourceful of the bunch and emerges as the hero
    6. The hero, along with every other character we meet, dies in the end[/list=1]

      I can understand why you might not like it now, but you need to realize that in it's historical context this was truly a groundbreaking film in a lot of areas.
     
  4. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Heresy!

    Just kidding. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if it is wrong.

    Also kidding. Night is not going to be a slam dunk for anyone, just as Dawn won't be.

    I think Night is great because it creates a scenario and then is so consistent with it. It creates zombies and acknowledges that they aren't so dangerous by themselves. But because of the setting of the film, they can swarm and create an impending doom. But this is really just a catalyst for the remaining humans to turn on each other. Seeing their reactions and how they interact has always been compelling to me.

    Of course, this is just looking at it with our current eyes. Looking back on it in the context of the time it was released, it had some really groundbreaking features like a black lead especially opposite a white woman.

    I also love Dawn, but largely because it is one of the rare sequels that lives up to the original without being afraid of being substantially different in terms of scope and tone.
     
  5. JonathonSan

    JonathonSan Stunt Coordinator

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    I always try to watch older movies with an idea of the time in which they were made as well as the importance historically of the film. For the record, I do not really like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", but there is no denying what the film was or what it has brought to the table for the horror genre. I truly respect these movies for what they are, milestones of filmaking that changed the genre for better or worse. That being said, I just did not find the movies, well at least NOTLD very entertaining, while I did find TCM to be very effective and unsettling, yet still difficult to enjoy. Wow, I just amitted my dislike of two of the most revered horror classics...I must be feeling brave today.

    Jonathon
     
  6. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    You ARE Cypher. The snake in our midst! Eat hot plasma, non-believer!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Shawn_KE

    Shawn_KE Screenwriter

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    Then you for sure won't like Day of the Dead.
     
  8. JoeMKal

    JoeMKal Stunt Coordinator

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    hmmm, I liked the whole trilogy and night is my favorite (it happens to be one of my all time favorite movies), so I disagree...
     
  9. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    This may be a dumb question, but here goes.

    Are "night of the living", "dawn", and "day" of the dead all suposed to be the progression of the same event? One event in which the dead walk the earth and we get different stories focusing on different people during this event. Or are they just three "zombie" films made by the same director but aren't really connected to each other except by the "time of day" theme?
     
  10. BrianBo

    BrianBo Stunt Coordinator

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    NOTLD is certainly a classic, but it is unintentionally hilarious (aka not scary)
     
  11. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    There's also the fact that it immediately became a public domain film because there was no copyright notice contained on the film, which made it instantly accessible for cheap reprints (something the Elite DVD makes fun of right away) and (later) low-priced videotapes, making it a cheap impulse purchase (I bought my first copy in the early 80's in a Coles bookstore after watching it for years as part of our public library's 16mm collection).
     
  12. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Call me a heretic. [​IMG] Night of the Living Dead may have been groundbreaking and may be an important film for various reasons, but for me, it's just a bad, cheesy B movie which I don't like at all.
     
  13. Shawn_KE

    Shawn_KE Screenwriter

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  14. Colton

    Colton Supporting Actor

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    Why didn't they keep the same working title ...

    Night of the LIVING Dead
    Dawn of the (LIVING) Dead
    Day of the (LIVING) Dead

    Why did they drop LIVING from the last two movies?

    You think we'll ever see DUSK OF THE (LIVING) DEAD?

    Colton
     
  15. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Probably because he realised the zombies weren't living and more like um the walking dead, as opposed to the walking dead alive or live zombies walking or [STOP IT STEVE!]

    btw Night has it's place in horror history, but Dawn of the Dead is the Ben-Hur of zombie flicks, just a shame George Romero cut the infamous zombie chariot race scene out though...[​IMG]

    btw I saw a dvd called 'Zombie Nosh' at the shops the other day, I'm not making this up, there is a film called Zombie Nosh out there and somebody's bought a copy!![​IMG]
     
  16. Michael Costa

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    I think Night of the Living Dead was the best out of the group. I thought Dawn was watchable and Day was just crap. I am not really a fan of zombie films or horror films in general. That said, I think NOTLD was more a character study than a true horror film. What I liked most about it was that the characters could have easily gotten out of the situation, but because of various internal squabbles, doomed themselves. It depicted the way that we could be our own worst enemy and don't necessarily do the smart thing under extreme stress.

    Dawn was ok because most of the focus was on the characters as well, although I thought it wasn't as well scripted. Day just seemed to go for all gore and didn't really interest me (I can hardly even remember the premise of the movie now).
     
  17. Scott Burke

    Scott Burke Second Unit

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    I guess I'm wierd, but I bought NOTLD simply because it's a classic movie. I just had to have it. I can watch it and appreciate it because it is a classic.

    To be more specific, I enjoy it BECAUSE it is so cheesy and bad. It just makes me laugh, but the ending scene is quite powerful.
     
  18. Randall Dorr

    Randall Dorr Second Unit

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    I'm a member of a film club at a community college, and we'd like to show NOTLD.

    We want to show it (1) because it's great film and (2) because it's public domain, so we won't have to pay the outrageous prices that are usually required to get a film's performance rights.

    But I've read once or twice that Night isn't "really" public domain. What does that mean?

    I'm certainly aware that there are some fourteen DVDs of Night from seven different companies and nothing's happened to any of them. Plus there's the 30th anniversary ed. that incurred no (legal) fire.

    I'm really not worried that we could get in any legal hot water, but I need to make absolutely sure everything is kosher for the school's sake.

    Is Night truly, TRULY a public domain film? Is it legally recognized as a film that does not have a copyright?

    Could anyone direct me to any site (or something else) that states as much?
     
  19. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I was just listening to the new commentary on the Dawn of the Dead DVD and George stated again that Night is in the public domain and anybody can basically do anything with it. On the DVD, it was in the context of someone doing a Tiger Lilly type redubbing of it for comic value.
     
  20. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    So is there no "implied" copyright on film material? I mean, with written material I believe something is copyrighted by you if you wrote it regardless of whether you actually registered it or not, right?
     

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