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Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Night of the Living Dead is the ultimate yin/yang example of indie film-making. The movie itself is a brilliant, bleak, black-&-white true horror classic, the standard-bearer for a wave of realistic frightflicks that flooded the '70s and beyond, and of course the movie without which the recent zombie revival would never have happened. At that fledgling stage, George Romero's technical skills were less than refined, and the shoestring budget - borrowed from local Pittsburgh companies and friends of friends - more than shows itself, but the true horror of a zombie takeover and siege situation is adroitly realized. And with that final, truly gutwrenching shot, Romero begins to expound on a theme that haunts him to this day: the bad guys aren't them. It's us! OK,

so the film is all well and good, but the financial morass that swamped Romero afterwards is a warning signal to all would-be film-makers - with so many fingers in financial pies, the venerated director has never had control of the rights, which explains why so many different versions of Night are swarming around on DVD, including that dreadful colourised version. But all's well that ends well, with Land of the Dead hitting cinemas any second now...

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