Saturday, April 9, 2011

Night of the Living Dead

Because I have never really watched any zombie movies before, I found Night of the Living Dead to be interesting but I was also annoyed throughout the film—mainly because of the depiction of the women. Though I know the movie was made in the late 1960s when women were still seen as inferior and helpless, I thought this movie took the stereotypical portrayal to a new level. Of all the women, I felt Barbra’s depiction was the worst. The fact that she became zombie-like herself in a time of crisis made me feel that the film was trying to exaggerate how emotional women are and imply that they become helpless in times of danger. Towards the end of the movie when Barbra finally snapped out of her trance to help block the door, I was excited that she might survive…and maybe be the only person to survive. I was disappointed only a few seconds later. I guess one thing I can say is that the movie did not exploit women for no reason. And I suppose the female characters did help develop the male characters and their relationships. But overall, I was disappointed they did not add much to the plot for me.


  1. More importantly, I feel as though with the exception of the introduction scene of the film (which was in fact amazing) that Barbara's character literally served no purpose. We can always talk about the depiction of women in the film, but I find her character's depiction so ridiculous that I would hope that the director was looking to display her weakness as a HUMAN rather than a woman.

    There were the more obvious hints such as when one of the men commented, "how are we going to run one mile when we have a sick child and two women" ?!?! the fact that women were seen as comparable to a sick child is sickening.

    I do agree more with the comments on the films touch on civil rights. I felt that way immediately about the film when Ben's character said to Karl, "Here, I'M THE BOSS" or something to that effect. I was really taken aback that during this time such a comment would ever be made by an African American to a Caucasian person so I immediately made a connection for developing a strong AA character.

  2. I agree that the depiction of Barbara was obnoxious to the point of detracting from my enjoyment of the film. Judy and the mother were also pretty pathetic, but none could come close to the sniveling pile of worthlessness that Barbara turned into after the first attack. I find it ironic that a film supposedly intended to make a commentary on racial equality portrayed the characters in such a blatantly sexist manner. It seems that if equal rights were the message or criticism the playing field should have been equaled a little more for the men/women of the film.

    I do think the movie did an effective job of empowering the (only) black character by giving him strength, bravery, and common sense. Karl was almost as dimwitted as Barbara and showed no moral character. However, the younger white man seemed just as apt as Ben, but still showed clouded judgment where his girlfriend was concerned.