Portrayals Of Zombies In George Romero's Night Of The Living Dead

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Portrayals of zombies fill the mainstream media and popular culture. From television shows such as The Walking Dead to movies like 28 Days Later and Zombieland. Zombies have even been largely popularized through the Resident Evil novels followed by video game and big screen adaptations. The most awarded video game, The Last of Us, is based on a post-apocalyptic world full of zombie-like creatures. The popularity that zombies still elicit in the media can be traced back to one film that changed the landscape of horror films to come after it. George Romero‚Äôs 1968 independent black and white classic film, Night of the Living Dead, shocked the American public with a level of violence and gore that had previously never been seen in films. It created a divide between people who both loved it and hated it, but since its release, Night of the Living Dead has become touted as the film that revived and renewed the zombie genre. In addition, this film portrayed the social and political unrest that was occurring during 1968. The effect that this time period had on this film cannot be ignored and serves to solidify the significance it holds. This essay will address the impact this film …show more content…
This is because Duane Jones is a black man and played the leading role, a hero, in a film that did not focus on racial issues specifically, something that was unheard of at the time. It was simply a horror film meant to scare its audience. What is even more remarkable is that George Romero did not select Jones because he was a black man. He was not trying to make big waves; he simply chose Jones for the lead because he was the best person suited for the role. Romero rejected the values of Hollywood by casting Jones as the leading hero role. While mainstream media has become accustomed to minorities playing leading roles, in 1968, the novelty of a black hero was

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