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night of the living dead

Posted on May 17, 2017

Why You Should Watch Hammer’s The Plague of the Zombies

Dawn

If you haven’t watched the 1966 Hammer film, The Plague of the Zombies (John Gilling), you should. Much of it is fairly standard Hammer fare—set in the nineteenth century, stagey dialogue, filmed on artificial sets—but it has moments of real power, and it’s an important entry in the zombie tradition.

The Plague of the Zombies is a crucial link between the zombie revolution that was about to hit the screens two years later—in George A. Romero’s 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead—and the zombie films of the 1930s and 1940s, which drew up Haitian lore and in which zombies were mindless bodies under the control of an evil (white) man.

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Posted on July 22, 2016

Barbra’s Monstrous Metamorphosis in Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Elizabeth

His name virtually synonymous with the cinematic zombie, George A. Romero’s Dead series rewrote the rules of the undead monster. In the original Night of the Living Dead (1968), Romero’s core group of survivors battle each other as well as the zombies in a film which very much reflects the time in which it was made. As one of the group fighting for survival, Barbra is the epitome of the defenseless female. She spends the majority of the film either panicking to the detriment of those around her or catatonic. Her death, via consumption by her zombified brother, is almost a welcome reprieve from her complete ineffectualness.

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Posted on August 26, 2015

Barbra’s Androgyny in Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Elizabeth

In a previous post, I wrote about how Barbra’s ability to see in Night of the Living Dead (1990) aligns her with the monster. Upon rewatching the film, I was struck by how the characters as a whole disrupt the audience’s expectation of behavior attributed to females. To understand how Barbra employs a uniquely androgynous form of killing, we must consider her in relation to the other women who occupy the house. Unlike Helen who has Harry, and Judy Rose who has Johnny, Barbra is not sexually linked to any male in the house. This sexual independence marks her, like a monster, as abnormal. Also entering the equation is how each female is situated to represent an aspect of the feminine.

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