10 Facts About “Night of the Living Dead”

Matthew Jackson and Mental_Floss present 10 Facts About Night of the Living Dead.  Here are three of my favorites…

2. GEORGE ROMERO WAS HEAVILY INSPIRED BY I AM LEGEND.

Armed with Russo’s flesh-eating concept, Romero went to work, pairing it with a story he’d been working on that “basically ripped off” Richard Matheson’s apocalyptic horror novel I Am Legend. Russo later recalled that Romero returned with “about 40 really excellent pages,” including the opening in the cemetery and the arrival at the farmhouse. Russo set to work on the rest, and Night of the Living Dead began to come to life.

8. JONES FOUGHT AGAINST AN ALTERNATE ENDING THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED BEN.

One of the film’s most famous elements is its grim ending, in which Ben, having survived the night, is shot by the sheriff’s zombie-hunting posse and thrown on the fire. At one point, a happier ending for the film was considered, but Jones fought it and won.

“I convinced George that the black community would rather see me dead than saved, after all that had gone on, in a corny and symbolically confusing way,” Jones said. “The heroes never die in American movies. The jolt of that, and the double jolt of the hero being black seemed like a double-barreled whammy.”

9. IT’S IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN BECAUSE OF A CREDITS ERROR.

Night of the Living Dead might be the most famous public domain movie of all time, but it was never intended to be. The Walter Reade Organization, which distributed the film, wanted to release it under the title Night of the Flesh Eaters, but lawyers representing the makers of 1964’s The Flesh Eaters threatened a lawsuit, so the title was changed to Night of the Living Dead. When the title changed, though, copyright notices were not added to the opening titles or to the end credits. Though the filmmakers have fought it in federal court, the film is still in the public domain.

Thinner (1996)

Thinner (1996)

Director: Tom Holland

Screenplay: Michael McDowell  and Tom Holland

Stars: Robert John Burke, Lucinda Jenney, Bethany Joy Lenz, Howard Erskine, Joe Mantegna and Stephen King.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Thinner.”

Tagline: Let The Curse Fit The Crime.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When an obsese small town attorney accidentally runs over a gypsy woman, his friends (a judge and town cop) set things up to get him off without a charge.  The gypsy leader then places a curse on the three men that will leave them dead after suffering horribly.

My problem with Thinner is that there is no one to root for.  All of the leads are bad people. The lawyer, his wife, his friends — even the gypsies.   Also about three quarters in the film changes into an action/revenge movie with lots of shooting and blowing up things… but since you don’t know or care about the characters…

An somewhat interesting misfire…

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The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Director: Joe May

Screenplay: Lester Cole & Curt Siodmak (as Kurt Siodmak)

Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Vincent Price, Nan Grey and Alan Napier.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make another Invisible Man picture!”

Tagline: More strange thrills… More eerie chills… More awesome suspense

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Sentenced to die for a murder he didn’t commit, Geoffrey Radcliffe (Price) escapes death row by taking the invisible man serum.  Will Radcliffe be able to prove his innocence before invisibility drives him mad?

Although Vincent Price is the Invisible Man, you won’t see much of him in this starring role.  ; )

 

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The Birds (1963)

The Birds (1963)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay: Evan Hunter from a story by Daphne Du Maurier

Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, Jessica Tandy and Veronica Cartwright

The Pitch: “Hey, Alfred Hitchcock wants to make The Birds!”

Tagline: Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

Another classic from the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.  This is one of a few movies I was always allowed to stay up and watch even on a school night as a kid.  All you need to know (and you probably already know it) is that birds are attacking and killing humans in Bodega Bay (and maybe the entire world)!

 

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Backtrack (2015)

Backtrack (2015)

Director: Michael Petroni

Screenplay: Michael Petroni

Stars: Adrien Brody, Jenni Baird and Bruce Spence

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a ghost movie with Adrien Brody!”

Tagline: Nothing haunts like the past.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Psychologist Peter Bower (Brody) is having a terrible time dealing with the death of his daughter.  He was teaching her to ride a bike when he became distracted and she was struck by a truck and killed.  Bower begins to have dreams of the dead and even starts to see them while awake.

As Bower sorts out the meaning of his visions, he also tries to remember what distracted him and lead to the death of his daughter.  Bower believes that they are linked.  Following the clues, he returns to his boyhood home and a secret that ties it all together.

 

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Split (2017)

Split (2017)

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Screenplay: M. Night Shyamalan

Stars: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson and Betty Buckley

The Pitch: “Hey, M. Knight Shyamalan has a cool idea for a movie!”

Tagline: Kevin has 23 distinct personalities. The 24th is about to be unleashed.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

Kevin Wendell has 23 different personalities.  One of them kidnapped three girls and locked them in a remote location.  All they know is that a new personality, ‘the beast’ is coming and they are considered sacred food.

M. Knight is back!  The twist ending has received a lot of buzz and is a cool reveal more than a twist.  With that said, I watched the movie thinking that one of the girls was actually one of Kevin’s personalities.  I really believe that M. Knight wanted us to lean that way… but I was wrong.  It’ll be interesting to see how M. Knight re-visits this story-line.

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The Thing from Another World (1951)

The Thing from Another World (1951)

Director: Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks (uncredited)

Screenplay: Charles Lederer based on the story Who Goes There by John W. Campbell Jr.

Stars: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James Young, Dewey Martin, Robert Nichols, William Self, Eduard Franz and James Arness.

The Pitch: “Hey,let’s turn Who Goes There into a movie!”

Tagline: What do you know about it? What does science know about it? What does ANYONE know about THE THING?

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

A small band of scientists and soldiers are stationed in the Arctic.  They discover what appears to be a flying saucer buried in the ice.  They also find an alien being frozen in the ice.  When they bring back the block of ice containing the creature, they have no idea the horror that is in store.

The Thing from Another World is a Classic!

 

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15 Facts About “Silence of the Lambs” That You Didn’t Know

Cory Mahoney and the Hollywood.com present 15 Facts About Silence of the Lambs That You Didn’t Know.  Here are three of my favorites…

3. The moth cocoons Buffalo Bill placed in his victims throats were actually made from a combination of Tootsie Rolls and gummy bears, in case they were swallowed. 

7. Silence of the Lambs the only horror movie ever to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Only two others have even been nominated: The Exorcist and Jaws.

9. Jonathan Demme always had characters speak directly into the camera for conversations with Clarice, yet he always filmed Jodie Foster looking slightly off camera.
The idea was to make audiences directly experience her point-of-view to more easily empathize with her character. We think anyone who has watched those gripping last few moments of the film can confirm the success of this technique.

The Traveler (2010)

The Traveler (2010)

Director: Michael Oblowitz

Screenplay:  Joseph C. Muscat

Stars: Val Kilmer, Dylan Neal and Paul McGillion

The Pitch: “Hey,let’s make a murder mystery with supernatural revenge overtones.”

Tagline: How do you catch a killer you’ve already caught?

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Late one evening a stranger walks into a deserted under-staffed police station and begins confessing to murders he hasn’t yet committed.

Interesting premise that falls way short in reality.  The underlying premise is that an innocent man has been killed by the officers in the station and that the stranger is there to get revenge.  What follows is a lot of stupid decisions made by characters that results in torture and gore.  Then at the end there is a reveal that makes all that we’ve seen even worse.  Bah!

 

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The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)

The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)

Director: Reginald LeBorg

Screenplay: Griffin Jay & Henry Sucher & Brenda Weisberg

Stars: John Carradine, Robert Lowery, Ramsay Ames and Lon Chaney, Jr.

The Pitch: “Hey, it’s time for another mummy movie!”

Tagline: NO CHAINS Can Hold It! NO TOMB Can Seal It!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Like all mummy movies, a mummy is brought back to life and is attracted to a modern woman who may be the reincarnation of his past love.  Terror ensues at a slow pace (mummies have a hard time walking all bandaged up and all).  This mummy movie does have at least one surprise.

 

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Re-Kill (2015)

Re-Kill (2015)

Director: Valeri Milev

Screenplay: Michael Hurst

Stars: Bruce Payne, Daniella Alonso, Roger Cross

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a zombie movie!”

Tagline: We are the endangered species.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

 

It’s five years after the zombie apocalypse and life inside gated communities with security goes on.  Watching Re-Kill is like watching a tv station that is all-zombie kills all the time.  Maybe like watching Cops but the criminals are now zombies.  There are commercials and public service ads insterspliced within the “Re-Kill” programming.

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Before killing Bogue, Chisholm reveals that Bogue and his men had raped and killed his mother and sisters years earlier.  They had even hung Chisholm and left him for dead.

While this gives additional justification for Chisholm wanting to take on Bogue and his men, it makes him a little less heroic.  Up to the point of the reveal, it appeared that Chisholm and the others recruited were going against impossible odds because it was the “right” thing to do… not because one of them wanted revenge.

 

 

Pandemic (2016)

Pandemic (2016)

Director: John Suits

Screenplay: Dustin T. Benson

Stars: Rachel Nichols, Alfie Allen, Missi Pyle and Paul Guilfoyle.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a zombie movie that looks like a video game.”

Tagline: You Are Humanity’s Last Stand.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

You know the drill.  A virus has swept the world turning people into crazy fast zombies.  Survivors are either trying to live on the big city streets or worse yet the suburbs.  If you’re lucky you’re safe behind the walls of a military complex where doctors are working on a cure.

Lauren is a doctor who was separated from her family.  Not allowed to attempt to check on them, (the suburbs are way too dangerous), instead she is sent with three others (a driver, a gunner and a scientist) on a rescue mission into the city.

When things go bad, Lauren decides to head to the suburbs to check on her family.

Most Pandemic is shot as a first person shooter game.  And it feels like one at times.  Whether that is a good or bad thing depends on if you prefer watching games or movies.

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