Night of the Living Dead (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

Night of the Living Dead (1968)



Critic Consensus: George A. Romero's debut set the template for the zombie film, and features tight editing, realistic gore, and a sly political undercurrent.

Movie Info

A group of people hide from bloodthirsty zombies in a farmhouse.more
Rating: R (violence, language, nudity)
Genre: Horror, Classics, Cult Movies
Directed By:
Written By: George A. Romero, John Russo, John A. Russo
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 12, 2005
Continental Distributing Inc. - Official Site


Judith O'Dea
as Barbara
Marilyn Eastman
as Helen Cooper
Bill Heinzman
as Cemetery Ghoul
Charles Craig
as Newscaster/Ghoul
David Lee Hartman
as Ghoul/Reporter
Frank Doak
as Scientist
George Kosana
as Sheriff McClelland
S. William Hinzman
as Cemetery Zombie
Bill Cardille
as Reporter
Mark Ricci
as Washington Scientist
George A. Romero
as Washington Reporter ...
John A. Russo
as Washington Reporter/...
Al Croft
as Ghoul
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Night of the Living Dead

Critic Reviews for Night of the Living Dead

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (7)

If [Romero's] original vision of the undead looks dulled by today's standards, his embedded political commentary on racism feels just as sharp.

Full Review… | October 7, 2013
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Although pic's basic premise is repellent -- recently dead bodies are resurrected and begin killing human beings in order to eat their flesh -- it is in execution that the film distastefully excels.

Full Review… | October 3, 2008
Top Critic

George Romero's remarkably assured debut, made on a shoestring, about a group of people barricaded inside a farmhouse while an army of flesh-eating zombies roams the countryside, deflates all genre clichés.

Full Review… | September 19, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

Over its short, furious course, the picture violates so many strong taboos -- cannibalism, incest, necrophilia -- that it leaves audiences giddy and hysterical.

Full Review… | September 19, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

I felt real terror in that neighborhood theater last Saturday afternoon. I saw kids who had no resources they could draw upon to protect themselves from the dread and fear they felt.

Full Review… | September 19, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Chuckle, if you can, during the first few minutes; because after that laughter catches in the throat as the clammy hand of terror tightens its grip.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Night of the Living Dead

Romero's first film - and his first zombie movie - is creepy, gory and realistic, with an extremely disturbing atmosphere, an incredibly sharp sociopolitical commentary and a terrifying ending, even though the acting is not that good and the plot feels a bit repetitive.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A family, a man, and a woman hold up in a farmhouse as they try to survive an attack of zombies.
I should forgive this 1968 classic for its poor special effects, its misogyny, its predictable character types, it plot holes, its overwrought performances, and its lack of any ethical raison d'etre. But I don't. The female characters are all useless fools, and why doesn't the old lady in the attic ever wake up and attack the group of survivors? If the dead are walking and she's dead, why isn't she walking? Was her brain damaged? If so, that wasn't clear.
Overall, while it's a horror classic, there have been improvements on this genre that have made it archaic.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

With some visually impressive images for it's time, and being one of the first films to have a boarded up home, fighting zombies away, "Night of the Living Dead," to me, was the spark of the genre. So many good films have come from this genre, and even dating all the way back to this picture, it's terrific entertainment. Although it becomes a tad slow at times, it still manages to hold your attention well and send chills down your spine with it's practical effects. The acting is solid for it's time and the story is well played out, but the most commendable thing about this film is it's direction. George A. Romero truly knows how to handle his actors, and each zombie does not feel out of place. All around, it's a great film, albeit simple. "Night of the Living Dead" sets a bright future for this filmmaker!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Night of the Living Dead Quotes

Johnny: They're coming to get you Barbara.
– Submitted by Matthew B (21 months ago)
Johnny: They're coming to get you Barbara.
– Submitted by Jacob M (3 years ago)
Ben: I ought to drag you out there and FEED you to those things!
– Submitted by Bria M (3 years ago)
Newscaster: It has been established that persons who have recently died have been returning to life and committing acts of murder. A widespread investigation of funeral homes, morgues, and hospitals has concluded that the unburied dead have been returning to life and seeking human victims. It's hard for us here to be reporting this to you, but it does seem to be a fact.
– Submitted by Steven F (4 years ago)

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