For this Weeks Zurvival Saturday I wanted to talk about the Movie that started it all
Night of The Living Dead was made by George Romero back in the late 1960's. Romero was said to have drawn inspiration from the Book/Movie I am Legend when creating the movie. Matheson (Author of I am Legend) was not impressed by Romero's interpretation, feeling that "It was ... kind of cornball",though he later added, "George Romero's a nice guy, though. I don't harbor any animosity toward him" The budget for this film was $114,000. Much larger then the $6,000 originally intended.
The Movie was filmed in and around Evan's City, Pennsylvania. The movie was originally shot in color but due to lack of funds, switched to Black and White which was considerably cheaper. The small budget dictated much of the production process. Props and Special Effects were fairly simple. Ham coated with Chocolate was used to simulate flesh, real animal entrails were donated by a local butcher shop and cast members either brought clothes or bought them at Goodwill. Makeup effects were originally limited to white skin and black eyes but over time they added in morticians wax to simulate wounds.
Filming began in June of 1967 and wrapped in December. It was George Romero's first full length feature film. Unfortunately Romero does not own the copyright to his very first film that has spawned so many others. The original theatrical distributor, the Walter Reade Organization, neglected to place a copyright indication on the prints. Since the movie originally had a different working title when it was changed they failed to replace the copyrights. In 1968, United States copyright law required a proper notice for a work to maintain a copyright. Since it was never put back onto the project the film entered Public Domain status. As of January 2012 it's the second most downloaded film on the internet with over 800 thousand downloads.
Some Fun Facts About the Movie
During the filming of the cemetery sequence, shot on two separate days, an unexpected accident caused a fast change of script. The car driven by Barbara and Johnny into the cemetery was actually owned by the mother of Russell Streiner. Unfortunately, sometime between the two filming sequences, someone ran into the car and put a dent in it that would easily be visible on camera. George A. Romero rewrote the scene so the car would come to a stop by crashing into a tree.
First horror film to have an African-American (Duane Jones) playing a lead role.
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.
If you look carefully you will notice numbers on the boards Ben is using to board up the house. This was done to help with continually, so that when the boards were taken down at the end of shooting they would go back in the same place the next day. Unfortunately, sometime the boards were put on backwards and that is when the numbers are evident.
The word "zombie" is never used.
One of the Walter Reade Organization's publicity stunts was a $50,000 insurance policy against anyone dying from a heart attack while watching the film.
The house used for this film was loaned to the filmmakers by the owner, who planned to demolish it anyway, thereby ensuring that they could do whatever they wanted to the house.
The calendar in the farmhouse kitchen is for December 1966.
Actor/Director/Make Up FX Artist Tom Savini was initially signed from a local high school to provide the special effects and make-up for Night Of The Living Dead, but was later called upon by the military to serve in Vietnam.
Want to learn More? Go HereIMDB
Johnny: They're coming to get you, Barbara!
Helen Cooper: We may not enjoy living together, but dying together isn't going to solve anything.
Barbara: Don't you understand? My brother is alone!
Ben: Your brother is dead.
Barbara: NO! My brother is NOT dead!
Black and White Trailer from 1968
Color Trailer from 1968
Well there you have it, some information about one of the greatest Zombie movies ever created Night of The Living Dead. I hope this has been informative for you. Let me know in the comments below if you have seen this movie or any of the remakes it spawned.
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