Barbara (Judith O'Dea) and her brother Johhny (Russell Streiner) drive to a grave site to pay their respects for her dead father. They are attacked by an undead, a zombie. Barbara escapes in her brother's car, crashes, and runs to a nearby farmhouse. As night falls, Ben (Duane Jones) runs inside, and begins to board things up to secure the house. With him a large group of zombies arrives. Ben knows that the only way to stop these creatures is a bullet in the head, or to set them on fire.
Soon afterwards they discover there are five other people in the basement. Harry (Karl Hardman), his wife Helen (Marilyn Eastman) and their child Karen (Kyra Schon) and Tom (Keith Wayne) and his girl Judy (Judith Ridley). But the danger is not merely the monsters outside the house; there is also a threat from within. The stress these characters are under results in clashes of personality, ego and race.
Release date: October 1, 1968
Night of the living dead (1990)
Dawn of the dead (2004)
Dawn of the dead (1978)
Day of the dead (1985)
Land of the dead (2005)
The cemetery sequence was shot on two separate days. Unfortunately, sometime between the two shootings, somebody ran into the car and put a dent in it. George Romero rewrote the scene so the car would come to a stop crashing into a tree.
The main house did not have a true basement and had no long staircase to it. The basement scenes were filmed in the editing studio cellar.
This was the first horror film to have an African-American playing a lead role (Duane Jones).
The extras who played the zombies were paid $1 and a t-shirt that said I was a zombie on Night of the Living Dead.
Actor/Co-producer Karl Hardman (Harry Cooper, the father in the basement), also served as makeup artist, electronic sound effects engineer, and took the still photos used for the closing credits.
S. William Hinzman and Karl Hardman, two of the original $300 investors had roles due to a shortage of available talent. Another investor was a butcher, who provided some blood and guts.
The budget for this film was $114,000.
The movie is selected for preservation by the National Film Registry.
In New Orleans it is possible to arrest a zombie for premeditated sleepwalking.
In Jamaica they are considered a public nuisance.
February 4, 1940
George Andrew Romero
Born in the Bronx, New York (USA) Romero began making his first films, in 8mm while still in his teens. He later studied art, design, and theater. After college, he and his friends formed a production company that made industrial shorts and TV commercials, and eventually secured enough money for a film, Night of the Living Dead (1968). The zombie movie became a cult hit, but the next films were not successful. Wishing to expand his repertoire, Romero moved on to the supremely gory tale Martin (1978). The next year George directed Dawn of the Dead (1979) which mixed horror, satire and social commentary, followed by part 3 Day of the dead (1985). In the nineties his movies went directly to video. He executive-produced the remake of Night of the Living Dead (1990). Romero's next zombieslasher, Land of the Dead starring Dennis Hopper, wil be released October 21, 2005.