During this time while cinemas are dormant, cinephiles need to get their fix at home. Sometimes that means seeking out new direct-to-VOD films with no track record. But for most, it means revisiting classic films and favourites that made us fall in love with a certain genre. It’s not uncommon for horror fans to find comfort in watching classic scary movies like Night of the Living Dead. There’s a reason why the classics resonate. Raising The Dead: Re-Examining Night of the Living Dead, the new documentary debuting on Hollywood Suite on Friday, May 29th, takes a look at the film that defined the zombie sub-genre.
Directed by Ryan Mains, Raising the Dead is a half hour documentary retrospective on the seminal zombie film. George A. Romero wrote the zombie playbook with Night of the Living Dead and it’s subsequent follow ups. He also took risks with Night of the Living Dead both in production and in storytelling. Featuring interviews and reflections from the cast and crew, as well as insight and opinions from Canadian film critics and scholars, Raising the Dead is a tight exploration of the classic horror with no fat. It’s gets to the meaty brains of the matter right away and hits you with interesting anecdotes and film analysis that’s both entertaining and informative.
Giving a quick overview from concept to completion, the short doc touches on a number of aspects of the film. The most interesting aspect of the making of the film was a look into the importance of casting Duane Jones. A man of colour in a leading role was not common in 1968 for obvious reasons. The ending of the film has more meaning and gravitas with him as the star. The importance of his inclusion is given a good amount of time in this economic doc.
While it’s great that Raising the Dead has tight pacing, the only real gripe I have is that it finishes so fast. It’s fun to look back on a classic and suck the marrow out of every little tidbit. But it’s understandable why the piece keeps a quick running time. The lack of unnecessary meandering makes the piece go down easy and gets the viewer excited to go back and watch the film it examines.
If you are a fan of George A. Romero and Night of the Living Dead, you will enjoy this succinct examination of the film. If you’re relatively new to the godfather of all zombie films, Raising the Dead has more than a few stories that might intrigue you. Raising the Dead: Re-Examining Night of the Living Dead makes its debut on Hollywood Suite 70s Movies on Friday, May 29th at 9PM Eastern. Immediately following it on the channel, you can catch Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. Raising the Dead is also available on demand on the Hollywood Suite GO app and at HSGO.com. There you can find the regular colour edition as well as the special “Monochrome Edition”. Check it out if you want the authentic Night of the Living Dead feel! It’s definitely a Movie for Staying In.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!