Posted by Danny at 11:53 PMLabels: Look What Danny Watched, Return of Project Horror
Fortunately, I am trained for just this type of situation. One of the things I do for my employer is business continuity planning and testing. If this doesn't qualify as a calamitous event, what does? So, here's what we're doing: Scott already sent me his write-up of Re-Animator, so I'm going to include it as a bonus movie for today. And I am going to pull one out of the collection, and watch Night of the Living Dead.
I'm going to keep this a little shorter than usual, because I am flat-out exhausted from staying up so late every night.
Night of the Living Dead is, of course, the first movie from George Romero, the granddaddy of zombie movies. If you've seen other Romero zombie movies, or just any zombie movies, the plot is pretty quickly recognizable. For unknown reasons, the dead are coming back to life, and cannot be satisfied by anything except the flesh of the living. A group of strangers finds themselves thrown together when they seek refuge in an empty farmhouse. One man, Ben, takes leadership of the group as they try to survive through the night until help can reach them. As the night continues, though, and the siege worsens, it becomes clear that not all of these people will make it until dawn...
This isn't the most frightening movie around, although it has aged very well, and you can easily see how it was very disturbing and controversial at the time of its release. Zombie movies have become so focused on using extremely gruesome zombie makeup, and upping the number of kills, that it's fun to see the one that launched the whole phenomenon, low budget aesthetic and all. Just as many zombie movies have interesting commentaries on larger social issues, this one gives a compelling but completely subtextual look at race relations during the civil rights era.
I watched this with Clay, who also joined me for Maniac a couple of weeks ago. He wanted to try another, so I took this to his house tonight. He told me that it was literally the second scary movie he'd ever seen, Maniac being the first, but that he hadn't been all that scared by it. I'm going to have to step up my game with Clay and bring something that will really scar him. Time to bring back Inside.
We're two-thirds through Return of Project Horror! I'm kind of ready to be done. I'm really tired from all of the late nights this month. Night of the Living Dead: I can't argue with a classic. You get five zombie tweens out of five.