NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD '68 vers.

Discussion in 'Classic' started by wago70, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    This movie and it's paperback novelization have always gave me the creeps. I was home alone last Saturday night - catching up on movies, laundry and cleaning (out of money thanks to Madonna, so no going out for a few months). I had put on NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and did chores while letting it play. It got dark early and I only had a few lights on while the other rooms remained dark. This movie somehow just put me on edge the whole night! The "news broadcasts" in the film fooled me into thinking somehow the real thing was happening - while scrubbing the tub, somebody dropped something heavy down the garbage chute outside and it broke some glass that was already in the can and it made me almost have a heart attack. The stray cats outside knocked over a flower pot (classic) outside the French doors that look out onto the garden. All of this while NIGHT was playing as if I were somehow part of the film and the same thing was happening in my neighborhood.
    When the DVD pixalated and shut down I was somewhat relieved all that tension was over with.
    Just thought I'd share. Effective flick!
     
  2. walkingdude

    walkingdude Megatron

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    Good thing you don't live in a country farmhouse.You would have really freaked.Not too many farm houses in SF is there?
     
  3. MrKateB

    MrKateB Asshole Extraordinaire

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    Re: the paperback novelization, that was TOTALLY creepy!!! I had read that before I ever saw the movie (never had the right channels) and envisioned the whole thing. I remember seeing a double page still from it in Famous MOnsters in the late 70's, the scene of all the zombies lurching around in the field (with that female zombie with the short hospital gown and straight hair in front of her face in the forefront) and it really bothered me....After reading the paperback my father and I went hunting in eastern Oregon and our campsite was in a clearing that looked just like that picture, and some of the other campers reminded me of some of the zombies in the picture...I was totally creeped out the entire time.
     
  4. walkingdude

    walkingdude Megatron

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    Hunt out a paperback by John Skipp and Craig Spector called Book of the Dead.If zombie stories frighten you and you have a good imagination for it read this compilation of short stories.There is even a great story by Stephen King(it is also featured in Nightmares and Dreamscapes I believe.)This is the ultimate zombie thrill ride.I read it first in like 1988 and never forgot it.
     
  5. MrKateB

    MrKateB Asshole Extraordinaire

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    Yeah..I've read that. There is a sequel book to that, with new stories that follow the same sort of theme...
     
  6. walkingdude

    walkingdude Megatron

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    Really?What is the title?Is it from the same guys?
     
  7. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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  8. walkingdude

    walkingdude Megatron

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    Thanks Shannafey.It sure doesn't come cheap.Is it as good as the first?Somebody stole my copy about 12 years ago and I finally found another about 2 years ago at a book exchange.Not easy to come by.
     
  9. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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    To be real honest with you, I haven't read it. I bought it a while back, and put it to the side. I can't tell you how many unread books and unwatched movies I have!!! Now that you brought it up, I want to pick it up and read it. I'd like to reread the first one as well! I just picked up the new comic (I made a thread about) NOTLD : The Chronicles of Barbara, which follows Barbara after the film. I will write a review as soon as I read it, which will be this week.
     
  10. walkingdude

    walkingdude Megatron

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    Great.Thanks.I will have to pick up that comic.
     
  11. When "Night of the Living Dead" premiered on ABC late one saturday night in the seventies, broadcast the film uncut but put a subtitle that said "a dramatization" over the newscasts. Pretty amusing.

    I saw the film in 1972 at the Cinerama theater in Las Vegas (now demolished) on a double bill with "Ben". Parents were there with their kids for the latter which was a tame sequel to "Willard". I never saw so many people walk out as when the cannibalism scene appeared and parents dragged out their kids.
    It was a bit diorienting watching it on a curved screen but still quite effective.
    It was a B&W print made right off the camera negative with rich blacks and a good gray scale. A few years later, the film fell into the public domain and a whole bunch of dupes in 35mm and 16mm were floating around. They looked terrible.

    As a kid, I had an uncut Super 8 sound print of the film that had bad contrast. I even had the rare soundtrack album which contained the
    stock music used in the film. I learned about the movie from an article
    in my favorite monster magazine, "Castle of Frankenstein" published by
    the late Calvin T. Beck. (I ended up getting every issue of the defunct
    mag). Years later I did a double take when I noticed that one of the young writers was Joe Dante.

    It wasn't until the film was released on laserdisc from a George Romero source that it finally looked the way it did when I saw it in 72'.
     
  12. walkingdude

    walkingdude Megatron

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    This movie heas been released by so many companies in so many different versions(colorized,with added footage).I have Elites first version with the 3 audio commentaries on it.I think it is the best one out there.I would love to see it on the big screen.
     
  13. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    Richard - that is amazing. Great experience! Thanks for telling!
     
  14. I would like to see it on a big screen again too but that poses a major problem. No one will distribute the movie theatrically because it's PD. I believe that
    Romero has the original negative but he's wary about making a new print
    to ship around because it could be so easily pirated. The original B&W
    prints off the camera negative are all in film collectors hands now. All that's available otherwise are those awful dupes of beat up prints that are washed
    out and scratchy. What's worse is that there are dupes from a whole variety of prints. Some look worse than others. There are some 16mm originals out there that occasionally pop up on ebay (original meaning they were derived from a 16mm duplicate negative which in turn was derived from the camera negative) but also a lot of dupe negatives in that format too. I've been through many prints on the film but they all looked terrible. I did have an original 35mm copy with good contrast but it had carbon burns on it from a drive in and was speckled with burn marks throughout the print. This is often the fate of PD titles. It's very difficult to see original copies in a theater.
    Even when I re-screened the movie in various midnight shows in the sevenites (i.e. Cinema Village, The Elgin), the prints varied from originals with good contrast to bleached out dupes that were barely watchable.

    I did a report way back in my NYU days for William K. Everson comparing "Night of the Living Dead" and "Carnival of Souls". I wish I had saved a copy since it was well researched. (This was years before I coordinated the re-issue of the latter). Both directors had similar backgrounds as commercial directors. Both made their films in 35mm B&W
    for peanuts. Both didn't bother to copyright their movies and both got
    screwed by the original distributors. Both movies had terrible sound mixes.
    In fact, Romero mixed his films without looking at the picture. He just mixed the tracks and synched them up to the negative afterwards. Some reels have rubbery synch and the gunshots are poor.

    After the distribution fiasco, Romero was able to recover and have
    a successful studio career for a while. Harvey returned to making commercials and industrials and never produced another feature which is a pity because he was a real visual stylist.

    Technically, both movies immediately went into the public domain upon release since they were not registered and there was no copyright notice
    on the prints. Distributors Walter Reade (Continental) and Herz Lion should've registered the pictures but didn't bother. HL was a real fly by night company and folded shortly afterwards. Reade was really a theater chain and got involved with booking movies into them but wasn't much of a distributor.
    It took a while before people knew the films were PD.
     
  15. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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    Great stuff, Richard, thanks for sharing!!
     
  16. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    Exactly - I thought I had good memory when it came to horror films. I felt like I was actually there! Good job. Keep the tales coming!!!!!
     
  17. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I read that NIGHT was accidentaly copyrighted under it's working title by The Walter Reed Company,as NIGHT OF THE FLESH EATERS,and that was how it ended up in public domain hell.Can't swear that it's true,but I've read it in several books and heard it mentioned in multiple interviews.Roger Ebert really attacked it at the time of it's release.It was initially issued as a double bill with DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS in some territories !
     
  18. There has to be an actual copyright notice on the film regardless of whether it's registered or not. In fact, just the screen copyright notice is enough for protection. The LOC registration is just a formality. Neither "Night of the Living Dead" or "Carnival of Souls" had on screen copyrights. My guess is that both directors were'nt aware of the legal requirements since most commercials and industrials that they worked on weren't copyrighted either.
     
  19. ekent

    ekent The Lord's Arm of Justice

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    The print for Night of the Fleshh Eaters had the screen copyright on it. It is when they changed the title sequence and the credits to reflect NOTLD, they forgot to add in the copyright.

    Someone earlier said that there were 3 commentaries on the elite disc but there are only 2.

    Richard, thanks a ton for sharing, great effing stories. Keep em' coming!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2004
  20. Was the film shown publicly under the "Night of the Flesh Eaters" title?
    The proviso is whether it was released with or without the copyright.
     

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