The humans behaved poorly. Everybody. This wasn't your typical horror where it was a united "us" vs "them".
I recall my childish frustration of how the survivors turned on each other. "Why are they acting so stupid? They should be helping each other!" I exclaimed more than a few times.
Check out the superb article where I got this photo over at: afilmaday blog
That scene where the hillbillies seemed to have waay too much fun shooting at the strung up zeds really stayed with me.
In the end my favorite guy got zombiefied, some people made it, but the ending wasn't necessarily a happy one.
Lots of stuff went over my head, but it was clear to me that those people and all the other jerks with their petty frailties managed to bother me more than the supposed monsters.
I didn't enjoy the film the first time and dismissed it in favor of seemingly flashier offerings of fangoria.
Freddy Krueger was cool and so were the protagonists who took him on. The Amityville Horror, Friday the 13th, and Hellraiser were staples of my mid teens. I never got into Clive Barker but my friends loved him to bits.
I got older and saw the original 60s version. The little differences between it and the later films helped me appreciate the nuances a little better.
This was when I began to understand what George was trying to tell us.
So here we are today. Prepping and getting my family squared away against the coming storm.
All of this thanks to George Romero. My appreciation for our favorite kind of horror and social commentary begin with him.
Thank you dear sir.
Photo from Wikipedia