Florida Film Fest review: YEAR OF THE LIVING DEAD
YEAR OF THE LIVING DEAD
If you like movies in which an intrepid guerrilla film crew cobbles together a low-budget feature – and if you go to film festivals, you probably do – you’ll embrace this fun, informative doc about the making of the original Night of the Living Dead.
Zombie godfather George Romero recounts the creative choices and happy accidents that helped his crew of Pittsburgh misfits take horror in a whole new direction; for reinforcement, scholars like Elvis Mitchell explain how the results both reflected and informed our late-’60s notions of race, age and violence. The analysis is pitched just right, revealing exactly what Night was and wasn’t, and never succumbing to the sort of overwrought bullpuckey that clogs up bad grad theses.
In the most endearing tribute to Romero’s legacy, a modern-day junior-high class in the Bronx attains “cultural literacy” by viewing Night in all its entrails-gobbling glory (“It’s GUTS!”), then enjoys a crash course in the fine art of staggering around like a zombie. Maybe there’s hope for our schools after all.