Essay on Night of the Living Dead

Essay on Night of the Living Dead

Length: 964 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

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Zombies, as we know them today, have mortified movie viewers for the last forty six years. Modern zombies first appeared in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in 1968. These zombies were the slow moving, staggering ghouls that one has seen in countless films, but in 1985, Return of the Living Dead featured a new kind of zombie, the first fast moving and talking ghoul. Both Night of the Living dead 1968 and Return of the Living Dead 1985 feature the zombie as its villain, but Return of the living dead’s fast moving, talking zombies are a more modern take on the movie monster.
Fast V.S Slow Zombies
In 1968, the first modern zombies took to the screen; these were the slow moving and lumbering ghouls that have been seen in countless films since. They are known as the “walking dead”, because they are only able to move at a slow pace and stumble about. This version of the zombie has been resurrected in many other George A Romero films. The slow moving pace of the monster makes the Night of the Living Dead a horrifying film, because they are unstoppable and they just keep coming. This builds tension in the film which can be felt by the audience.
In contrast, Return of the Living Dead 1985 features a faster moving more limber zombie. One thinks that this makes the film more horrifying, the way they portray the zombie as an intelligent, almost human like character. When the film begins, the workers at a taxidermy factory are looking at a shipment of chemicals that they got on accident called Troxin. This chemical is released and causes the dead to return to life. The cadaver that they have in a freezer begins to scream and when they open the door it tackles the older employee. This suggest that rigor mortis has no effect on the...


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...eir main villain and both have their own special meaning. Night of the Living Dead’s meaning is derived from the era in which it was made. At the time, the Vietnam War was still raging and the Cold War had begun. The zombies in the film reflected the wars and represented the diseases of violence. In Return of the Living Dead the film is more about comedy and lighting the mood of the monster. Both Night of the Living dead 1968 and Return of the Living Dead 1985 feature the zombie as its villain, but Return of the living dead’s fast moving, talking zombies are a more modern take on the movie monster.











Works Cited
Night of the Living Dead. Dir. George A. Romero. Perf. Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl
Hardman. Off Color Films. 1968 Film.
Return of the Living Dead. Dir. Dan O’Brannon. Perf. Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don
Calfa. Cinema 84. 1985. Film

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