In 1968, when George A Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead (co-written with John Russo) was unleashed on the world, it not only created a whole new way of telling horror movies that would go on to inspire countless filmmakers, it cemented Romero as one of the great social storytellers of our time. Its success would ensure a sequel ten years later with Dawn Of The Dead (which is still considered one of the best horror films of all time) and then Day Of The Dead seven years later.
Romero would wait an astonishing 20 years until the next installment, Land Of The Dead in 2005, followed by Diary Of The Dead in 2007 and then in 2009, Survival Of The Dead – which would sadly be the last movie Romero would direct before his death.
Here we celebrate Romero and his Dead movies by heading back to where it all started with the original trilogy and picking out our most stand-out moments. From shocking endings, to poignant social commentary and even a pie in the face, here are our top moments from George A Romero’s original Trilogy Of The Dead…
When Johnny mocks the zombie in Night Of The Living Dead
At the beginning of Night Of The Living Dead, we know that the strange man in the cemetery is a creature who has risen from the dead, so when Johnny goes straight up to him to mock him we can’t help but scream for him to run away! Okay, Johnny was annoying but he didn’t deserve to get his head smashed in!
When Harry doesn’t help Ben in Night Of The Living Dead
Harry is the absolute worst. He makes bad decisions, he’s selfish AND when he has the chance to help Ben to get back into the safety of the house after Ben leaves it to find a way to rescue them all – he doesn’t! We said he was the worst! We can’t help but feel he deserves the punch Ben throws at him when he manages to escape on his own.
The ending of Night Of The Living Dead
Ben has been the most consistent throughout the whole movie, helping out others in need and being a strong leader. He survives a night of zombies only to emerge in the sunlight the next day… and is immediately shot by the police. It’s a shocking and poignant moment – and far more horrific than any of the zombie scenes throughout the rest of the movie.
When Peter kills one of his fellow SWAT team members in Dawn Of The Dead
Peter is the voice of calm and reason throughout Dawn Of The Dead and when one of his fellow SWAT Team members gets infected he swoops in and takes the infected down without a moment’s hesitation while the others look on in shock. What a badass.
When Stephen, Peter and Francine go shopping in Dawn Of The Dead
There aren’t many light moments in Dawn Of The Dead but when our group let loose and go shopping when they’re alone in the mall, it is a moment of much-needed light relief. It doesn’t last long…
When the bikers raid the mall in Dawn Of The Dead
A biker gang has decided THEY want the mall for themselves and when they finally break in (leading loads of zombies in with them – c’mon guys!) they go on a rampage, stealing what they can, trashing the place and… throwing pies in the faces of zombies?!
When Stephen decides to take on the bikers after seeing them destroy the mall in Dawn Of The Dead
“It’s ours, we took it,” Stephen mutters as he lets the bikers know his location after shooting at them. This is Romero at his one his absolute best, commenting on our obsession with consumerism even during an apocalyptic event. Why shouldn’t the bikers have access to the mall and Stephen can?!
When Peter decides to join Francine in the helicopter in Dawn Of The Dead
Just when you think Peter has lost all hope and can’t live in this world anymore he has a VERY last-minute change of heart and joins Francine on the helicopter and they escape together – hurray!
When Rhodes turns on his men in Day Of The Dead
Rhodes is a bit of a dick in Day Of The Dead, he doesn’t like the scientists who try to understand the zombies, he doesn’t like living in the bunker, he’s a misogynist and a bully. But his men stand behind him no matter what. So when Rhodes turns on his men and leave them to the mercy of a lot of zombies it’s… well it’s not really a shock because Rhodes is a dick… but that was a harsh move!
‘Bub’ the zombie in Day Of The Dead
So… let’s talk about the [undead] elephant in the room – smart zombies. The zombie named ‘Bub’ knows what a book is, he can salute and he can resist eating people around him. He also feels sad when his friend, Frankenstein dies and can [and does] shoot a gun. Day Of The Living Dead can get a bit silly in places but we think we draw the line at smart zombies.
Dawn Of The Dead Limited Edition 4K UHD and Dawn Of The Dead Limited Edition Blu-ray is out now from Second Sight Films. Any on the list that we should have included? Don’t forget to get in touch with us on our social media channels to tell us yours!