Where to watch Night of the Living Dead

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Director’s Vision

Image Ten’s first and only film was based on a horror story written by George A. Romero and co-written by John A. Russo. Inspired by the book “I Am Legend”, where everyone on Earth, aside from the protagonist, is a vampire. George wrote a story of everyday people trapped in a farmhouse surrounded by the living dead. In George’s tale, the real horror was not what lurked outside of the farmhouse walls but the decay of civility and order within the house. The first-of-its-kind thriller provided the blueprint for what is now its own genre of horror—the zombie movie.

“It Begins on a Lonely Country Road in Western Pennsylvania…”

The Dead Walked as the Cameras Rolled.

This film wasn’t just going to break expectations. It was about to break the mold—an entire genre of horror was to follow. The Night of the Living Dead team was about to introduce the undead upon the cinema world, creating crowds of terrified movie-goers, as well as hordes of raging fanatics.

A low budget brings horror to new heights.

Image Ten began filming before finalizing the script. Casting local Evans City residents along with family members and advertising clients as extras and ghouls and allowing principal actors to improv lines. Given that everyone one the crew had the same level of experience, roles were barely defined. Crew members were expected to contribute wherever they could. In fact, most of them appear in the film.

The results of this low budget filmmaking style created a sense of hyper-realism, which made the movie even scarier. Audiences at the time were used to seeing actors and actresses they recognized, sets designed to look more like a stage than real life, and monsters that were larger than life. Image Ten’s gritty approach gave the film a unique look and feel—one that horrified moviegoers. Roger Ebert suggested children not be allowed to see “Night of the Living Dead” based on how terrifying the film was.

Johnny (Russ Streiner) and an undead Ghoul (Bill Hinzman) fight it out in the Evans City Cemetery. A Scene from Night of the Living Dead. Photo © Image Ten, Inc. All Rights ReservedSetting up a scene for Night of the Living Dead in Evans City Cemetery with George Romero Directing. Photo © Image Ten, Inc. All Rights ReservedBarbra (Judith O'Dea) and Director George Romero film a scene for Night of the Living Dead. Photo © Image Ten, Inc. All Rights ReservedA discussion takes place about the safest location in the farmhouse in a scene from George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968).  Photo © Image Ten, Inc. All Rights ReservedAn expired ghoul lays on the ground in a scene from George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Photo © Image Ten, Inc. All Rights ReservedRuss Streiner, Duane Jones and Keith Wayne . Ready to film a scene in Night of the Living Dead. Photo © Image Ten, Inc. All Rights ReservedKarl Hardman helps apply Ghoul Make-Up to Herbert Summer , with Charles Craig. Behind the scenes of Night of the Living Dead. Photo © Image Ten, Inc. All Rights ReservedMarauding Ghouls advance on the secluded farmhouse in a scene from George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Photo © Image Ten, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Becoming “the” zombie movie.

Word of how dark and scary the film was spread fast, which meant bigger audiences and increased demand for the film. Suddenly there was a demand for screenings in Europe. Soon after, the French magazine Cahiers du Cinéma cited “Night of the Living Dead” as “important American cinema”—and the rest is history. Night has been selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." It has now been Restored through the efforts of the Museum of Modern Art, The Film Foundation, The George Lucas Family Foundation and The Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center. The restoration allowed us to get a copyright on the new improved film and it quickly became part of the prestigious Criterion Collection.