31 Days of Horror Day 12: Night of the Living Dead

NOTLD - Poster

I was talking about Lake Mungo with a friend of mine on Facebook, and she mentioned how sad that movie is.  Like, soul-crushingly sad.  We’re basically watching a documentary about a close-knit family who tragically lost a family member, and we see them deal with the loss in their own way.  It’s a heartbreaking character study, with ghosts.

So that got me thinking: what’s another movie that just sucks your soul out of you?

When I was in college, I took a History of Horror Movies class.  It was dynamite.  It was 4 week class that met every weekday for 4 hours: the first two hours we would watch a movie, the second two hours we would talk about it.  We watched Night of the Living Dead a few days in.  It’s such a crushing ending that the professor remarked how we all looked like we had been punched in the stomach after it ended.  That’s an apt description of how I feel after every viewing of this film.

NOTLD - Zombies

Beyond the fact that this is a watershed in zombie cinema, it still holds up as a great film.  In fact, this is my favorite Romero movie.  I know that Dawn of the Dead was groundbreaking in its own right, but, to me, this is the superior film.

It also features one of the worst siblings imaginable.  Look at this guy:

NOTLD - Johnny

He teases his sister.  He complains about visiting the grave of his dead father.  He says stuff like, “Praying’s for church,” when he wants his sister to stop spending time at their father’s grave.  He wears driving gloves that he can’t stop playing with.  He comes to the aid of his sister, but dies quickly and ends up coming back to kill her.  You’re the worst, Johnny.  The worst.

If you want something that is slightly less depressing, roll with Tom Savini’s 1990 remake.  It’s not quite as good as this, but it’s still a terrific movie.