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Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: In 1968 a young college drop-out named George A. Romero directed Night of the Living Dead, a low budget horror film that shocked the world, became an icon of the counterculture, and spawned a zombie industry worth billions of dollars that continues to this day. Birth of the Living Dead shows how Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers -- policemen, iron workers, teachers, ad-men, housewives and a roller-rink owner -- to shoot a revolutionary guerrilla style film that went on to become a cinematic landmark, offering a profound insight into how our society worked in a singular time in American history. [First Run Features] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Nov 6, 2013
    80
    Kuhns makes time for political insights, provocative montages of race riots cut with the movie’s hick militia, and the comments of owlish Romero himself, who recounts the shoot like the enthusiastic 27-year-old he was.
  2. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Oct 29, 2013
    80
    What distinguishes this doc from much of the tedious critical prose Romero has inspired is the fan-boy and fan-girl ardor that fuels its smarts--both behind and in front of the camera.
  3. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    Nov 6, 2013
    70
    Mr. Romero, manifesting a self-effacing demeanor and sensible humanity, is a most agreeable raconteur.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Oct 31, 2013
    63
    In the war between zombies and vampires for the domination of American popular culture, the zombies currently seem to have the edge. So suggests a montage in Rob Kuhns’s amusing but perfunctory documentary about the origins of the 1968 ur-text of zombiedom, George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead.”
  5. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Nov 6, 2013
    63
    The film is unavoidably slight, but there's a certain pleasure in watching talented people wax passionate about a common source of inspiration.
  6. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Nov 7, 2013
    60
    This documentary is basically a glamorized DVD extra, but it entertains as it details the anecdote-rich production history of “Night of the Living Dead” and, most crucially, its enormous impact.
  7. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Nov 6, 2013
    58
    Birth briefly staggers to life when the topic of race comes up — not because that angle on Night hasn’t been covered ad nauseam, too, but simply because it seems to inspire the most provocative discussion.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 17, 2014
    10
    It's become increasingly obvious, since "Shaun of the Dead" and AMC's "Walking Dead," that zombies are a potent metaphor for the alienation, disempowerment, anger and frustration that we feel in contemporary society. Take the Wall Street/Main Street dichotomy, add job frustration, dissatisfaction, loss of community and family, subsistence wages for corporate servants, pervasive lack of individualized fulfillment, and hyper-consumerist appetites stimulated by the same corporations now openly buy our "democracy" and Voila!--here we are, dead in life. I am glad to see someone look into this pop-culture expression of the collective unconscious more deeply by EXHIBE FLIX Expand

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