Saturday, June 15, 2013

Night of the Living Dead

The Evans City Cemetery in Pennsylvania was the filming location for the opening scene of one of my favorite horror movies of all time, "Night of the Living Dead."

Julie and I found it to be terribly remote feeling, very very peaceful, a bit unsettling, and a great location for that opening.

You just knew I wouldn't go there without having fun and being nostalgic  -

Cemetery Trivia: During the filming of the cemetery sequence, shot on two separate days, an unexpected accident caused a fast change of script.

The car driven by Barbara and Johnny into the cemetery was actually owned by the mother of Russell Streiner. Unfortunately, sometime between the two filming sequences, someone ran into the car and put a dent in it that would easily be visible on camera. George A. Romero rewrote the scene so the car would come to a stop by crashing into a tree.

The film's first scene, the initial cemetery attack on Barbara and Johnny, was the last filmed, in November 1967. The actors had to hold their breath to avoid visible condensation in the frosty autumn air.

George A. Romero was the one operating the camera when S. William Hinzman (the cemetery zombie) attacks Barbara in her car by smashing the window with a rock. When Hinzman shattered the window, the rock barely missed Romero. 

Some of the groans made by S. William Hinzman when he's wrestling with Russell Streiner in the cemetery are authentic. During the struggle, Streiner accidentally kneed Hinzman in the groin.

The Evans City Cemetery was the cemetery used in the original version of the film, but it could not be used for the 30th anniversary edition. Before filming the new footage, a tornado had torn through the Evans City Cemetery, and ironically, it unearthed several graves.

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