Monday, October 26, 2009


Night of the Living Dead is the story of a group of people trying to survive a zombie attack in a farmhouse.


*The zombie hand that Tom (Keith Wayne) hacks up with a kitchen knife was made of clay and filled with chocolate syrup.

*When the zombies are eating the bodies in the burnt-out truck they were actually eating roast ham covered in chocolate sauce. The filmmakers joked that it was so nausea inducing that it was almost a waste of time putting the makeup on the zombies, as they ended up looking pale and sick anyway.

*The gas pump was not bolted to the ground when the actress who played Barbra, Judith O'Dea, runs into it at the start of the film. She did it with so much force she almost tipped it over on the cameraman.

*One of the working titles for this film was "Night of the Flesh Eaters". Originally, the beings attacking the characters were extraterrestrial in origin, either aliens or humans possessed by an alien pathogen, presumably covering a NASA satellite returning from Venus. Eventually, it was decided that the dead would rise and devour the living, presumably due to radiation that was carried by a NASA satellite returning from Venus.

*Though the radiation of a detonated satellite returning from Venus is theorized to be the cause of the dead rising and attacking the living, according to the filmmakers, the actual cause is never determined.

*During the filming of the cemetery sequence, shot on two separate days, an unexpected accident caused a fast change of script. The car driven by Barbara and Johnny into the cemetery was actually owned by the mother of Russell Streiner. Unfortunately, sometime between the two filming sequences, someone ran into the car and put a dent in it that would easily be visible on camera. George Romero rewrote the scene so the car would come to a stop by crashing into a tree.

*In the scene where Ben is nailing wooden boards to the door, small numbers can be seen on them. These were written on the backs of the boards so they could be removed and replaced in between shots, preserving continuity. Some numbers are visible because some of the boards were nailed on backwards.

*Tom Savini was originally hired by Romero to do the makeup effects for this film. The two were first introduced to each other when Savini auditioned for an acting role in an earlier film that never got off the ground. Romero, remembering that Savini was also a makeup artist (he had brought his makeup portfolio to show to Romero at the audition), called Savini to the set of his horror movie. However, Savini was unable to do the effects because he was called to duty by the US Army to serve as a combat photographer in Vietnam.

*The word "zombie" is never used. The most common euphemism used to describe the living dead is "those things," mostly by Cooper.

*When the writers decided to base the film on zombies, they brainstormed about what would be the most shocking thing for the zombies to do to people and decided on cannibalism.


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