Birth Of The Living Dead (2013)

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n 1968 a young college drop-out and aspiring filmmaker named George A. Romero directed Night of the Living Dead, a low-budget horror film that shocked the world, became an icon of the counterculture, and invented the modern movie zombie, which has spawned legions of films, books, comics, and video games, generating billions of dollars. Night of the Living Dead is not only internationally recognized as an art film, revered for its groundbreaking treatment of American race relations and allegorical references to the Vietnam war, the film still maintains its cult status as a classic horror masterpiece. The film made history when it simultaneously screened at MOMA and the notorious grind-house theater circuit on 42nd Street. Since its release Night of the Living Dead has been selected for preservation by the Library of Congress and the National Film Registry. Rob Kuhns' feature documentary BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD goes beyond just being a tribute to director George Romero's work, to explore a critical moment in the American experience and the notion that horror acts as a reflection of national anxiety. The film details how Romero gathered an unlikely team of real Pittsburgh citizens -- police officers, iron workers, teachers, housewives and a roller-rink owner -- to shoot in a revolutionary guerrilla style that became a cinematic landmark and one of the most visceral and influential horror films ever made.(c) First Run
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Critic Reviews for Birth Of The Living Dead

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (8)

Basically a glamorized DVD extra, but it entertains.

Full Review… | November 7, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Fans won't learn much from it that they didn't already know.

Full Review… | November 7, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

Mr. Romero, manifesting a self-effacing demeanor and sensible humanity, is a most agreeable raconteur.

Full Review… | November 5, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Kuhns makes time for political insights, provocative montages of race riots cut with the movie's hick militia, and the comments of owlish Romero himself, who recounts the shoot like the enthusiastic 27-year-old he was.

Full Review… | November 5, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

What distinguishes this doc from much of the tedious critical prose Romero has inspired is the fan-boy and fan-girl ardor that fuels its smarts - both behind and in front of the camera.

Full Review… | November 5, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

Rob Kuhns's amusing but perfunctory documentary about the origins of the 1968 ur-text of zombiedom, George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead."

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Birth Of The Living Dead

A decent enough documentary about Night Of The Living Dead. It covers a fair amount about how the film came to be, how it was sold, and how the movie broke barriers in a racially divided nation. I think it could have gone into greater detail on some things and it would have been nice to have interviewed some more famous people/people involved in the making of the film. The only people I recognized were George A. Romero and Gale Anne Hurd. Did they even try to interview Judith O'Dea (Barbara)?

Dustin Pastrovich
Dustin Pastrovich

This on was very much on point giving great overview about Night of the Living and Dead and history behind.

Quincy Jackson
Quincy Jackson

The backstory behind the creation and popularity of George A. Romero's groundbreaking cult hit Night of the Living Dead is explored in the documentary Birth of the Living Dead. The film looks at Romero's early career in commercials and at how he came up with the idea behind Night of the Living Dead. His guerrilla filmmaking style is also discussed, along with how he marketed the film in order to get it distributed in grindhouse theatres. And, historians and other experts look at the counterculture movement of the late '60s and at how it influenced Romero's work. Additional, the film reviews Night of the Living Dead's cinematic journey, from drive-in theatres to European art houses to the public domain, and how it continually increased in popularity and won over audiences and critics alike. Extraordinarily informative and comprehensive, Birth of the Living Dead is the definitive word on Romero's seminal zombie classic.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

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