Night of the Living Dead (film series)

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George A. Romero's Dead series
Night of the Living Dead affiche.jpg
The original poster for Night of the Living Dead
Directed by George A. Romero
Produced by Night of the Living Dead
Karl Hardman
Russell Streiner
Dawn of the Dead
Richard P. Rubinstein
Day of the Dead
Richard P. Rubinstein
Land of the Dead
Mark Canton
Bernie Goldmann
Peter Grunwald
Diary of the Dead
Peter Grunwald
Sam Englebardt
Artur Spigel
Ara Katz
Survival of the Dead
Paula Devonshire
Distributed by The Walter Reade Organization
United Film Distribution Company (2-3)
Universal Pictures
The Weinstein Company
Magnet Releasing
Release date(s) 1968-2010
Country United States
Language English

Night of the Living Dead is a series of six zombie horror films written and directed by George A. Romero beginning with the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead written by Romero and John A. Russo. The loosely connected franchise predominantly centers on different groups of people attempting to survive during the outbreak and evolution of a zombie apocalypse. The latest installment of the series, Survival of the Dead, was released in 2009.

History[edit]

After Night of the Living Dead's initial success, the two creators split in disagreement regarding where the series should head,[1] and since the film was in the public domain,[2] each were able to do what they liked with the continuity of their projects. Romero went on to direct five additional Dead films, while Russo branched into literary territory, writing Return of the Living Dead, which was later loosely adapted into a film of the same name and have its own franchise, and Escape of the Living Dead.

Labeled "Trilogy of the Dead" until Land of the Dead,[3] each film is laden with social commentary on topics ranging from racism to consumerism. The films are not produced as direct follow-ups from one another and their only continuation is the theme of the epidemic of the living dead. This situation advances with each film, showing the world in a worsening state, but each film is independent of its predecessor. This is exemplified by the fact that each movie is set within the era it is filmed, with Land of the Dead being set in modern times with current (as of 2005) technology such as game consoles, flatscreen televisions, cell phones and other examples of modern tech. This would not have been possible if the original 1968 epidemic had progressed to the state that Dawn and Day had depicted, as no new technology would have been created. The fifth film does not continue the depiction of progress, but returns to the similar events depicted in the first film in the very beginning of a zombie outbreak. The films depict how different people react to the same phenomenon, ranging from citizens to police to army officials and to citizens again. Each takes place in a world worsened since its previous appearance, the number of zombies ever increasing and the living perpetually endangered, but with each entry being a standalone film that is not directly continuing global events from the previous.

Romero does not consider any of his Dead films sequels since none of the major characters or story continue from one film to the next.[citation needed] The one exception is that the military officer (Alan van Sprang) who robs the main characters in Diary of the Dead goes on to become a protagonist in Survival of the Dead.

Films[edit]

Night of the Living Dead (1968)[edit]

The plot of the film follows Ben Huss (Duane Jones), Barbra (Judith O'Dea), and five others, who are trapped in a rural farmhouse in Pennsylvania and attempt to survive the night while the house is being attacked by mysteriously reanimated corpses, known as ghouls or zombies.

Dawn of the Dead (1978)[edit]

Main article: Dawn of the Dead

Following the scenario set up in Night of the Living Dead, the United States (and possibly the entire world) has been devastated by a phenomenon which reanimates recently deceased human beings as flesh-eating zombies. Despite efforts by the US Government and local civil authorities to control the situation, society has effectively collapsed and the remaining survivors seek refuge. Protagonists Roger (Scott Reiniger) and Peter (Ken Foree), two former SWAT members, join with Stephen (David Emge) and Francine (Gaylen Ross), a helicopter pilot and his girlfriend planning on leaving the city, and take refuge in an enclosed shopping-mall, only to be destroyed when a motorcycle gang allow the zombies into the building.

Day of the Dead (1985)[edit]

Some time after the events of Dawn of the Dead, zombies have overrun the world, and an underground army missile bunker near the Everglades holds part of a military-supported scientific team assigned to study the zombie phenomenon in the hopes of finding a way of stopping or reversing the process. Dwindling supplies, loss of communication with other survivor enclaves, and an apparent lack of progress in the experiments have already caused loss of cohesion among the scientists and soldiers. Dr. Logan (Richard Liberty), the lead scientist on the project, has been secretly using the recently deceased soldiers in his experiments, trying to prove his theory that the zombies can eventually be domesticated.

Land of the Dead (2005)[edit]

Main article: Land of the Dead

Years after the events of the previous film, many of the living have fled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where a feudal-like government has taken hold. Paul Kaufman (Dennis Hopper) rules the city with overwhelming firepower. "Big Daddy" (Eugene Clark), an unusually intelligent zombie, directs his fellow zombies to use firearms against the human defenses, and later leads the zombies in an assault on the human city, with the result that the electric fence that kept the zombies out now keeps the humans trapped inside.

Diary of the Dead (2007)[edit]

Main article: Diary of the Dead

Taking place during the initial outbreak of the zombie pandemic, Diary of the Dead follows a band of students, making a horror film, who decide to record the events in documentary-style and are themselves chased down by zombies.

Survival of the Dead (2009)[edit]

Main article: Survival of the Dead

The first part of the film follows the actions of former Colonel and current Sergeant "Nicotine" Crockett (Alan van Sprang), who, after a failed raid, deserts his post with Kenny (Eric Woolfe), Francisco (Stefano Colacitti) and Tomboy (Athena Karkanis) to rob the protagonists of the previous film.

Reception[edit]

Review aggregate results[edit]

Motion picture Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic BFCA
Night of the Living Dead 96% (47 reviews)[4] N/A N/A
Dawn of the Dead 94% (36 reviews)[5] N/A N/A
Day of the Dead 81% (31 reviews)[6] N/A N/A
Land of the Dead 74% (170 reviews)[7] 71 (30 reviews)[8] 63[9]
Diary of the Dead 61% (126 reviews)[10] 66 (29 reviews)[11] 70[12]
Survival of the Dead 30% (83 reviews)[13] 43 (22 reviews)[14] 61[15]
Average ratings 72% 60% 64%

Accolades[edit]

Awards
Motion Picture Organization/Guild Ceremony Category Name Outcome
Night of the Living Dead
National Film Preservation Board (1999)
National Film Registry
Won[16]
Dawn of the Dead
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
8th Saturn Awards
Best Make-Up Tom Savini Nominated[citation needed]
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
31st Saturn Awards
Best DVD Classic Film Release Ultimate Edition Won[17]
International Press Academy
9th Annual Satellite Awards
Best Overall DVD Anchor Bay Nominated[18]
Day of the Dead
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
14th Saturn Awards
Best Make-Up Tom Savini Won[19]
Sitges Film Festival (18 ed. 1985)
Maria
Best Actress Lori Cardille Won[20]
Land of the Dead
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
32nd Saturn Awards
Best Horror Film Nominated[citation needed]
Best Make-Up Howard Berger, Gregory Nicotero Nominated[citation needed]
Directors Guild of Canada (2006)
DGC Craft Award
Outstanding Achievement In Picture Editing - Feature Film Michael Doherty Nominated[21]
Outstanding Achievement In Production Design - Feature Film Arvinder Grewal Nominated[21]
Outstanding Achievement In Sound Editing - Feature Film Kevin Banks, Nelson Ferreira, Lee de Lang,

Craig Henighan, Jill Purdy, Nathan Robitaille

Nominated[21]
Empire Awards
11th Empire Awards
Best Horror Nominated[22]
Teen Choice Awards (2005)
Teen Choice Awards
Choice Summer Movie Nominated[23]
Diary of the Dead
Gérardmer Film Festival (2008)
Critics Award George A. Romero Won[24]
Survival of the Dead
Venice Film Festival
66th Venice International Film Festival
Golden Lion George A. Romero Nominated[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boluk, Stephanie; Lenz, Wylie (June 16, 2011). "Introduction: Generation Z, the Age of Apocalypse". In Boluk, Stephanie; Lenz, Wylie. Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture. Jefferson, North Carolina, US: McFarland & Company. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-7864-6140-0. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ Boluk, Stephanie; Lenz, Wylie (June 16, 2011). "Introduction: Generation Z, the Age of Apocalypse". In Boluk, Stephanie; Lenz, Wylie. Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture. Jefferson, North Carolina, US: McFarland & Company. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-7864-6140-0. Retrieved August 26, 2011. "Night of the Living Dead was famously the source of a legal conflict which resulted in the film entering the public domain when the disributor, the Walter Reade Organization, forgot to add a copyright notice after making changes to the title screen" 
  3. ^ Hakeem. "George Romeros Trilogy of the Dead Review". MoviesOnline. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Night of the Living Dead (All Critics)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Dawn of the Dead (All Critics)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Day of the Dead (All Critics)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Land of the Dead (All Critics)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Land of the Dead Metascore". Metacritic. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Land of the Dead Critics choice rating". BFCA. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Diary of the Dead (All Critics)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Diary of the Dead Metascore". Metacritic. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Diary of the Dead Critics choice rating". BFCA. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Survival of the Dead (All Critics)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Survival of the Dead Metascore". Metacritic. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Survival of the Dead Critics choice rating". BFCA. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Library of Congress Names 25 More Films to National Film Registry" (Press release). Library of Congress. November 16, 1999. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Past Award Winners: Best DVD Classic Film Release". Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  18. ^ "9th Annual Satellite Awards Nominees and Winners". International Press Academy. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Past Award Winners: Best Make-Up". Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  20. ^ "18ed. Festival Internaciona de Cinema Fantàstic de Sitges (4/10 - 12/10)". Sitges Film Festival. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b c "2006 DGC Awards/Nominees". Directors Guild of Canada. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Empire Awards 2006 - Best Horror". Empire (film magazine). Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2005 (List of Awards Winners and Nominees)". whosdatedwho. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Gérardmer Film Festival 2008 (List of Awards Winners and Nominees)". whosdatedwho. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 

External links[edit]