Saturday, April 2, 2011

Zombies//Night of The Living Dead

I find Zombie movies to be the most interesting genre of horror films. Mostly because I find that directors and producers find great ways to develop a 'new' type of Zombie. The Zombie is typically characterized as having been affected by some disease in which they become the un-dead and wish to feed on or kill the living. I appreciate when Zombie films don't follow that typical mode, I.E. fast zombies. These are much more 'realistic' and interesting in a horror film because let's be slow walking dead thing should be able to out-run or catch up to my living self. This is perhaps why I enjoyed the opening sequence to "Night of the Living Dead" so much. I half expected to see (since this was one of the very first zombie films produced) the slowest zombie ever, but the one's we have seen thus far have been particularly speedy. Making things a lot more interesting for Barbara who can't run straight or fast enough (literally) to save her life.

Speaking of Barbara...I'm interested to see what happens with her character as the film develops because at the current moment I find her intolerable. Even for the time in which this movie was developed, I find it hard to believe that any woman (person or child for that matter) would walk around in such a daze and so helpless as she did when the one man reached the house. Hopefully she has some redeeming qualities and won't rely on this man to save her for the entirety of the film. *End Rant*


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  2. Barbara is worthless- and she pisses me off so much, the more we keep watching "Night of the Living Dead." I agree with the fact that I can't understand how a human being can just be in such a daze and not be able to do ANYTHING. It's like how we discussed earlier this year that typically in horror films, the first person to die is the dumb blonde or the black guy. I'm really hoping Barbara gets knocked off pretty soon, because honestly- if I was the black guy who stumbled upon her in the house, I would've left her there and fended for myself.

    The way she keeps falling and looking back at the slow-walking zombie also reminds me of these certain kinds of nightmares I have from time to time. They're really scary (personally) because I'm always having to run from someone with a knife/gun/trying to kill me and I can barely run faster than a snail. I HATE those nightmares, which might be a reason why this movie creeps me out just a teeny bit.

    Anyway, case in point- Barbara = worthless. WHY do all these old fashioned movies have the woman being completely helpless until the man comes and saves the day?!

    But this movie, I really like.

  3. I generally like zombie movies as well--especially ones where the zombies are fast, like you mentioned (like “28 Days Later”). I got really into the new AMC show "The Walking Dead" last year because the zombies are just THAT much creepier when they can move.

    I am also a little frustrated with Barbara in "Night of the Living Dead." Watching the film, especially in small chunks like we have been, you sort of just want to shake her and snap her out of whatever shock she’s in.

    But in her defense, her biggest fear seems to have just been realized. She and her fiancĂ© were literally just in a graveyard joking about her seemingly irrational fear of the undead, when surprise! (or maybe…obviously!) a zombie wanders out and kills her man before chasing after her. Oh, and she was greeted by rotting dead guy in that house she found. I don’t know about anyone else, but I think I would be fairly traumatized as well. Just sayin’…I’m allowing her a few more minutes of desperation and haziness before I give up on her character.

  4. Funny thing about this thread is that Barbara seems to me to be the secondary focus of the film. This is a 1968 movie made when the Black Power movement was really building up steam, and a lot of white folks were still freaked out about it. When Ben first comes onto the scene, all Barbara can see when she opens the front door is a pair of blazing white car headlights until The Black Guy pops into the frame.... *Boo!* In the late 1960s, this would have been a shock/scare tactic like the cat in Alien that the class was obsessing over so much.

    When this movie was made, the very idea of a black man shutting himself into a house with a white woman (particularly a blonde one) to escape from white zombie men would have been pretty controversial subject matter. An intelligent, attractive black guy like Ben would have seemed incredibly threatening to many backward-leaning viewers at that time. I think that Barbara's helplessness is meant to play into white prejudices of the era in order to boost anxiety over the racial subtext.