Birth Of The Living Dead: DVD Review












“Birth of the Living Dead,” a new documentary, shows how Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers — policemen, iron workers, teachers, ad-men, housewives and a roller-rink owner — to shoot, with a revolutionary guerrilla, run-and-gun style, his seminal film. During that process  and his team created an entirely new and horribly chilling monster – one that was undead and feasted upon human flesh.

Night of the Living Dead came on to the scene in 1968. Fast forward 25 years later and there I am watching it as a kid for the first time. My initial reaction was “Aw man, it’s in black and white!”. I’m not exactly sure what kept me from changing the channel right then and there (I was probably too lazy to get up and change the channel) but I’m glad I didn’t because what I experienced was a film that shaped my youth and made me LOVE zombie films. This documentary starts from the beginning of George A. Romero’s “Dead” series and tells the story of the making of a horror classic that influenced the world. The best thing about this documentary is the fact that Romero himself talks about how it was to make the film and how it was anything but glamorous when it came down to it. Everyone involved in the film had more than one job and they were mainly friends of Romero which if you’re an indie filmmaker you can truly identify with. If people don’t know already, they go in depth about the situation involving the copyright of the original film and the fact that NOBODY made a penny from it being shown and rebroadcast over the years. Basically it’s public domain and anyone can go and remake it, tweak it or do what they will (and profit from it) without involving Romero. They also talk plenty about the racial and social commentary that is placed within the film. There are talks about how during that time period there really wasn’t many African American leading men let alone African American leading men being dominate over a White female. It really was a film ahead of its time that spoke volumes on the situations that were going on in our society. This documentary was so beautifully crafted and showed how a low budget horror film became such a big part of cinema history. If you’re a lover of the genre and want a more in depth look at its beginnings then you HAVE to check this out.

Special Features:

Extended Interview With George A. Romero – A great, personal interview with Romero and gives a bit more depth on his upbringing and how he got into filmmaking.

George A. Romero At The Museum Of Modern Art, June 16, 1970 – An audio only Q&A session with Romero about Night Of The Living Dead

Bill Hinzman And The World-Record-Breaking Monroeville Zombie Walk – Over 1000 fans in zombie make up graced the Monroeville Mall in a charity walk.


Birth Of The Living Dead is available NOW on DVD from First Run Features


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