This week, a video popped up on my Youtube recommended watch list. The video was titled “The day the Walking Dead Died”. It got me thinking not just about what a terrible show The Walking Dead has become, but also what a good show The Walking Dead was. It was a riveting zombie thriller that left you wanting more after every episode.
I really want to get some more horror reviews up on this site so I thought let’s start things off with arguably the greatest influence on the Walking Dead, The Night of the Living Dead.
Directed by George Romero, The Night of the Living Dead is a masterclass in the low budget horror genre. The movie is centered around mainly two characters Barbara, who’s brother died during the initial moments of the outbreak and Ben, a man who finds Barbara and helps her survive the apocalypse. The relationship between Ben and Barbara is most interesting. At first, Ben is just taking care of Barbara because he feels that its the right thing to do but by the end of the movie, he truly cares for her almost like how a big brother cares for a little sister. Ben figuratively replaces Barbara’s brother by the end.
What I find that makes this movie really great is how much time and research was put into it. There is a sense of realism (as real as a zombie movie can get) in this film. The response by the government is very similar to how they would respond in any other emergency. This trait helps keep you immersed in the movie. It feels as if you really are by your television set watching the news broadcasts waiting to see if you can get any more clues as to why this outbreak is occurring.
I can’t finish this review without talking about the ending to this classic. Without spoiling anything, lets just say that it may be my second favorite ending, behind Planet of the Apes of course.
I feel that the Night of the Living Dead deserves an 8 out of 10. The Walking Dead sure did find some good source material to base its graphic novels and shows off of but, The Night of the Living Dead also explains why the show has fallen as far as it has. The Walking Dead is running out of ideas. The whole zombie genre as a whole has been running out of ideas for what feels like forever. So with that being said, we need a new director like George Romero to take the genre in a new direction.