Night of the Living Dead

Screening on Film
Directed by George Romero.
With Judith O’Dea, Duane Jones, Karl Hardman.
US, 1968, 35mm, black & white, 90 min.
Print source: HFA

Z is for Zombies

Pittsburgh-based Romero implants significant political commentary within the usual gruesome fare of the zombie subgenre in this hugely popular horror film. Made with a local cast and crew for less than $200,000, much of its appeal emanates from its no-stone-left-unturned grossness and its tongue-in-cheek story line concerning recently dead bodies that return to life to kill the living in order to eat their flesh. The first horror film to feature an African-American actor (Duane Jones) in a leading role, Romero’s film shattered the conventions of the genre while raising prescient questions about race in America.

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Cinema A–Z: Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive