Saturday, April 16, 2011

Night of the Living Dead and Race

I found night of the living dead interesting as far as its take on race. Overall the movie, unintentionally funny, silly, and has moments where your just say to yourself really? On top of that they have the traditional female stereotypes of passive and helpless women, who can barely stand up straight. the part that really interested me was the portrayal of the black character. First, he was in a major role in the movie as a decision maker and a leader. There are many times when he comes into conflict with the other white character, but the black man is more often than not right in the situations. The major statement is made at the end, where you have black man as the last man standing, who used his brains and brawn to survive the night, only to be killed by a group of white men in mob haphazardly shooting people, and finally ignorantly taking aim at the human, holding a weapon and killing him. The movie makes it grandest statement about race relations in that final scene, in a melodramatic killing of human as if nothing happened.


  1. You bring up a great point on race and I actually was disappointed in the way that the film ended. I had a sense of hope that the final character standing was going to some how survive the zombie attack. Throughout the film he was typically the one that was the most rational thinking and I felt he would some how come out on top. This trend of everyone dying or being overtaken seems to be a recurring theme throughout many of the movies we have seen so far this semester. I was hoping that Night of The Living Dead would break the mold of these films.

  2. I agree that Night of the Living Dead dealt with race. I actually did not notice this until after the movie was over because I did not realize one of the men was Black. I could tell he was of a darker complexion and another race but as a Black female, he didn't look or sound Black to me. The movie as a whole was certainly very silly because there were things that happened during the movie that made us go "Ohhhhh" and "Come on" such as when the girl tripped and fell in the beginning and didn't immediately get up to get away.

    As a whole, I felt the Black character was a leader and when I look back on the movie, he certainly did lead the other characters and try to encourage them to think differently and act safely. They didn't listen to him all the time which could have been racially motivated.

    It's typical in movies for Black characters to get killed early on (for some strange reason, or just for laughs). However, it was nice for the Black character to make it to the end, even though he still ended up being killed by a white cop at the very end without even given a chance. I agree that the ending was dramatic and somewhat unnecessary.