OK, lets get the first thing out of the way. This is NOT about Racism, OK? This is people reading into the movie what they want, its a bit of an agenda. If George Romero wants to say something about Racism he would have said so MUCH earlier and not simply said that the best actor got the best role and he happened to be black. That’s not a knock, that’s a GOOD THING. The Ben role is written non-racial and the best actor got it. That’s kinda what we should be striving for in society, right? Romero is not exactly someone that will shy from tooting his own horn and if he was trying to do something about Racism, he’d be all over it. Also if Ben was written as a BLACK MAN, I’m sure Harry Cooper would have made that point clear, since we are not supposed to like him, right? We get nothing, not a “boy” or anything. If this movie wanted to talk about RACE, then we would get a comment from the cops at the end.
Harry was right. The smart thing to do WAS to barricade them all in the cellar and wait it out. Other than the kid dying and about to become a Zombie, there was no reason to try and get the truck, or to try and get to another city, or anything else. Even barricading the house was a waste of time. I think Ben underestimated the amount of guns the American Public own. If the people had done what Harry wanted, once they took care of the daughter, and possibly the wife, then they just hang out until the people show up in a day or two.
Me personally, I would have moved everything upstairs and barricaded myself up there. Most houses only have one stairway. Yeah, there is a threat of all the creatures running around downstairs, but at least you can hit the roof or jump and run. Can’t go anywhere in the basement, and you can’t wave for help, and if they set the house on fire, you are a deadman.
So does Night of the Living Dead hold up? Sure, it’s a bit of fun, everyone is trying, Romero doesn’t believe his own hype yet, and the effects are great for the time. I tend to think the movie does well for what it was, but had they had more money, it might not have been as good as it is, and had Romero been able to do everything he wanted, it would have been much worse.
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