Night of the Living Dead is the seminal Zombie movie, written and directed by George Romero and heavily based on Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, it chronicles the efforts of a small group of people trying to survive a zombie reanimation while trapped in a Pennsylvania farm house.
If you want to understand how the Zombie-genre became a part of popular culture, you need to watch this film. Not only did it “invent” the rules that would color almost all future zombie movies, but it started filmmarkers fascination with using Zombies as tools to make social commentary (which we will discuss later).
Originally, Night of the Living Dead didn’t even have Zombies in it. The screenplay that would later become the film was titled Monster Flick and it was a horror comedy involving teenage aliens. Eventually, the film evolved into a three-part short story that would be adapted into Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.
In 1999 the Library of Congress added Night of the Living Dead to the National Film Registry and in 2001 the American Film Institute named it one of the one hundred most important horror and thriller films. It has been cited as everything from an attack against the Vietnam to a commentary on domestic racism (though Romero denies the latter).
All in all, this film is a necessary signpost on the road to your own personal Zombie Apocalypse, and guess what, you can watch it for free above.