Birth of the Living Dead (sometimes known by its working title Year of the Living Dead) is a 2012 American documentary film directed by Rob Kuhns. It is about the 1968 horror film Night of the Living Dead and that film's legacy. It features interviews with Night of the Living Dead director George A. Romero, Elvis Mitchell, Jason Zinoman, Larry Fessenden, Gale Anne Hurd, and Mark Harris.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Rob Kuhns interviews a range of authors, critics, and filmmakers about the impact, legacy, and enduring popularity of Night of the Living Dead. Romero describes the film's background, production, and distribution, including how it accidentally fell into the public domain. Fessenden describes Night of the Living Dead's aspects of postmodernist film, including an early commentary on horror films inside of a horror film – Johnny's taunting of his sister, Barbra, in the opening graveyard scene. Hurd cites the film as an influence on her own work as executive producer of The Walking Dead. Mitchell, among other things, describes how the film presents a strong Black male as the protagonist of a film without resorting to racial commentary. The final scene, in which Duane Jones' character, Ben, is killed by a posse is compared to historical footage of 1960s lynch mobs and police brutality, and scenes of violent zombie attacks are compared to footage from Vietnam broadcast on television