Night of the Living Dead

Sep 13 2006

I was in Target last week, perusing the new Halloween aisles, when I came across their Halloween DVD selection. It was mostly pretty thin; B-grade movies even by horror standards. They had a copy of Night of the Living Dead, “In spooky color.” They’d colorized it; I could hardly believe they thought this was a selling point. So I took down a copy and flipped it over, to read that the black-and-white version was included on the disk. My eyes wandered further down to read that there was an audio commentary track by Mike Nelson of MST3K, and with that, the DVD went into my basket.

And I watched it this week, with Mike’s commentary track on. Mike did a great job poking fun at the flick, and its use of (and invention of, in some cases) various horror cliches.

And the movie itself still holds up fairly well. It’s definitely a raw, low-budget movie; characters move around the room somewhat between cuts, and the special effects are sometimes crude. But it’s still a surprisingly effective “closed door” thriller, with a bunch of people locked into a small space with a common threat outside.

And, it’s clearly a low-budget film, so it’s easy to forgive the less-than-Oscar-worthy acting, and the simplicity of the sets. It’s about a disparate group of people holed up in an abandoned house, as hordes of the undead try to get in and eat their flesh. Certainly entertaining. I doubt I could make a better movie as my first film.

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