Zombie Book Club

Night of the Living Dead and Its Cultural Resonance | Zombie Book Club Podcast Episode 39

April 07, 2024 Zombie Book Club Season 2 Episode 39
Night of the Living Dead and Its Cultural Resonance | Zombie Book Club Podcast Episode 39
Zombie Book Club
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Zombie Book Club
Night of the Living Dead and Its Cultural Resonance | Zombie Book Club Podcast Episode 39
Apr 07, 2024 Season 2 Episode 39
Zombie Book Club

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Unearth the sociopolitical depths of "Night of the Living Dead" in our latest podcast episode. Leah and Dan invite you to a riveting discussion on the iconic 1968 film and its 1990 remake, where we sift through the black and white terror and the vivid hues of zombie evolution. We're not just talking about undead brain-eaters; we delve into the human condition, peppering our analysis with humor and personal anecdotes to keep the macabre mood at bay.

We dissect the cultural impact of George Romero's indie masterpiece, its unintended public domain status, and how this twist of fate propelled a genre to its iconic stature. From the portrayal of race and gender to the zombies' shift from space radiation victims to flesh-hungry ghouls, we dissect the films' commentary on society. And let's not forget about the soundtrack—how does the sweeping orchestral richness of the original stack up against the synthwave style of the remake?

As we wrap our brains around the implications of these films, we don't shy away from a good debate on the best zombie survival strategies or the eerie allure of a farmhouse besieged by the undead. We ponder over the curious choices made by characters and the eerie, lasting resonance these cinematic tales have with our real-world fears. So grab your barricading tools and tune in for a conversation as lively as the zombies we admire.

Follow our linktree for social media links, and links to all the places you can find our podcast!
https://linktr.ee/zombiebookclub

ZBC Discord Server
https://discord.com/invite/8hCSb4eg

Zombie Book Club Voicemail
(614) 699-0006‬

Zombie Book Club Email
ZombieBookClubPodcast@gmail.com

Our Secret Website That Isn't Finished
https://zombiebookclub.io

Our Merchandise Store (Where you can find our Evil Magic Chicken Zombie Shirts)
https://zombie-book-club.myspreadshop.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Unearth the sociopolitical depths of "Night of the Living Dead" in our latest podcast episode. Leah and Dan invite you to a riveting discussion on the iconic 1968 film and its 1990 remake, where we sift through the black and white terror and the vivid hues of zombie evolution. We're not just talking about undead brain-eaters; we delve into the human condition, peppering our analysis with humor and personal anecdotes to keep the macabre mood at bay.

We dissect the cultural impact of George Romero's indie masterpiece, its unintended public domain status, and how this twist of fate propelled a genre to its iconic stature. From the portrayal of race and gender to the zombies' shift from space radiation victims to flesh-hungry ghouls, we dissect the films' commentary on society. And let's not forget about the soundtrack—how does the sweeping orchestral richness of the original stack up against the synthwave style of the remake?

As we wrap our brains around the implications of these films, we don't shy away from a good debate on the best zombie survival strategies or the eerie allure of a farmhouse besieged by the undead. We ponder over the curious choices made by characters and the eerie, lasting resonance these cinematic tales have with our real-world fears. So grab your barricading tools and tune in for a conversation as lively as the zombies we admire.

Follow our linktree for social media links, and links to all the places you can find our podcast!
https://linktr.ee/zombiebookclub

ZBC Discord Server
https://discord.com/invite/8hCSb4eg

Zombie Book Club Voicemail
(614) 699-0006‬

Zombie Book Club Email
ZombieBookClubPodcast@gmail.com

Our Secret Website That Isn't Finished
https://zombiebookclub.io

Our Merchandise Store (Where you can find our Evil Magic Chicken Zombie Shirts)
https://zombie-book-club.myspreadshop.com

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Zombie Book Club, the only book club where the book is a movie and the movie's in black and white. And then there was a remake that was in color, and that's good too. It was pretty great. Yeah, I'm Dan, and when I'm not dreading my return to working on a paving crew, I'm writing a book about the fall of civilization, because sometimes I wish the world would just hit the reset button already.

Speaker 2:

It's tempting, and I'm Leah, and when I'm out, dreading having to feed myself again now that Dan will be back at work, I'm contemplating how many great films I've missed out on, because I have a heavy bias against old movies. I have learned yeah, no more grilly cheese.

Speaker 1:

What Unless you make a grilly cheese?

Speaker 2:

Oh well, I made my own grilly cheese while you were working a grillie cheese. Oh well, I made my own grillie cheese while you were working. That's true, I sent you a song I'm making grillie cheese leah likes to make songs I do.

Speaker 1:

Maybe one day I'll sing something today we're diving into the classic versus the remake of the night of the living dead. We're going to compare the 1968 and the 1990 versions of the film Leah before watching this, for this episode has never watched the Night of the Living Dead.

Speaker 2:

Because I hate old movies, including 1990s movies.

Speaker 1:

The 1990s Too old. 2000 is too old for Leah, it's true. We were watching Ocean's Eleven and you're like this movie looks old. I hate this movie looks old.

Speaker 2:

I hate this it's true, but I I I'm gonna spoil it from the intro here I fucking love, I love night of the living dead. Like transformed my life.

Speaker 1:

I love it, wow I didn't know it was you loved it that much I really, really do.

Speaker 2:

I want to watch it again. And how many times do I say I want to watch anything again on this podcast? It is quite surprising. We release episodes every Sunday on all podcasting platforms, so please subscribe, hang out with us, all of them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, give us a rating and a review, it helps.

Speaker 2:

It helps us.

Speaker 1:

Do you want to help us? Give us a rating? Help, that's all it takes.

Speaker 2:

Help us help oh, so good bonus points if you speak french, so let's um. I wanted to start off this episode with a quote from an article by sean van horn from 2023 and um, the website collider, because I think that it's necessary to talk about the 1968 film and actually I was thinking the 1990 too within the historical context. It was made Because George Romero said that it was sort of accidental yeah, an accidental commentary on race, on gender divides, a bunch of things, like he really didn't realize it, which I think is wild because it's so obvious when you watch it now from a 2023 point of view. So this quote says 1968 was a 2023 point of view. So this quote says 1968 was a tough time for America. We were trapped in a war in Vietnam. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which sought to ban discrimination, was being felt throughout the country, with Black people still struggling, despite the legislation's best intentions Sidebar, that's still true. We have a long way to go still Wait.

Speaker 1:

you mean we didn't fix it in 1968?

Speaker 2:

No, the way this was written kind of makes it sound like they were just. Anyways, this is back to the quote. It was also a chaotic presidential election year, one that ended with violence at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Before that, the country had to go through two of the most shocking and heartbreaking assassinations Martin Luther King Jr was struck down by assassin's bullet on April 4th of that same year. So this is the context that the 1968 version of this film is made, and then the 1990s version. I want to say that's just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Women can have credit cards now and they can be divorced. And they can be divorced. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Without being shunned by the community. But my mom is still dressing me up as if I'm on a little house on the prairie when we go out. Yeah, me too. So still, you know it's not 2023 yet.

Speaker 1:

So let's talk about a fun fact about Night of the Living Dead that maybe not everybody knows.

Speaker 2:

I feel like our listeners might know, but let's find out. Some of you might know this.

Speaker 1:

So if it is, I'm just, I'm just explaining right now. I'm autism explaining right now. This whole podcast is explaining it is we explain? We should go just call it the explain cast, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Everything you already know about zombies.

Speaker 1:

Zombie explain. So this was an indie film and George Romero wanted to make this movie. He had very little budget. They could only afford black and white film stock, even though most movies were in color by this point. So that just goes to show how hand-to-mouth this movie was. It didn't have a lot of backing, they didn't have a lot of help. So they made the movie and when they were about to release it they realized that they made a mistake with the title card at the very beginning of the movie. Shit. So at the last second, george Romero was like I'll fix that. And he fixed it and he put it in and he shipped the movie. And the thing about the title card is that it did not have the copyright information for the movie.

Speaker 2:

It has to be on title card for there to be copyright.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I guess, so I don't really know how copyright worked back then. Copyrights had a huge overhaul in the 70s.

Speaker 2:

This is the 60s, so it doesn't count, it's the 60s.

Speaker 1:

There's no laws, baby. So, basically, what happened? Because there was no copyright information on it, this movie was immediately put into the public domain. Now, that is tragic, because he put everything that he had into this movie. He's like, oh yeah, I'll just invest everything I've got into this movie, it'll go out, we'll make our money back and we can make the next movie. That's how these things work, and they were going to get no money for this move. Um, so that sounds bad, but uh, so at the time, um, people had very limited television watching options. 1968, yeah, yeah, there was probably two to three channels that you could watch and your your.

Speaker 1:

TV was either tiny or huge. Yeah, or you had a huge one and then a tiny one on top of it, because the huge one broke.

Speaker 2:

Yes, or you had to hit it a lot to make it work.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you had to hit it so much. So, while this was a bad thing to happen and kind of fucked over, everyone that was hoping to make some amount of money from this except for people who already got paid, like the actors and the crew and craft services- they had craft services they probably had like a couple sticks of gum sitting on a folding table. Help yourselves to the gum I'm picturing more.

Speaker 2:

Like was 1968 the height of the like jelly casserole thing, that like bobbled.

Speaker 1:

Oh, you mean like the, the jello yes, it's like in a that's what I'm picturing in like a harvest gold plastic that fruitcake oh god, fruitcake's gross I'm taking you so far off track today so, while this was a bad thing for everybody involved, what did happen is these TV stations sometimes would have monster movie marathons. Uh, frank, the actual frankenstein, um, the mummy, the blob, the no, not the thing. That was 1980. That was a way better movie than those universal movies, but you get the idea.

Speaker 1:

Dracula, that's one, yeah nosferatu yeah, so all of these were public domain because they were so old, so they could only get these old horror movies to play for their monster movie marathons. But, lo and behold, 1968 rolls around. They're trying to find the new, biggest monster movie that everyone was going to be crazy about. But everything was already out. Everybody had already seen everything 75 times. But then something is added to the public domain that's brand new and it's called Night of the Living Dead and it's the best movie ever Of that time, I'm sure. And they're like a new movie that no one has seen in its public domain. Give us that immediately. And they started playing Night of the Living Dead nonstop and people were excited about it. They're like we've never heard of this thing. What? What are zombies?

Speaker 1:

yeah, if I hadn't watched white zombie right right and like white zombie is a very different movie.

Speaker 2:

The night of the dead one um, and it's our it.

Speaker 1:

It could be argued that zombies would not have the cultural significance that they have right now if it weren't for George Romero's fuck up. The thing that fucked him over actually was the best thing that he ever did for his career, possibly.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes life works out that way yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so keep that in mind. If you're a creative and you think that you're a failure, maybe your failure is actually a win.

Speaker 2:

And George Romero, I think is responsible ultimately for the success of the Walking Dead.

Speaker 1:

So I think is responsible ultimately for the success of the Walking Dead. So thanks, George. Yeah, definitely. We wouldn't have had the Walking Dead if it weren't for George Romero. There's no way.

Speaker 2:

No, the other thing that is really was I was reading was really on con for its time, and I feel like I just feel like most of what we do is spoilers, stan, and this is from 1968. So, but I'm going to tell you, the main character dies. And that did not happen in those other movies that were being played at the same time, like and even to till this day.

Speaker 2:

Rick's not dead on the walking dead he just was gone for a while we don't know yeah, they might, they might kill episode of uh, the ones who live comes out tonight so cross our fingers. I'm so obsessed with the ones who live. But anyways, um, this was very uncommon and very upsetting for its time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, also another thing that was uncommon for its time a black male lead character. This was, I want to say, is the first one um I don't know, we don't know that, so I don't know if we should say it like can I search this real quick? Yes, you can. So yes, um, I just checked it out on the internet. Citation needed Dwayne Jones of the Night of the Living Dead is the very first black actor to star as the hero of a horror film.

Speaker 2:

Wow, I can't believe this wasn't intentional by George Romero in the middle of the civil rights movement era. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, he said. He said that he never, he never intended for the role to be played by a Black actor. But once they saw Dwayne Jones in the role, interviewing what do you do when you're an actor I don't know Auditioning when he was auditioning for the role, they're like he is obviously the person for this role he was incredible.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we'll talk more about that later, but yeah, there was a lot of like firsts in this movie, but let's get into the summary and then start to break it down a little bit more. So the thing that both films share the 1968 and the 1990 is that the basic premise is that there is a bunch of people trapped in a farmhouse during a zombie outbreak. In where? Where are they?

Speaker 1:

pennsylvania rural pennsylvania, right outside of monroville yeah, um, I forget the name of this town. There's if, if, uh, if you go to um zombie horror conventions, there's two big ones the night what do they call them? The weekend of?

Speaker 2:

the weekend of the living dead.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'll look it up there's two towns, monroville and the other town that I can't remember right now, and this is in the other town.

Speaker 2:

Oh sorry, it's Living Dead Weekend. I had it quite backwards.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Monroeville and Evans. Oh, no, evans City, yeah. Isn't that the same place as Monroeville? I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Well, people have Google, yeah, Google it. Yeah, I really want to go to this.

Speaker 2:

Oh, there's also one in Pittsburgh. If you just call this podcast, Google it no one ever claimed to that.

Speaker 1:

we're experts. So they mentioned that they are 10 miles from Evans City.

Speaker 2:

this farmhouse, monroeville, famously you don't know this yet because you haven't seen it yet the original Dawn of the Dead is at the monroville mall and that's where the living dead weekend takes place is in the monroville mall I will say, like we have been talking about going to the living dead weekend for a while because we think it would be one fun and two like the place to find other people that are, um, like us, you think I think so, yeah and uh, I might enjoy this podcast, but now, after seeing it, I actually want to go for the sake of the movie itself and the history of it. So that's kind of cool. Maybe we can, um, maybe we can get your brother to dog sit for us so we can go that weekend we can.

Speaker 1:

We can go to my brother and be like there's this amazing thing, it's, it's a, it's a zombie weekend. It's gonna be so much fun and uh, and we can't wait to go. Can you stay here and watch the dogs like, like, as you can see the, the, the exuberance in his face, his face and he's like zombie. We get that sounds like so much fun. And then we're like and then you can watch the dogs.

Speaker 2:

And he's like oh okay, I guess so well, you know, there's nothing like a romantic getaway than, uh, the living dead weekend.

Speaker 2:

It's true let's do a quick summary of each of the films just to share, like where there's some slight differences, and then we'll get into the, the deets. I'm gonna read um, the night of the living dead summary and then you can read the Night of the Living Dead summary. Yeah, sure, I'll just read the 68 one. You read the 1991. So, as we said, it's set in a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania where there's a bunch of survivors who are attempting to barricade themselves from zombies. The main protagonist, ben, is played by Dwayne Johnson, right Is that his?

Speaker 1:

name Dwayne Johnson, the Rockne johnson oh no, that's the rock.

Speaker 2:

What's his name again? Oh, uh you just said it and I already lost it dwayne jones, I see that. Yeah, I see where so close. My apologies to dwayne jones. I want to know where he is now also dwayne johnson, don't add us anyways, ben is kind of the default leader of the group.

Speaker 2:

He's extremely resourceful and he is trying to keep himself and everyone else alive. There is a lot of tense interactions between Ben Barbara, who is another main character who is very different in each of these films. In this film, she's basically catatonic and quite annoying, yeah, and extremely one dimensional Loves doilies. Yeah, harry, who is? I will call the basement dweller, because they find out that he's already in the house yeah, but hiding in the basement, secret basement people, who the fuck's?

Speaker 1:

helen. Helen, uh, probably his wife, but I don't know. There's, there's two, there's two women, uh, and I don't know either of their names.

Speaker 2:

That just shows you how important they are in the film? They're not, um, and they are basically hiding in the basement. And the main disagreement is that, uh, should you hide in the basement when the zombies come, or should you board up all the windows and doors and stay upstairs? That's like the, the debate of the film, uh, and then, of course, the ending. The movie ends really tragically with ben mistakenly shot by rescuers, which we will get into in much more depth. Why? Because think about the time frame still today. This day says a lot, um, and then his body is burned with other zombies.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that's 1968 well, let me tell you about the 1990 version, with the notes that I wrote. You see, uh, the 1990 version takes place in a farmhouse in rural pennsylvania, but it's 1990 actually. We don't actually know what time it is in the movie. Um, we do see vehicles that look like they're maybe from the 70s or 80s they look a little more dressed, a little bit.

Speaker 1:

I mean, barbara wears pants at one point, yeah um, but she's, she's wearing a dress at the beginning anyways. Um, it takes place in a farmhouse, just like the previous movie. Um, we've still got ben as the lead, but the remake gives him more, a little bit more backstory, or at least expresses it better. I remember both versions. He did have like a little bit of a backstory where he says that he was at a diner, then this happened and then that happened. But in this one I feel like there's a little bit more information other than just kind of like a weird rambling.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes.

Speaker 1:

We've got some character dynamics. We got relationships that are a little bit deeper.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because they can actually talk in this one a lot more, it's true. So you can get a lot more backstory of, like, whose people are and what their motivations are and what the tensions are beyond physical acting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, especially I forget his name. There's a group that we forgot to mention for main characters, and it's a young man and his girlfriend. I don't know either of their names.

Speaker 2:

No, but the young man in this version 1990, is much more fleshed out and interesting yeah they've got a story Also, his girlfriend has lines.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and also girlfriend has lines yeah, and also it has opinions. In the 1990 version turns out that their uncle um owns the farmhouse.

Speaker 2:

So it's actually, it's actually their house technically yeah that wasn't a factor in the first it's not really their house, is their uncle's house, but it's kind of like what it just conveniently the people who actually live there aren't there. They're dead, oh.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

How do we know they're dead?

Speaker 1:

We see their bodies.

Speaker 2:

Oh my God, I never made the connection that that was them.

Speaker 1:

I'm not kidding In both movies, actually, we've got the owners being either zombies or-.

Speaker 2:

Dead on the-. In both movies there's a woman who's dead on the stairs.

Speaker 1:

Well, in the second movie it's actually the guy's cousin who blows his brains out at the top of the stairs. In the first movie it is a faceless skull of a corpse that's just laying there.

Speaker 2:

You want to know that we're perfect for each other.

Speaker 1:

I do.

Speaker 2:

Because you can. I watch these movies, I love these movies and you're telling me these details and I'm just looking at you like it's the first time and I'm so grateful for your memory. But that's basically it. And then the ending also does change from the original, except for Ben dies. Does he survive? No, he's a zombie in the 1991, right.

Speaker 1:

So the ending of the 1990 version is slightly different from the 1968. And both of them spoiler alert Ben dies. In the first movie, ben dies as a result of him getting too close to a window and then being shot because he looks scary.

Speaker 2:

In the 1990 version, he dies from his wounds in the basement, turns into a zombie and comes up and they find him and they find him and they, they shoot him um I think the biggest difference is that barbara dies in the first one, yeah, but barbara does not die in the second one yeah, barbara is the is the sole survivor of the second movie, whereas ben, technically was the sole survivor of the first movie and then gets shot I'm holding back so much commentary for later in this show.

Speaker 2:

Right now I just want to like get into the feminist aspects of it and um the anti-blackness of both, but for now let's just do our usual shit, like what kind of zombies they had, because I feel like that is worth talking about. I found the 1968 ones fucking so cool. Yeah, and the origin story of. I think did I talk about the origin story in the 1990?

Speaker 1:

version a little bit, but let's get into that. When we talk about 1990, okay, here's. Here's something that I've always considered to be like a no-go zone for zombie movies, but since this was kind of like the first one of its kind, I think that you know, we'll let george romero get away with it. Octavia butler does too. Yeah, space magic. So, uh, the origin, they, they say it's, it's from space. Um, so they talk about a space probe that, uh, that came from venus and brought back radiation from it yeah, it was destroyed upon re-entering the atmosphere.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so venetian space radiation um are causing people to return to the lady planet stupid ladies always making zombies happen.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, eating the fucking apple radiating everybody into zombies um the zombies themselves. They looked pretty much just like people, probably because it's more budget to make them look like zombies but also it was part of what I loved about the film is they just look like regular people, but they were like stumbly and dead-eyed and very relentless about their goal of killing people yeah, um they had some minimalist makeup effects some of them look more decayed than others, sort of indicating that they have dug themselves up.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, others are fresh, but we don't actually see any zombies dig themselves out of the ground.

Speaker 1:

But you can tell some are just looking a little more decomposed, yeah, and you know, I'm sure somebody out there knows um knows the answer to these things but I feel like 1968's night of the living dead has, like this origin of um recently deceased people being brought back to life instead of it just being like a virus or something.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Whereas later in the series you have to be bitten to then turn and then come back.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that's the way that they move. Their physical acting was so great. They honestly were very scary zombies to me. The 68 zombies yeah, just as scary as zombies in modern day. We just finished watching Alive, which will be a future episode, and those were some fucking scary ass zombies that were the exact opposite of these kinds of zombies, but they're like just insatiable and I love how they like lumber. We did a lot of like pausing, rewinding and pausing to see like facial expressions of different zombies in different moments. It's pretty entertaining. I would watch it again for that.

Speaker 1:

What are the 1990s zombies, dan? Uh yeah, so in 1990 they visually appear more grotesque and realistic, probably because tom salvini is the director of the 1990 version and tom salvini is george romero's um makeup person in previous movies, I think you I think he was on dawn of the dead. I'd have to citation needed because I'm just kind of like pulling this out of my brain. Someone will info. Dump stuff for us on Live on LinkedIn and we look forward to it.

Speaker 2:

Feel free yeah.

Speaker 1:

Chris.

Speaker 2:

Zompocalypse, chris, we call upon you, we call upon the powers of Chris and Zompocalypse.

Speaker 1:

Possibly, greg the writer? Yes, we're calling you out and also asking for information.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, another person who, I think, has said they don't want to have their name used and is yeah, yeah, but anyways.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, makeup includes detailed wounds, exposed flesh and more varying range of decay.

Speaker 2:

They look a lot like Walking Dead zombies to me 1990 versions Also like like the 1968.

Speaker 1:

They had like one severed hand and it looked like it was made out of jelly, like the fingers.

Speaker 2:

Oh my god it was amazing but honestly it was scary and disturbing because it was like in that uncanny valley place jiggly jello fingers. Yeah, somebody worked hard on that hand. It's true, um, I think in the 1990 version they worked harder on the hands yeah, would you say that the 1990 ones have more agility and coordination compared to 1968 or about the same?

Speaker 1:

no, about the same, maybe even less. There's. There's one scene where barbara in the 1990 version is out on the in the, in the field, and she's like having a mental breakdown and crying, while a young girl zombie is coming at her and she's just like between sobs, just kind of like shoving the zombie away, and it's just so, so slow and uncoordinated. It's like you can't even be afraid of the zombie, but that you know as they, as their numbers grow. That's why they're scary.

Speaker 2:

But we forgot to mention that in both cases they have some level of retention of their human abilities and intention behind them. They hate light, so they were willing to smash headlights out. They can pick up tools and use them. They can turn door handles.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they have some level of self-preservation because they're avoiding fire.

Speaker 2:

they're afraid of fire yeah, and there must have been feedback on the first one. Weren't more zombies?

Speaker 1:

because there were a lot more zombies in 1990 I mean, maybe they just had more budget yeah, possibly you know by this point, in 1990, you've already had the dawn of the dead, which has lots and lots of zombies. You have day of the dead, and then you also have things like dawn of the dead, which has lots and lots of zombies. You have day of the dead, and then you also have things like return of the living dead, which is not a romero, and uh and many other zombie movies by this point, where the expectation is if you're going to have a zombie movie, you got to have lots of zombies I think that's a fair one and I will say that, like the humor really amps up in the 1990 version, I I feel like they took the 1968 version.

Speaker 2:

They're like what are the things that were really great about this that we could do more of? Yeah, 22 years later, and just fucking killed it, because there's a scene in the first one of a zombie who somehow the entire back of his outfit is missing. So it's like his butt and his back.

Speaker 1:

Right, he looked normal from the front, like he was just a guy wearing a suit yeah, but then they had a shot of his butt.

Speaker 2:

It was great. They had a naked, they had a. Well, both north versions had a naked lady, um, and then there was also but in the 1990 version there was just like, I feel like more humor, yeah, and more ridiculous zombies, like there's that one that's crumpled outside of the house in the most bizarre position.

Speaker 1:

I was gonna talk about that one because I think that's one that's crumpled outside of the house in the most bizarre position. I was going to talk about that one because I think that's kind of like gore humor. Yeah, because it got hit by a truck and now it's just like laying on the lawn trying to pull itself along with its front paws, but the legs are like it's wrapped around in a U-shape, so its legs are up by its head.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, a u-shape, so its legs are up by its head. Yeah, yeah, it's I. I don't think it's a thing to talk about today, but I will say just briefly that when I think about the night of living dead, so much of the walking dead references make sense to me now in ways that I had no idea they were a reference to the living dead I mean me too like.

Speaker 2:

I'm thinking about the fact that rick has to kill a little girl and that there's a little girl that has to be killed in this film. There's the door handle knob scene. The zombies are pretty much identical yeah, they're in in the first season of the walking dead.

Speaker 1:

You have zombies that can climb ladders. You have zombies that pick up bricks and rocks and try to smash windows and uh.

Speaker 2:

And you have zombies that try to open doors yeah, there's a lot of just like strange similarities, but I well, not strange, obviously, obviously intentional, it's really cool. But let's talk about the setting in the cinematography, because I was really impressed by the 1968 one. This like literally the opening scene is this beautiful pastoral scene of a road, winding road in rural Pennsylvania and literally, like from that moment on I was like, okay, this is gonna be good.

Speaker 1:

Yeah like this beautiful on I was like, okay, this is gonna be good. Yeah, like it was beautiful, you know it's, it's uh. I didn't know how you're gonna feel about that, because the opening shot in both movies is like a winding road. You just see the car that barb is driving and it is a long shot. It's like 30, 40 seconds of a car getting closer to the camera yeah, but it's great yeah because it's beautiful.

Speaker 2:

It's beautiful to look at. It creates a bit of a mood. I was hooked from that moment on, like they're just. It's really good cinematography yeah, I was.

Speaker 1:

I really didn't think you were going to be able to pay attention to this movie I didn't either.

Speaker 2:

I had brought my ipad downstairs to doodle while it was happening. I will say there were a couple times I picked up my phone and you were like, hey, put that down.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean like these are movies where if you don't take in the details, then you don't get the full story and I wish I always had the attention span to see all those details, but I just don't.

Speaker 2:

But this one really kept my attention because it was not just oh fuck, my mom's phoning me on the middle of our. Well, if everybody heard those sounds, that was my my mom calling Leave it in, Dan.

Speaker 1:

No, I'm going to take it out.

Speaker 2:

My mom no, don't, because I'm about to tell a side story. Okay, my mom's really sad that we're not all together Today's technically Zombie Jesus Day.

Speaker 1:

Oh, happy Zombie Jesus Day. Yeah, jesus gave up a three-day weekend for our sins.

Speaker 2:

Sorry, christians Also not. Yeah, sorry, Not sorry, but anyways, we don't even like. My family is not religious anymore, although they sort of were, but my mom gets really sappy around holidays. I'm like I'm a vegan now. I'm not going to eat your ham anyways, like there's nothing about this. That is going to be a good time. Also, if I did celebrate Easterter, wouldn't want to celebrate it with you, mom I'm kidding, she actually listens.

Speaker 1:

Oh my god, bleep that part out.

Speaker 2:

She's like I'm very upset about what you said to me on your podcast yeah, she has to listen to it once and I was just like no same. I'm not telling you the name of this.

Speaker 1:

Well, you know what? Since we're on the topic, how was the pacing of this movie?

Speaker 2:

well, it kept my attention pretty much the whole time. I did pick up my phone twice, yeah, yeah um, what about the 1990 version? Same yeah they were both good.

Speaker 1:

I I like the 1968 version more yeah, you know I I find that with older movies it's either a really slow pace or the pacing is incredible, um, because I think, especially when you get into indie movies that like had budgets and those budgets were based around the amount of footage that they could record in a day, um, and also the level of visual effects, like you have a lot quicker cuts to go around visual effects. So like you'll just have like a quick shot of somebody swinging a hammer and then a reaction shot because they can't they can't with cg, just make the zombie's head explode. You know they got to make a cut and then change the camera angle so that it fools you into thinking that it's one shot. So you tend to see a lot better editing when they don't have the money to do visual effects.

Speaker 2:

That's interesting. I just honestly was really not expecting to enjoy it, and maybe that was for the best. If I'd gone in with really high expectations, maybe I'd feel, but I had zero. I was like this will be all right. I feel like it's required for me to watch this, yeah.

Speaker 1:

You know I don't think that people like if they're trying to introduce their friends to zombie movies. You shouldn't tell people that night of the living dead is the best zombie movie ever made because, objectively, if you're, if you're comparing it to modern zombie films, people are just going to be left thinking, well, it was all right I think it is the best zombie movie ever made.

Speaker 1:

Yeah but you had, you had. You didn't have high expectations. You didn't expect to see like, like a, like a zombie tsunami, like world war z. You know? No, you didn't expect it to be uh, 28 days later, that's true.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I guess, because my expectations were low, it helped me to see it for what it was, instead of like coming with a pre I definitely didn't have. I guess my preconceived notion was negative bias, yeah. So who knows how that's affected my, how much I love it now. But let's talk about other reasons why I think the 1968 version, 1990 version, are so different, which is character development, because again in 1968, they can barely talk, there's a lot of silence and there's a lot of very one-dimensional characters as a result, because they just I'm assuming it was difficult to do audio back then- yeah, I mean, if you listen to to 1968 it'll make your ears bleed, because it's just everybody stomping around and the wooden floor boards of a farmhouse banging hammers oh yeah, I guess if you didn't have anything else, that's very true.

Speaker 2:

It is a lot of hammer banging movies back then.

Speaker 1:

A lot of times, what they would do is they they would either, um, mix out the, the sound that was recorded on the on on set, and then dub over it wow, um, because, like the cameras made a lot of noise, the set made a lot of noise.

Speaker 1:

The microphone technology like our microphone technology that we talked about in the last episode kind of sucked so they weren't able to isolate people's audio. So, like you had a combination of a lot of the microphones picking up a lot along a wide range of sound and the actors having to then like, like, project more of their own voice, which is why when barbara talks she sounds like this all the time I didn't realize.

Speaker 2:

That was why I just thought it was bad acting. There's also that whoever directed barbara to behave the way that she did aka bizarre and terrible acting didn't understand women. Yeah, you mean george romero I guess so because his decisions around what she should do and how she should react was really bad. But I think what I'm realizing is that I think, like what you said, having constraints can actually create better quality product at the end, Because today you can just throw a bunch of CG at something.

Speaker 1:

It's true, and sometimes that's what happens.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and then it sucks, but this relied on good film, good storytelling and great editing. Yeah, and then it failed in some other areas that we'll talk about. But I did appreciate the 1990 version because all of a sudden the characters, especially the basement characters, made more sense to me. Yeah, and the women actually talked in a meaningful way I mean actually not really meaningful. They talked. Yeah, they talked.

Speaker 1:

They had opinions. Yeah, I think, um, I think, what's his face's? Young guy's girlfriend never really gets a whole lot of screen time, and especially so in the 1968. I don't think she says a single word she is actually markedly more interesting in 1990.

Speaker 2:

That was the one that really stood out for me, beyond barbara's pretty big changes which, yeah, we'll get into and the performances. I think like across the board they were good actors. Minus again the 1968 barbara, who I don't want to blame the actress because I I'm assuming that she was directed to behave in that way. Yeah, she would like just stare vacantly or like she's like running her hands slowly along the banister and like looking kind of like she wants to kiss it or something, but also dead-eyed. It was really weird, yeah, really weird behavior.

Speaker 1:

She spent a lot of time staring intently at a doily yeah, and also she had a kitchen knife and she just kind of kept running her hands over it, over the sharp part, the sharp part and it's like who told you to?

Speaker 2:

No, don't do that. And every time she put it down she rested the sharp part towards her. I'm like who doesn't know basic knife safety?

Speaker 1:

also kind of looked like she's never picked up an object in her whole life she's just like what are my? Hands. Uh, just, I'll just flop them all over this knife.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't want to blame the actress. I blame george for that terrible. But on the flip side I'll blame the actress a little bit. Sure, on the flip side ben, the main character is incredible. Still my favorite, like out of all of the actors from both or both uh versions, I think that duane jones, not duane johnson, look at me evolving johnson yes, could you imagine I am kind of picturing that now it would have been a different movie.

Speaker 2:

It would have been I don't know that it would have been my kind of movie, but I like he was just a really compelling actor. I believed him fully, um, but they were also great in the second one too yeah, uh, tony todd in the second one, the candy man.

Speaker 1:

What's the candy man? Uh, the candy man was a a bunch of movies that t Tony Todd was in, where he was like a kind of like well, yeah, you know how like, as your kids like somebody's like go into the bathroom and turn the lights off and say Bloody Mary into the mirror three times.

Speaker 2:

No, thank you, I still won't do that.

Speaker 1:

It's the same story, except it's Candyman. If you say Candyman into the mirror, three times Candyman shows up and hooks you with a meat hook.

Speaker 2:

Survival tip Don't say anything into the mirror in the dark in the bathroom. Three times, yeah, never Nothing, just don't. Let's talk about the scariest parts. I'm curious, dan do you think that the 1990 version or the 68 version is scarier, and why?

Speaker 1:

You know what? To be honest, I kind of feel like 1968 had me a little bit more on edge. Why?

Speaker 2:

do you think that is? I don't know, I think it was?

Speaker 2:

yeah, it was just a little bit more off-putting honestly, I really it was a good reminder that honestly, like again, the over makeup thing, like the fact that they looked human but were acting scary, yeah, mean, it makes me think, oh my God, I'm having a childhood reclaimed memory right now of my cousin Kelly and she would do the zombie stare and she would follow me like this and just stare at me and be scary. Maybe this is childhood trauma, but she would pretend to be something different. You do that too sometimes, yeah, yeah, and I told you to stop because it upsets me.

Speaker 1:

You know, that's something that both versions had as well. Barbara's brother oh my God. At the beginning he'd remind her of how, as they were children, they would be hiding in the cemetery. They were in the cemetery visiting In the first one it's their father's grave, in the second one it's their mother's grave and he visiting, uh, in the first one it's their father's grave and the second one it's their mother's grave um and uh, and he would hide in the cemetery and he'd just be like they're coming to get you, barbara, and then he just kind of like start doing like a, like a zombie walk yeah, my cousins.

Speaker 2:

I was the youngest of all my cousins and they love to do scary shit to me like that. Yeah, that feels very real with family dynamics to me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah it was an interesting thing to put into the movie because I think it really it really did add some some, some, uh, I don't know some feeling, I guess well, for one, I don't again, I don't think that I love you, george, I don't think you intended this.

Speaker 2:

I it really felt like, um, what it's like to be assigned female and perceived as female, and dudes think things are jokes because it's funny to them, but it's actually scary. Yeah, it's actually scary for people who are that it could really happen and I feel like it was really well depicted in both um films and again, I think in both films. I don't know that it was self-aware, but I certainly felt it because my brother yeah, now that I'm thinking back to it, I could-aware, but I certainly felt it because my brother yeah, now that I'm thinking back to it, I could. I, I could have a whole episode where I just tell you all the fucked up pranks that my cousins played on me and my brother because I was the youngest, to scare the ever-living shit out of me. Yeah, but yeah, I mean regardless.

Speaker 1:

That was a scary part where she actually does get attacked by a man, a zombie man, in both cemetery scenes um and her brother gets attacked because they don't realize that it's a zombie at the very, which is really a real interesting detail to to build up to where he's like. He's like trying to scare her by making her think that there's a zombie or some kind of weirdo in the cemetery, and then the zombie and or weirdo attacks him and kills him yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I think the scariest part for me, um, is when the kid who is in the basement this is the daughter of the unhappy married couple. We learn and she's been bit. We don't know that she's bit right away, I don't think, but she's like catatonic on a bench, I guess down there I mean, we can put the pieces together yeah, we can, kind of we.

Speaker 2:

I think you probably didn't know what was going to happen if you were watching it for the first time in 1968, but us in 2024 knew that was a bad sign. Yeah, she's got a bite mark on her arm and still, when she became a zombie and attacked her own mother, that was fucking scary. I don't know what it is about little kid zombies, but they are, I think, the most disturbing to me.

Speaker 1:

Also something that I found really interesting in that scene where she attacks her mother is that in the 1968 version they hadn't really figured out the rules of zombies yet, so they had the child zombie stab her mother in the neck with a gardening trowel.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So zombies would use weapons in 1968.

Speaker 2:

That was scary, instead of just trying to eat her. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And then the 1990 version. They've got their zombie rules sorted out. So zombie child just attacks her mother and bites her neck and blood splatters Splatters on the wall where there's a gardening trowel hanging and the blood splatters all over the trowel.

Speaker 2:

An ode to the 68. Again, this is why I think I appreciate the 68 one more. Like I know that there are these quote-unquote zombie rules you talk about a lot, but I like that she killed her with the trowel. I didn't expect it, yeah, and I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Like just the fact that zombies are murderous period not that they necessarily always have to eat people I think is an interesting concept yeah, I think like being cannibalistic was was kind of like like like on top of the shock and horror, horror, they're like oh yeah, they're murderous, but also they're eating people.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what about the 1990 version? Was there like a scariest moment for you?

Speaker 1:

Oh, I don't know, um, I don't know about it being scarier or not.

Speaker 1:

Um, one thing that I mean this this goes both to the editing and the acting and also, just like the budget constraints and everything, is that in the, uh, the first night of the living dead, um, everything seemed much more dramatic, so like the zombies would be attacking the house and it was just like so much slower, like they'd be banging on doors and windows the entire time.

Speaker 1:

And then there was a scene where Ben has the lever action rifle and he's got it sticking out the window and he's trying to shoot a zombie. But it takes like it takes, I swear it takes like 10 minutes for him to pull the trigger. It's like five or six shots back and forth between them, grappling with the zombies, him having the gun out the window, before he finally pulls the trigger and shoot somebody through the chest. Whereas in the 1990 version, barbara has the rifle and she just goes up to the window and blasts somebody. Like it's quick, it's fast, it's like there's more happening, there's more zombies, they're banging louder, they're shooting faster and I I feel like the like ramping up the action in those moments makes you realize how much, how much more of a problem it is, you know I have a dumb question.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, why are the zombies coming for this fucking farmhouse?

Speaker 1:

ah, because they know that people are inside because they're making all the banging sounds. Yeah, I mean, I could go on about this like I mean. I'm sure there's a point that we have in our notes where we talk about how ben thinks that it's better to stay upstairs and fortify it, whereas what's his face downstairs wants to lock the basement door. I think neither of them are right in a lot of ways, and both of them are right in other ways, but I feel personally that if they went into the basement and locked the door and turned all the lights off, those zombies would have never known that they were there and they could have avoided drawing more attention. Um, and in 19, in 1968 version, ben immediately tells barbara that he that they need to get more lights on in this house because there's a lot of zombies are afraid of lights.

Speaker 2:

That's why they smash out the uh headlights of the car but they're also attracted to it.

Speaker 1:

They know that. They know that light means people. So, while they don't like the light, they know that there's food where the light is, and that's why they keep coming out of, out of the woods, because there's a lit up farmhouse, um, and they could.

Speaker 2:

They can see the people inside banging around oh, my god, I'm just thinking like the 1960 actually both versions where they're trying to figure out how to survive, really reminds me of early covet era. Yeah, and even still today, people, uh, you know, some people are like let's just pretend it doesn't exist. Yeah, let's hide in our base. Some people are like let's hide in our basement forever because it's still here. Some people are like doing an in-between thing. But my point is more like, in a moment of crisis, there's going to be a lot of opinions about how to address the crisis, and you don't actually, I think, always know what the best path is until it's hindsight. Or you can like see which one got you out of the circumstance, which also could just be luck and privilege and all kinds of different factors that are hard to account for and if you wanted to make the connection to this is also how people handle societal issues.

Speaker 1:

yeah, so you know, maybe maybe harry wasn't like overtly racist, like he wasn't going around calling, calling Ben the N word or anything. But you know, his preference to stay in the basement could also be viewed as like people's preference to not think about the civil rights movement, whereas Ben is. He doesn't have the luxury of not thinking about the civil rights movement, he's on the first floor.

Speaker 2:

Yes, literally, oh, that is really interesting, yeah, yeah, the luxury of not thinking about the civil rights movement. He's on the first floor.

Speaker 1:

Yes, literally, oh, that is really interesting, yeah, yeah all he can do is board up the windows because they're coming yeah, that's dark and real.

Speaker 2:

Um, the 1990 version. I think we should just get into this because we're talking about it. The 1990 version has a third option barbara, who is now two-dimensional, possibly moving towards three dimensions so close, she's real close to three dimensions. So close, makes a third suggestion, and she's like. You know, these zombies are slow as fuck. We should just leave and go to the shelter place that keeps being talked about on the radio, yeah, or on TV, and, unsurprisingly, nobody listens to her, because no one listens to women.

Speaker 1:

Yes, Also I mean but that's also why she survives From what also I mean. But that's also why she survives from what we know, because she leaves from what we know about. Uh, about a zombie apocalypse situation. Going to shelters is also a bad idea. Yeah, um, I I think this was a case where all three of them were all right and all wrong at the same time that's good to remember.

Speaker 2:

There's more than one way to survive and figure things out, but I I think I do agree with you. The basement was probably the best option. I hate saying it because that guy was such an asshole in both films.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and he was a coward.

Speaker 2:

He really was. But I want to know what would you do, would you stay in the basement, if you had those three options in front of?

Speaker 1:

you. My plan is we barricade the basement for the night. We come upstairs when it's light out so that we're not attracting zombies.

Speaker 1:

With the lights being on, then we barricade the farmhouse, um, and then we stay there and if things get worse, um, we try to fuel up the truck and head to somewhere safe I, you know, when it comes to the zombie apocalypse, I say always give um the shelters a couple of days to sort their problems up, because you know that's that's when they fall, is when they're letting everybody in, that's when they let the, that's when they let the infected people in. Infected people turn and they're like, oh my God, the bites are causing it. People who are bitten are turning because, like at this point, they don't know anything.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's a lot of learning that has to happen in a crisis, I think especially zombie crisis Unprecedented. I've got to talk just full hard. Turn about the soundtrack, because I think that was also why the 1968 version was so wonderful. Yeah, it had a really minimalist score. Again, constraints, I think, made it better.

Speaker 1:

It was just this like eerie atmospheric music the whole way through well, they also had like the typical uh you know, big band symphony yeah, and it worked I mean it was very, very typical of movies at the time to have that kind of music.

Speaker 1:

I didn't like it as much really, yeah, I I feel like well, like it's really loud and abrasive sometimes. I know that they they use it as a way to like combat their audio problems. To be honest, you know they can, they can cover up so much with loud brass instruments, um, but it's not my cup of tea. I don't like. I don't like uh, you know old timey um orchestral scores. I think I liked it in this movie. I don't know why. I think I was just like fully raptured. You know old timey orchestral scores.

Speaker 2:

I think I liked it in this movie, I don't know why. I think I was just like fully raptured, captured, raptured, not raptured, enraptured, enraptured, yes, by the film. I don't remember the 1990s soundtrack, so much Do you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's very John Carpenter-esque.

Speaker 2:

Who's that? We're laughing as if I really making a joke, but I genuinely don't know.

Speaker 1:

John Carpenter is a filmmaker who made horror movies during the 80s. Well, you know, and continued on. He made a lot of really good ones, like the Thing. He made other movies I think he made the Escape from New York movies and he was just a big name during the 80s. And one of the things that John Carpenter did that nobody else did was he made his own musical scores and it was very much a product of the time where it was all synth.

Speaker 2:

It was synthwave. I'm surprised I didn't notice it more, because you know I love a good synthwave, even now yeah.

Speaker 1:

So, like his synthwave horrors was all just stuff that he would make on his keyboard by himself or with his musical production company and it gave everything a very 1980s nostalgia for that time it was new, it was electronic drums, it was synthesizers and he made it so that it worked perfectly with his movies.

Speaker 2:

He did a good job. I would just like to say, completely off topic, briefly, that I'm upset that 1990s fashion has returned. Yeah, yes, that's all.

Speaker 1:

We can continue. I mean, do you want to go back to low-waisted jeans?

Speaker 2:

No, that is also returning, though.

Speaker 1:

Oh, my God, is it.

Speaker 2:

It is, and I Do. I need to get low-waisted jeans. Their jeans already kind of are low-waisted.

Speaker 1:

The way that you wear them, I can't help, but nobody makes pants that fit me you're a unique little flower over there, I'm just gonna wear yoga pants from now on, honestly high viz for work?

Speaker 2:

that'd be amazing. Let's get you high viz. That's the new style. High viz yoga pant. I'm sure that that exists, but that is not. That was just where my brain went. I started thinking about 1990s textbooks from when I was a kid and like how terrible all of their outfits were and black people. There were some intentional critiques, I think, in both versions of the film. Um, in the first one, I think, is like this is a time. This is also a time of the cold war era. Yeah, there's a lot of distrust and paranoia. Well, both of them, technically, are well the other way, I guess. But it was like right after, yeah, it came out.

Speaker 2:

You know, the red scare was still in full effect in 19 I mean, I was asked in my citizenship test if I ever was a member of the communist party. I think it's still going. Yeah, I still can't believe that that was a question.

Speaker 1:

It is a good point that I don't think I didn't think about is like people did have paranoia about like an invading army coming to america and then like that's kind of zombies.

Speaker 2:

They were also told to spy on your neighbor. Yeah, Like is that person to act like a secret gay? That was a lot like gay people were being persecuted.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, the secret gays, the secret gays the secret commies, the spies.

Speaker 2:

But there was a lot of distrust and paranoia amongst the individual survivors and I think it did reflect societal tensions and distrust. Again, I'm not sure if he knew it or not, but there are like some nods to tensions between gender and races. Like, I can feel barbara's discomfort with ben. Barbara's a white woman. We haven't said that yet. Um, to be clear, ben is the only black person in this film. Everybody else is white. Uh, I can feel her discomfort with ben. I don't know if it's racial discomfort, although there's a lot to say about the fucked up-edness of how white women have weaponized their whiteness for hundreds of years in the United States and how, yeah, just that whole dynamic. I felt like that was present, even though it wasn't said. I just kind of felt it, yeah, especially when she of felt it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, especially when she first meets Ben. Yes, because she's running from zombies, she's surrounded by zombies, she is freaking out and she doesn't know what to do. And then Dwayne shows up in his pickup truck, runs over a guy.

Speaker 2:

Which he seems kind of upset about in the moment, like, oh my God, you ran over somebody.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, it would be a shock, wouldn't it? Even if it's somebody that you think is attacking you. She doesn't know yet that these people are undead. Yeah, you know, she just thinks that people are going crazy. And here comes this other crazy man, who also is black.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think that, like you know, we had our last episode about toxic masculinity. Like when I was watching the film, I was trying to figure out if her discomfort with ben was because he was a man or because he was a black man or some combination thereof, because there are a lot of times in both versions actually, where the character ben like physically grabs barbara in a way that doesn't be uncomfortable, because if any man grabbed me in that way, I'd be like what the fuck are you doing?

Speaker 1:

it seemed to be like a very 19. Well up up until a very recent time. Where it's like the, the action, the action lead male, is it's appropriate for them to shake a woman or slap them?

Speaker 2:

yeah, or like physically pick them up and move them in the same way that somebody would like pick up their cat and move it. It was really uncomfortable, but I was trying to figure out if there was like intentional tension there, based on race as well. And given the fact that George Romero claims it was not intentional, I guess it just was present because that was a real tension. At the time, and I mean even as recently as like the 2010s, my ex-mother-in-law told me that, like, interracial marriage is not okay. We had a whole, a whole, very large fight about that, because all of my nieces and nephews, except for one, um, are interracial. So I was like, I mean, I'd be upset anyways, but I was just like you know, you're talking about my fucking nieces and nephews right now. Right, like that, you're saying they shouldn't exist. It was a whole thing, yeah, um, but uh, yeah, so that was hard to know. In the 1990s version. I feel like it tries to be more feminist and critique the ways that barbara is portrayed in 1968. What do you think, dan?

Speaker 1:

yeah, well, I think that they had a lot, of, a lot of notes over the previous. You know what? What is it? 22 years 22 years.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're overdue for remake. Yeah, and one of those is probably that everyone's like, yeah, your female lead is useless and it's 1990 now and you need to tell a story that's more inclusive. And you know, I, I think, I think that the version that we get in 1990 is kind of like the 1990 dudes version of what they think feminism is, which is like she has short hair and she ditches the skirt for some pants and she shoots the gun.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she just probably just went Rambo. That's the version of female empowerment of the era. Be a Rambo, it's something. Though yeah, there's also two other themes that I think are present in both movies. One is like the government that claims it's there to save you is actually just a bunch of vigilante people who have official rights to be visually vigilantes and do terrible shit yeah, a bunch of idiot hillbillies yeah and like, if you think they're gonna come save you, they're not yeah, they're more likely to shoot you yeah, especially if you're a black man.

Speaker 2:

I mean, like that's that was so uh visceral to watch. Um, the 1968 version, where that happens, and there's also a lot of hyper individualism. Yeah, in both films, um, because it's like everybody wants to be out for themselves. I feel like barbara's just kind of along for the ride and is like claimed by ben. Yeah, especially in the first one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean she's. She's nothing more than all the women are basically partners of the men.

Speaker 2:

I think that's what stands out for me. If I remember correctly from the 1990 version, is that the girlfriend of the guy who's not not the husband and wife who have the kid that's dying downstairs? Yeah, girlfriend of the guy who was actually kind of like. You know, ben might be right. I think this is actually a good idea. The young man yeah, she also seems to have somewhat of um, a sense of autonomy and what she wants in 1990 versus the 1968 version.

Speaker 1:

And she's the one that knows how to drive trucks yes, very handy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I know how to drive trucks. It's been a while, but I can do it, yeah, and then.

Speaker 1:

And then she's like I don't, I don't get this truck yeah, and it does like.

Speaker 2:

I think that there's a really um poignant message here that I think if they all could have worked together and listened to each other, they might have been better at succeeding. But there was very much like the uh, one right way, I'm right, no one else is right. Also, I'm only out here for myself. I'm gonna steal all the food and put it down in the basement and not give you any that are upstairs.

Speaker 1:

All of the very much I can't remember Harry. Harry yeah, I think Ben at the beginning was was telling everybody that they needed to work together, but in the individualistic way. He was the one with with the right ideas, so he's like we have to stay up here and work together, yeah, and Harry with the right ideas. So he's like we have to stay up here and work together.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and harry's like I'm not staying up here, and in their own way they were individualistic, even though ben was the only one that was talking about working together yeah, I mean, while racism and sexism obviously disproportionately harm people of color and femmes, uh, at the same time, um, I think that the 1990 version actually spells out what the 1968 version implies, because they can talk more, yeah, which is they have a moment where they're all like, why are you in this farmhouse? Why are you here? Why are you like you shouldn't be here? Um, and there's very much an undertone of like ben, you shouldn't be here because you're black. Like what are you doing in rural pennsylvania? And then the harry, the husband whose kid eventually dies, is in a suit. Yeah, and we hear that he might have there's like an implication that he might have had a sense of what was going on and was able to escape to this place in advance.

Speaker 1:

Well, wherever he was, it was happening there, and then he escaped and made it to the farmhouse.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but those societal divisions, I think in this context just make survival even harder, because again that distrust is uh really prevalent between everybody yeah, yeah it's.

Speaker 1:

Uh, it is interesting because, like in that moment there they they say to ben like you don't look like you're, like you belong here. And then he looks at fancy hairy guy he's like you don't look like you belong here yeah and uh, that was a funny moment I I thought, I thought that was a, that was a good uh, a good back and forth, that really totally a big story yeah, I feel like they really took that opportunity to say like this was probably the intention of the first one, but they just couldn't.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, again they had a long time to think about it, like george romero admitted that these weren't his intentions when he made the movie at the beginning, and it kind of turned into that um, and 22 years later they're like you know, they're realizing that night of the living dead was a critique of racism. So you know why. Why wouldn't they further critique the racism?

Speaker 2:

yeah, and also, um, how women are portrayed and seen in the world. Which brings me to my favorite segment, the racist, sexist, capitalist, colonial, ableist misogyny of the living dead. And actually I've watched Night of the Living Dead, which I've appropriated for this title, this whole time of the segment you have. Wow, yeah, and now I can actually refer back to it and it actually kind of makes sense. I didn't even know that. Yeah, I just made a weird name for this segment. I'm really proud of myself.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you did a great job accent.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we're going to go through all the tests we usually do to sort of like talk about whether or not we're hitting the basement floor of equity and representation or not. So the Bechdel test is the gender test and it's basically the rule is you have to have two women talking to each other about something other than a man. Yeah, 1968. Does it pass or fail?

Speaker 1:

You just laugh Fail. I mean, not only do you not have women talking to each other, but you have just women not talking at all. No, they're like perching, yeah, perching. Really, the only person who gets any lines is Harry's wife, and I don't even know her name.

Speaker 2:

And they're very stereotypical. Yeah, they're just like save my baby lines.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, what's interesting about Harry's wife and Harry is that they also depict something that I don't think people think about when they think about Night of the Living Dead is domestic abuse. Harry is very much an abusive person Maybe not physically abusive, but it's clear that in both movies their marriage is horrible. Yeah, and I'd go as far as to say it's not Harry's wife's problem, it's Harry. Harry is the problem.

Speaker 2:

I agree, in the 1990 version they do take that further, because Harry's wife makes different decisions or tries to make different decisions than harry.

Speaker 1:

yeah, um, and he shuts her down because they're all stupid ideas.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because women have dumb, dumb ideas, but I've I've got to like just give a quick shout out back to the original barbara I'd love to do on a casual dead like the. Where are these actors now, if they're even still alive? Because I am curious where that person's career went, because it was just so bad. I'm not going to keep going on about it. It was just like really heavily reinforced gender stereotypes of like what a hysterical, unable to cope with stress crisis situation one would do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like just utterly useless and I feel like the only thing that she doesn't do that's, that's would be a stereotype is at the very beginning. She loses her heels, yes, and that's. That's the only saving grace is, like Ellie, she wasn't wearing high heels.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and later on Romero himself says he like totally fell into the damsel in distress trope. And these are the things about the world we live in is that these are blind spots that you don't know you have until you have you know. These are blind spots that you don't know you have until you have you know. And, like I've said many times in this podcast, there's probably tons of things, dan and I say, that we don't even realize is problematic. So we're working on it. You know, you know what you know and then you learn.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, 20 years from now, I'm going to be like I can't believe. I said all of these things.

Speaker 2:

I know it's a little scary be dealt with, not really like just an annoying, an annoying object that you have to take care of.

Speaker 1:

yeah she's an object that occasionally screams at the top of her lungs yes, and then plays with the doily.

Speaker 2:

what about the 1990 version, dan? Does it pass or fail? The bechdel test Fail. Yeah, there's no women at any time who talk to each other with something other than a man.

Speaker 1:

You know, in both movies there was an opportunity for this to pass, which is young guy's girlfriend and Barbara sitting on the couch together. In both movies they had that moment, or at least that they were in the same room. Um, and they could have been. It could have literally just been like, hey, you're doing all right over there playing with your doily, and that would have been a pass, that's it again basement floor.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but you know what it is better? Because barbara has short hair and she wears pants. She transforms, she. I think there's a literal, intentional visual if she transforms from the damsel in distress in her dress, yeah, to rambo lady in um, like combat fatigues and a white tank top. They're very fatigue-esque, they are um, and also she becomes.

Speaker 1:

she becomes the uh, the one with the gun. You know, before, before it was Ben, ben had the gun, and in this one Barbara has the gun.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's sort of like the white female power fantasy, because she's really good with the gun, like she just transforms into Rambo. Yeah no-transcript.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's entirely possible, but it's quite a transformation. I think it is an intentional message of the movie. Yeah, in both films we've already talked about the fact that the brother is making fun of Barbara for something that she should rightfully be afraid of, which is men. Yeah, true, and Ben getting really handsy with barbara. That's that again in the 1990 version. I'm like, okay, is this now intentional? Or are they still not thinking about the fact that, like this is weird and uh, I would like to believe that a 1990 woman would say something. But then I think about how I was trained to prioritize other people's comfortability over my own at all times, and like the breaking moment was when a dude grabbed my hand and kissed it and I pulled it away and I realized like, yeah, uh, I don't need to let this fucking weirdo kiss my hand. Yeah, just so he's not, he's comfortable. Yeah, that's what it's. That's the training that I had as a a fan.

Speaker 1:

We need to find another, um, another gender test, because I feel like, I feel like 1990 succeeds in feminism in a lot of ways, but my eyebrow is raised. Well, like, because we said that she, she has lines.

Speaker 2:

She's not just a stereotype of, of, like the useless woman, she's the one that gets to do the cool action scenes I think when they do the 19, in the same way that when they did the 1968 version and the 1990 version, they both thought that they were doing a good job of portraying women and that, um, I think the 1990 version was very much the message that I had growing up, which is like feminism's done. We figured it out. Look at this empowered rambo lady. Yeah, look, she's got a tank top and everything. Yeah, she can wear pants and shoot a gun. Therefore solved.

Speaker 1:

Yeah but what I mean, though, is that in the 1990 version, they gave her a reason to be in the movie, as opposed to the first one. She was just a screaming lawn ornament, and in that sense it is progress, but we don't have a test for that. We don't have a test for like is this person crucial to the plot of the movie? Does this person do anything? Do they push the plot along? Do they interact with other characters in a meaningful way?

Speaker 2:

yeah, those are good questions. Um, I feel like some of the other tests we do, like the Vito Russo test that talks about like having a personality beyond just being like hi, I'm gay Like they have to have meaningful representation would probably be the case for all of them. But you know, these are all we could. Just, we could probably ditch the test at some point if we wanted to and just talk about what, what we think for each of these things, which leads me to race. Um, I always feel like it's necessary to caveat, whatever we say next, with the fact that we are two white people.

Speaker 2:

I am who are learning, yeah, um. So this is our interpretation and also for me reading. I did spend some time reading perspectives, um, black perspectives about this film, but again they were probably only, like I don't know, 10 people out of millions of people who have watched this film. So this is again like my attempt, but I think, like overall, the race test is a work was when a work will pass if it features a fully realized character of color with their own narrative arc, sort of like what you were saying you wish the Bechdel test did. And that's not solely about pushing a white character's story forward. Do you feel that the 1968 version fails or passes? A fully realized character of color and read it again a fully realized character of color who has their own narrative arc? That is not solely about pushing a white character's story forward.

Speaker 1:

I mean, he is the main character yeah, I, you know, I feel like the, the characters aren't, they don't have like full backstories, they don't have like you know that there's there's not a whole lot going on other than this, the circumstances of what's happening. But I think that it's kind of a pass because it's not pushing a white character forward, I mean, unless you count barbara, barbara and harry, but like they feel like I, I feel like the film really does center ben yeah, in his perspective it definitely does in the first one, especially actually, because barbara gets more of a leading role in the 1990 version yeah, so, so maybe the 1990 version's a fail it might, but he has more of a backstory.

Speaker 2:

I think I'm still. I mean, I guess it's not doesn't fit the test, but I'm. There's still depictions in both of them that I find uncomfortable. They just make me actually physically uncomfortable to watch yeah, I'm calling the.

Speaker 1:

I'm calling 1968 a pass for 1968.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, considering the first black male main character based on merit and in the 1990 version.

Speaker 1:

He's got a lot more substance to him.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

So I'm going to say pass for 1998.

Speaker 2:

Also an excellent actor. I really both men who play those roles do a really good job. Yeah, all of the actors except for the first Barbara, I think do a pretty good. The first Barbara and the first girlfriend, yeah, are just lawn ornaments, but that's not their fault. That's the role they were given, that's true, um, so I think that it is. Uh, it's also cool that in the first version, the black man is the lead, but he's also in control, right like he is the best leader of the group. Yeah, and white people are losing their heads, they're making mistakes and he's probably the most level-headed one, even though I do think we probably should have gone to the basement.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Harry constantly challenged Ben's leadership role and the solution to that was he told him, if you want to stay in the basement, fine, you can be the boss down there and I'm the boss up here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. And from that same article that I quoted earlier, here's another really interesting quote. It says while there had been many black people in movies during this time and before, more often than not they were seen as the help, or they played the slave or the friend for comic relief Outside of Sidney Poitier. Uh, black men weren't portrayed as everyday, regular people. So definitely that was progress in that moment, but I do think that, um, the film unwittingly portrays the way black men are perceived. Again, I do think that there's some undertone of racism with the way that barbara responds to him touching her and the fact that I think that if it was a white man, she probably might have been a little more trusting. Maybe.

Speaker 2:

We'll never know, we'll never know. This is just my interpretation from a long time later after making it.

Speaker 1:

You know, it also wasn't like she was more trusting of Harry or the young guy, that's true, but they did kind of like sneak out of a basement door while they thought that the whole house was empty.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I kind of feel like that added to her catatonia.

Speaker 1:

You know well, she was really scared when they came out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, um she started screaming.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she screams a lot, she screams or silent or like does weird finger moves and I feel like at that point ben became her protector. Yeah, because they they wanted to drag her down into the basement. They're like we're taking her into the basement and after he tells har Harry that he can be the boss down there and he'll be the boss up here. He also lays down the ground rule of you leave the girl alone.

Speaker 2:

Right, because the girl is a lawn ornament that can be moved by men. Yeah, kind of problematic. But back to race. I think the most disturbing part of the film for me was the end where I'm just going to say, like police violence against black people, black man is rampant and seriously a problem and is demonstrated really vividly in this film. So you can fast forward about 10 minutes if you don't want to hear us talk about it. Yeah, it might take 10 minutes. Yeah, you can fast forward about 10 minutes if you don't want to hear us talk about it. Yeah, it might take 10 minutes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so one thing that we find out in the course of the movie is that there is a group led by like a county sheriff, I want to say, and he's gathered up like a militia of good old boys and they're going around shooting all the zombies and clearing places out, and the news people are following them around and around, shooting all the zombies and clearing places out, and the uh, the news people are following them around and interviewing them all the time and um, so they make their way to the farmhouse and the sun comes up, it's morning time and ben was hiding down in the basement.

Speaker 1:

He went to the basement because uh, we should say because the house was overrun because of the events that happened and everybody not cooperating, basically Right. So he went down to the basement and then he heard all the shooting. Ben heard all the shooting outside. He was like OK, let me go check this out and see if I'm rescued Comes upstairs with with the rifle, walks up to the windowsill to look out the window and see what's going on, and one of the police officers I think it was the sheriff that does it. He just sees Ben in the window and shoots him without a second thought.

Speaker 2:

Was that the original writing of the film? Do you know if that was in the original ending.

Speaker 1:

I think so.

Speaker 2:

It's interesting because it's one of those examples where that could have been the original ending, but it just means something very different when it's a black man that they're depicting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it feels different.

Speaker 2:

Either way, it's demonstrating that cops can be trigger happy. When you get your little amygdala brain, everything is scary.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and he does it without blinking an eye. He doesn't question for a moment whether or not this is a target or a human. An eye like he doesn't question for a moment whether or not this is a target or a human. No, and because he doesn't see ben as potentially being human, despite the fact that he's carrying around a weapon, which is not something that zombies do. Um, he doesn't even give a second thought and he just shoots him. Yeah, then they throw him on the corpse pile with all the other zombies and they never question whether or not he was a zombie yeah, I do think the zombies in this film are sort of a metaphor for anybody who is, um, not a white dude like you're.

Speaker 2:

You're not a human. Yeah, you're not human, you're subhuman. That's the way that I mean. That's certainly what.

Speaker 2:

What people were, uh, why people were raised to believe, and the myths they told their children, um, so that was really disturbing. But what was more disturbing again, skip forward if you don't want to hear the like. The way that they portrayed ben's body is they kill him and they never question whether or not he was a human or worthy of like I don't know, taking half a fucking second to make sure it wasn't somebody who was gonna hurt them, um, but they pull ben's body around when he's dead with such disregard and they use, like a hook, yeah, meat hooks, yeah, and it is so, so disturbing to watch because you know, like it's the civil rights era Jim Crow is right around the corner Like. These are not things that are uncommon to have happened to black men, and so I feel like there's no way that that couldn't have been intentional on george romero's part, yeah, which he's probably talked about it, and I have not done my due diligence to look it up, but it just felt like.

Speaker 2:

It felt like a hey, white people, if you have not been paying attention, this is what it looks like. This is what racism looks like. Yeah, um, but if I was not white, I think I would have meant I don't, I don't know that I'd want to see that on film. It feels to me like a lot like what sylvester barzy said about rape, like do you need to see that? Do you need to see racial violence on film to that degree? I don't know I don't know.

Speaker 1:

I mean I guess, because these things were talked about so little back then, that this was important to put on film, because it forced all those people watching these monster movie marathons that I talked about in the beginning of the episode yeah, to be confronted with the reality of the world that they lived in, where Black men were being hung and killed and shot and treated like subhuman people that are just being moved around with meat hooks and still are.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, uh, there's a town not far from us in 2017 where there was attempted lynching of a black man, black youth. I think he was like a young adult. So, um, it is still a scary world out there yeah, and we're in the northeast.

Speaker 1:

Like you don't expect that from new england it's new hampshire, though I mean new hampshire is always like a little bit. We're learning more every day.

Speaker 2:

Yeah uh, not to say that there aren't people that wouldn't do that in new hampshire, but it's also the way it's just, you can live free or die, and a lot of racism over there, a lot of racism here in vermont. Just, I think racism vermont is like more of the like um, I've evolved and I'm progressive and like everybody should feel welcome here, kind of a vibe when in reality, if you're a person of color and you're coming to Vermont especially like rural Vermont, maybe less so in Burlington or Rutland you're probably going to get stared at. At the least You're probably going to get stared at.

Speaker 1:

It's just what we're dealing with here. There's the other kinds of races racists do here. Yes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm saying like on a good day. On a good day, people will notice you you can.

Speaker 1:

You can identify a lot of them by their um, their trump 2020 commemorative junkyards and I'm not joking, no that's why I'm laughing, because it's too real.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, um, on the 1990 side, what do you think dan like? Do you think, oh, how do you think it handles and treats race in the 1990?

Speaker 1:

version. Um, I mean kind of about the same. Uh, as far as, like the, the narrative of the movie, there's a little bit more tension between harry and ben. Yeah, in fact, ben dies at the end because harry shoots him yeah, it feels more explicitly racial yeah, and harry goes up and hides in the attic.

Speaker 1:

we didn't even talk about that. Yeah, harry hides in the attic, we didn't even talk about that. Yeah, harry hides in the attic and Ben goes in the basement and dies from a gunshot wound. And then when Ben comes out of the basement and the good old boys are in the farmhouse, like I mean sure he's a zombie at that point. So they should, they should dispose of him and shoot him, but like they do it so carelessly, considering that Barbara's right there, somebody who knew this person as a human being.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and then they have all the scenes. It's almost like a vigilante party of, like the townspeople and oh yeah, it's a hootin'. And hollerin' good time. Yeah, they've got like a big bonfire, like they're having a good time and then in the background there's food trucks Like they're serving food.

Speaker 1:

It's a great time. Yeah, and this is something that I forgot was in the movie what's that? Because it's been so long since I've seen it. At the very end, they have all these zombies that are lynched hanging from a tree. Yeah, these zombies that are lynched hanging from a tree. Yeah, like six or seven of them, and the good old boys that are hooting and hollering and drinking coffee and eating scones from the from the food truck.

Speaker 1:

They're also just like taking target practice and just having a great time shooting these, these people who used to be human beings yeah, it's almost like um, when white supremacists are fully unleashed and have permission to be their worst selves that they love it yeah unfortunately, that's what it feels like and I remember watching that scene and I and I told you in that moment I'm like the unfortunate thing is that if we had a zombie apocalypse, I feel like this is what it would look like yeah, which is definitely new hampshire.

Speaker 2:

That's what it would look like if there's any new hampshire listeners.

Speaker 1:

I'm sorry if you have any any New Hampshire listeners, you know that the state that you live in sucks.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it definitely would feel that way. Where we lived in Georgia, I remember when Trump was elected literally a week later, the university I worked at was littered with these white supremacist group of flyers trying to get people to join, and I'd never seen anything like that on campus. You could just tell that people were emboldened in a way that they hadn't been um well, I shouldn't say hadn't been, because clearly, if you're making that, that flyer, you've been, you're a self-proclaimed white supremacist already.

Speaker 1:

You're just like waiting for your moment it did feel like for a good, a good long time while I was growing up that it seemed like if you had a white hooding cloak, you kind of had to keep that hidden in your closet and uh, and now it seems like you just post that on facebook yeah, and trump will be like you know. Give you secret shout outs yeah, trump will be like oh, there's good people on both sides yeah, not to Not to get Biden off the hook.

Speaker 2:

He said all kinds of terrible things and I don't know. Yeah, anyways, I try to do this podcast as an escape from reality and talk, but then we get into this shit.

Speaker 1:

Well, we picked the worst thing to talk about to escape from reality, because the zombie apocalypse is just kind of like. It's a fun way of looking at the shitty things that exist in our society.

Speaker 2:

It's true. Yeah, again, as a white person like I, have experience of what it's like to be discriminated against because I'm a femme and because I'm queer and disabled. I have all of those things. But I also have a lot of like walking around as a white person privilege that if I had not had some of the life experiences I've had and the graciousness of a lot of people of color to tell me that I was being stupid um, nicely, which, thanks for doing that you didn't have, you didn't owe me niceness anyways uh, I'd probably still be an asshole in that way, I'd probably still be ignorant. So I do like to take the time to think about it, because it's really easy as a white person to just like not think about it, just not think because it doesn't affect us in the same way every day.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, I feel like that's been most of my life is not thinking about it. Yeah, and it's great yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I thought about it as a kid, but it was like watching World Vision commercials with the one fly in the African baby's eye and this idea that, like my job was to call the number now and for two cents a day you can save this child. It's very white, savior approach to race.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, um, is what I was raised with so then, once you give them your your 20 cents that your your price of a cup of coffee you're done and you fixed all the world's problems to do.

Speaker 2:

What a wonderful time to be alive I, I guess as a white person, yeah.

Speaker 1:

God, it sucks if you're, if you're only getting 20 cents a day.

Speaker 2:

And then being forced to like write letters to this person across the world for you and being like thanks so much Like they had to. I remember that being like part of it is like you'd get like you'd sponsor a kid and then you'd like get like letters from the kid and stuff. Oh no.

Speaker 1:

It just felt like letters, ever like thanks for sending us all these jerseys from the team that lost the super bowl for real.

Speaker 2:

It just feels like you're like treating the sponsored kid like they're a pet. It's fucking weird. Yeah, the whole thing is very patriarch, paternalistic. Um, so the last two tests we usually do the vito russo test, which is the lgbtq test, and the fries test, which is the disability test. I'm not going to say anything about them, except for LOL, lol, barbara has short hair. Yeah, queer icon.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, maybe I don't know, you know, I think that at least with Barbara's character.

Speaker 1:

They don't, you know. You can make up who she is in a way, because, like she's not attached to a male partner character no, just her brother.

Speaker 2:

She's either, like the, the property of her brother or the property of ben yeah that's kind of like she just transfers ownership, but actually only one of them seems to care anything about her well-being, because the brother kind of sucks and then at the end, she becomes the property of a bunch of hillbillies.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, horrifying. I mean I'd actually like to see a sequel to that, like what happens to barbara when she's when she becomes part of this hillbilly gang, because we don't, we know that at the end of that would be an awesome sequel. Somebody needs to write that, dan we, we know that at the end of the night of the living dead it's not solved, because we have dawn of the Dead and things get worse, but it's a whole other cast of characters, right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and what I'm saying is that it'd be interesting to see what this hillbilly group does after the events of Night of the Living Dead and how Barbara navigates the world from that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Barbara's spinoff would have been really interesting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, somebody make a movie called Barbara. I'd watch interesting.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, somebody make a movie called Barbara. I'd watch it. Yeah, yeah, I would love that. Let's talk about something completely silly Survival tips and weapons. There were some good ones.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know what? This movie was a great example of how the best weapon is the one that you have available, because they had table legs, they had hammers, they had a lug wrench.

Speaker 2:

You know what was suspicious to me in both of them? Where did all the wood come from to board ship? I mean some of it. They showed us like they use a table, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So there's an answer to that? Oh, at least in the second one. I don't remember if it's in the first one, but the farmer that owns the house has been doing renovations. So upstairs there's a whole bunch of lumber upstairs and in the basement there's a lot of lumber and they have, uh, they've, they were replacing all of the doors. And um, and uh, ben points out, and when they go to grab a door, he's like, is this all new? And um, and and the the young guy is just like, yeah, he was. He was uh, uncle, uncle, whoever was remodeling this whole place. And he's like these doors aren't gonna work. And he punches a hole through it because it's brand new.

Speaker 1:

It's that laminate like what we have down here that's really funny yeah, and like that stuff is so thin, like you can't, it wouldn't hold anything back.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's real, you can just punch right through them.

Speaker 1:

I know because I was a teenager.

Speaker 2:

Well, we better upgrade our zombie bunker doors.

Speaker 1:

That's why, whenever I go to the library, I'm like these doors are like oak and two inches thick. This is awesome.

Speaker 2:

The library is our emergency zombie location actually.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we already talked about how we board up the windows.

Speaker 2:

There's a lot of big windows but they're like high up yeah, not high up, second floor but like, um, if you're a zombie and you're not intelligent, like it's like the upper part of your chest, so it'd be very difficult to break through.

Speaker 1:

Well, you know what get in that's. That would take us to our second zombie survival tip, which is everything's a barricade, like kick the the legs off of tables and nail them against the wall. Yeah, and the library has some big heavy tables and we can nail those against the big heavy door.

Speaker 2:

It doesn't have a fridge. It must. I don't think so. You don't think there's a fridge for, like, the library lunch we will, liz. Is there a fridge?

Speaker 1:

do you want a fridge?

Speaker 2:

yes, we have a mini fridge, you can have it. Um, I'm going to say my favorite survival tip of the 1990 version anyways is listen to women's ideas. For fuck's sakes, don't just shut them down. Her idea was a very good option and in fact she's the only one who survived. I do think that that was intentional. Yeah, yeah, because, like, I love you, but there are times and you can tell me it's not gendered that's probably true, because you can be very stubborn as a Taurus but there are times where I have a very good idea and you don't listen to it and it gets you and me in trouble.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's true. I had a thread on threads where I was breaking down and trying to discover all the ways that maybe I mansplained to people and I was asking the question am I a mansplainer or do I just have autism? And it was a big discussion. There were hundreds of comments. I remember fielding comments from that literally all day, Eight hours straight. I was just answering questions and what we determined is that I'm not a mansplainer, I'm an autism.

Speaker 2:

This was diagnosed by other threatites.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and they, they determined that I, I don't have more of a tendency to explain things to women. I will explain things to anyone.

Speaker 2:

But do you have more of a tendency to listen to a man when he tells you how to do something than a woman?

Speaker 1:

No, absolutely not.

Speaker 2:

Okay, okay, you just always think you have the best idea, yeah, yeah, or you have to follow through with an idea that you know probably won't work, because you just have to see if it'll work it is true.

Speaker 1:

There is something wrong with my brain where I need to do something wrong before I can believe that it's wrong yeah, this would be definitely a problem in the apocalypse it would be.

Speaker 1:

It's something I want to be better at and I I try to listen more. Yeah, um, it helps now because there's been so many times where it's been pointed out to me, whereas, like when I was doing things alone on my own, I'll just just me myself and I uh, I didn't have anybody to point out a little ways that I was fucking up and uh. And now there's times where it's like you can just be like this is the pool all over again. This is the truck stuck in the backyard all over again. This is the lawnmower stuck in the mud all over again. I'm nodding. This is this is the giant snowball in the driveway all over again. This is the truck you should have never bought all over again.

Speaker 2:

I really hate when our life like becomes almost like a sitcom, because I do feel like those are moments that a sitcom would have. Yeah, but I do love you and you are a flawed human being just as much as I am a flawed human being. Yeah, we should talk about all my flaws sometime.

Speaker 1:

Yeah I love being right. We should do an episode sometime about how, um, how, how, doing these sorts of things will fuck you over in the apocalypse, like you have to listen.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, getting the truck stuck in the apocalypse, fuck there wouldn't have been able to, there'd be no getting it out we'd have to abandon it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we'd have to siphon the fuel out and get another truck.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there would be no. Like that's, it's gone to the mud forever. There's no. There's nobody going to help us with that.

Speaker 1:

That feels like a like a book title Gone to the Mud.

Speaker 2:

Sounds like a horror film, actually Gone to the Mud. One more tip I mentioned this earlier for the love of god, when you hold a knife, dan, how does one?

Speaker 1:

hold the knife properly and safely. First of all, use the handle. Uh-huh, 99 of the time you're gonna hold a knife by the handle, um, don't point it directly at yourself, yep, don't run your hands along the blade and caress it like it's a baby or a dick. It was kind of weird. It was weird, yeah. Yeah, firm grip on the handle. Point it away from you, yes.

Speaker 2:

And not towards other people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, unless you want to stab them.

Speaker 2:

I feel required to say this. This is like those warnings on things you get that should be very common sense.

Speaker 1:

Like don't put the bag over your head. Hot coffee warning.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes.

Speaker 1:

Zeds hot coffee warning. Yes, yes, um zeds, I'm gonna have you go first? Oh yeah, how many zeds are we gonna be given it?

Speaker 2:

at a 10, 10, oh boy, um 10 is amazing.

Speaker 1:

One is the letter a you know, I've I've seen these movies before and I I feel like, I feel like this is my bottom basement level. This is what I judge everything based on, so it's not going to be a 10, because I expect all zombie movies to be as good or better than Night of the Living Dead.

Speaker 2:

Interesting so.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to give it a solid 8. Wow, because I have high opinions of Night of the Living Dead and I think this is the starting point that you have to be better than if you want to make a good zombie.

Speaker 2:

I can't believe that I'm rating something higher than you. That never happens. I gave it a 9.5. And I only gave it a 0.5 because I was like or not a 10 because I was like well, there's still some problems with it, that I have to acknowledge, but I really love it. Like I love it, I get it. I get it. Now I get why people are fans of George Romero. My eyes have been opened. I feel like I'm a legitimate zombie fan now that I've watched Night of the Living Dead. I really, really, really, really, really, really, really loved it. Would watch again.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well, you know there's so many things that could be done better, but I would never change those things because it's Night of the Living Dead.

Speaker 2:

Don't don't try to do it better, because it is what it is. Do do a Barbara offshoot and also I do think we are due for a updated version. Yeah, because it's a lot like. 1990 is 34 years later.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, it's time. I think George Romero might have a hard time doing that, since he's a zombie right now oh, yeah, he died a few years ago.

Speaker 2:

That's too bad, he was very old. I mean, it happens to us all, yeah, so we are reading a zombie book a zombie comic series. To be correct, we're reading the first three. I've got them in front of me, three comics, and you can hear the crinkle.

Speaker 1:

That's very crinkly, that that's an auditory experience for sure.

Speaker 2:

This is the Choose your Own Path, a Western apocalypse adventure, which I'm going to hold out on doing until we read the other ones.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, path of the Pale Rider is what we're talking about.

Speaker 2:

Yes, oh right, we forgot about saying the name. Sorry, laurie.

Speaker 1:

It's a comic series by Laurie Calccaterra, who we had on episode 21 the zombie wean queen.

Speaker 2:

She's coming back.

Speaker 1:

Spoiler for episode 45 uh, so path of the pale rider is a wild west apocalypse and pays homage to spaghetti westerns, sci-fi, zombie movies, mad max, I am legend, book of eli fallout I'm gonna throw it in there because it wasn't in this list Red Dead Redemption, undead Nightmare. We're going to be talking with Lori Calcaterra, I hope, because we've got to schedule that, we've got to call her up.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to email her after we finish this episode. Well, no, she already knows we're going to talk to her.

Speaker 1:

We just haven't scheduled it. Yeah, uh, but episode 45, we're gonna talk about it. Um, these are, these are gonna. This is gonna be fun because I, I see, so I see so many influences here, like also the dark tower. There's some dark tower in there, you know, this is like.

Speaker 2:

It's basically like a clint eastwood meets zombies sort of situation sorry I keep touching it and making crinkly sounds, um, but yeah, really looking forward to that, go to path of the pale ridercom to give it a read and catch up with us and make sure you're, uh, ready for it. In fact, if you've got questions about it you got questions for laurie let us know. You can call us at 614-699-0006 uh, it's a google voicemail. No, you won't be talking to us, you'll just hear a tinny version of my voice saying leave a message. Yeah, you can also leave us some zombie clucks, evil magic chicken zombie clucks Still looking for those? Still need those clucks. Yeah, still need those shirts. We are currently waiting on the shirt thing to approve our design to make sure it's not like a terrible violent design which is kind of violent a little bit.

Speaker 2:

There's some blood yeah, there is blood yeah, uh, or you can email us at zombie book club podcast at gmailcom yeah, send us your burning questions yeah, send us your survival stories, send us a hey y'all. What's going on?

Speaker 2:

send us your survival tips yeah, tell us how you would survive the farmhouse tell us how we were wrong about everything we just said. I'm not kidding. I like, when people respond, be like you know, you kind of missed the boat on this one. In fact, we have a very like outdated promise to do a second episode in the last of us oh, really, yes, because we had a listener. Um right. And be like, actually, this entire series is like steeply conservative. Oh wow. And like, yeah, it's really interesting. So that's an oversimplification of what they said, but we'll eventually get to that. Maybe when season two comes out, we can revisit the Last of Us. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, maybe when they're hyping season two, we'll hype it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we'll hype it with a critique of Double hype what this particular listener had to say. In the meantime, don't forget to subscribe.

Speaker 1:

Rate review yeah, help us. Help us spread it like a virus. Uh, get it. Get that virus in your ear holes, get infected in your ears. Ew, ear infections are the worst. Oh my god, zombie virus ear infection.

Speaker 1:

I think we've seen some weird zombies with like ear goo, haven't we yeah, that'd be an interesting way to do it what was the australian one that we watched? Oh, cargo, yeah, there was like some zombie goo yeah, they in the ears, yeah, their ears and all the orifices were bleeding zoo came out. Yeah, it's like it looked like honey. It was really gross, it was disgusting yeah, but that's all we got today.

Speaker 2:

Folks, thanks for listening. Follow us on instagram and threads. We've been really bad at posting lately, um, but we're gonna try we even have a website that y'all haven't even seen, because, yeah, it's life you know?

Speaker 1:

yeah, who wants? Who wants to see our website that we haven't launched yet? Yeah, it exists. Uh, yeah, rate and review, subscribe. Um, we've got a link tree in the description that has all the links, including all the places you can find this podcast. But thanks for listening everyone.

Speaker 2:

And uh, don't get pet your dog for me have a nice day.

Speaker 1:

The end is nigh yep.

Classic vs Remake
Night of the Living Dead Legacy
Comparing Night of the Living Dead
Comparing Origin and Evolution of Zombies
Comparing Zombie Movie Versions
Horror Film Analysis
Zombie Apocalypse Surviving and Music Analysis
Gender and Race Representation in Film
Race and Racism in Film
Zombie Survival Tips and Movie Rating
Podcast Promotion and Updates