Night of the Living Dead Review
Written by: gothiczen
This film is perfect. It is a black-and-white nightmare of a world where morals have decayed as much as the flesh on the zombies. It is stark, uncompromising, and terrifying. The dead do walk - but that is not the real nightmare.
Romero's political concerns rise from the grave and are symbolized by the largley vacant hordes of the undead. The shuffle around waiting for someone to eat. Duane Jones, the hero of this tragedy is doomed to failure much like Hamlet.
Romero uses various symbols in order to create his theme. The shotgun represents the violence that we unleash when under attack. The television is a tenous link that is supposed to supply information and order, but only adds to the chaos. The phone lines are down and communication has ceased.
This lack of communication is best seen in the old bickering couple who cannot join one another in order to make a rational decision. Their daughter has been bitten by a zombie and is on her way to becoming one of the undead. Her parents are useless.
Barabara remain catatonic for most of the film. She should be a main character but instead fades into the background - she is as silent as the corpses that stalk the farmhose. She represents the breakdown of society - where talk is cheap unless it comes at teh barrel of a gun.
Ben, our hero, constantly makes mistakes that leads to several deaths. he is ineffective, hot-headed, and prone to violence as shown when he shotguns one of the survivors. In the end, escape fails, the gun fails, and Ben finds himself alone, locked in a basement, while the undead move about the house he was so eager to protect.
There are no survivors because we as a species cannot work together. The dead are slow and stupid but act as a single organism - which is why, in the end, they are victorious. The zombies actually kill very few people as the living are too quick to destroy themselves and each other.