George A. Romero started a popular cult horror franchise with this zero-budget original. Barbra is paying final respects with her brother Johnny to her father at the cemetery when a zombie comes up and kills him. She runs and arrives finally at a farmhouse that has been commandered by a tough black man (Duane Jones), who (unbeknownst to him) is in the presence of a pigheaded man and his wife, a young couple, and a little girl with a deadly affliction. What is astonishing is how effective and deeply unsettling this film is after all this time. The grainy, 16mm black & white cinematography (by Romero) is simple and functional, but gives the impression of an almost documentary-like quality, which makes for far creepier viewing than one would think imaginable. A zombie classic.


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