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Night of the Living Dead: Behind the Scenes of the Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever Paperback – September 1, 2010
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This chatty but valuable piece of cinema history offers a complete study of the creation and consequences of one of the most famous horror movies ever made, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. After briefly covering the predecessors of this zombie masterpiece, the book proceeds to describe concept, casting, scripting, cinematography, and doing everything on a budget that would not pay a modern equivalent’s catering bill. We also have analyses of the movie’s role in elevating the status of zombies in American popular culture, including both movies and, lately, the print media. We even have a look at the Living Dead Festival for the movie’s numerous and tenacious fans, and a “Where are they now?” for the people involved (some departed, none of these known to have returned). Most valuable, perhaps, is a complete screenplay. In equal measure entertaining and informative, this one belongs in sf, fantasy, horror, and pop-culture collections alike. --Roland Green
Top customer reviews
However, the title is somewhat misleading, as only about half the book (or less) is actually a "behind-the-scenes" look at Night of the Living Dead. The rest of it is about how it was received in various markets, and how it opened various doors for the filmmakers involved. The book also provides a brief look into how this film was variously ripped off or paid homage, and how it influenced generations of later zombie movies.
Of the "extras" listed in this book, the only one to remain intact is the original screenplay. This is a nice touch because, rather than simply giving you what ended up on screen, it presents the film as originally conceived and gives the reader the chance to compare and contrast with the film as produced.
I'd have been happier had the description of the Kindle edition NOT suggested that there were previously unseen production and behind-the-scenes photographs. Though I had determined to purchase whether or not the photos had been included, I WAS pretty excited to see them. Sadly, they aren't in the Kindle edition.
A final gripe I have with the Kindle edition in particular is that, even though the formatting is very different from the print version, they still insisted on using pull quotes throughout. The various quotes at the beginning of the chapters were great, but those stuck in the middle were pointless and distracting.
Overall, I'm happy with the purchase, but the buyer should be aware that he or she is NOT getting what is indicated by the title and description.
For a Romero beginner looking for a nice overview, this is a great book. For the hardcore Romero-fan (of which I am one), author Kane covers familiar ground, seemingly pulling all of his quotes from pre-existing documentary and print interviews and dvd commentaries. And, although the cover promises new photos, I didn't notice anything new there either.
However, the book does have one highlight: the author has various horror film figures contribute mini-essays about how NOTLD changed their lives, etc. These are a lot of fun.
The book is also well-designed, well-laid out and presented very nicely.
All in all, good - not great. For the beginner or completist.