Welcome, Boils & Ghouls...
... to the first instalment of "Wicked Watch Wednesday" where I will be recommending something wonderfully wicked for you to watch EVERY WEDNESDAY between now and October 31st !!
Being that today is October 1st, it seemed only right to suggest a film which premiered on this day back in 1968 and, in terms of zombie movies, is now widely regarded as "the one, the original, that started it all" for, without this particular movie, there may never even have been a popular television series called "The Walking Dead" or spoofs such as "Sean Of The Dead" or many of the other zombie flicks which have been made since this particular horror classic was first created.
BRITISH QUAD CINEMA POSTER.....................IMAGE SOURCE: Wrong Side Of The Art
Directed by George A. Romero, and starring Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Kyra Schon, Judith Ridley plus Keith Wayne (amongst others), it tells the story of a group of people who become trapped in a rural farmhouse in Pennsylvania whilst under attack from a horde of "living dead" monsters. For those of you that have yet to see this "cult classic", here's a brief taster of the film courtesy of the original theatrical trailer for the movie:-
If you'd like to know more there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Night Of The Living Dead", FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there are even more tidbits of information to be had from the Wikipedia Page for "Night Of The Living Dead", VIA THIS LINK, which may help to fuel your appetite for (yet) another screening. Although, if you're as much of a fan as I am, you probably won't take too much persuading to watch it again !!
Anyway, thanks (largely) to an error made by the distributor of the film, the "Night Of The Living Dead" movie entered the "public domain" far earlier than first (if ever) anticipated. This means there are several Roku channels available through which you will be able to watch it. That said, my personal choice is to suggest "Dieselpunk Industries TV" as your port-of-call for this (and many other) classic horror film(s) purely and simply because of the gargantuan effort the developer has put in over the years to compile such an extensive database of public domain movies which, thanks to this channel, are now readily available to stream via your Roku player(s) whenever you choose.
If you haven't already added it to your channel selection, you'll find "Dieselpunk Industries TV" listed among the "Film & TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store and you can easily add it to your Roku player(s) by navigating to the built-in 'Channel Store' from the home screen and scrolling through the options until you see the (above) channel icon. It's completely FREE-TO-ADD as well as being FREE-TO-VIEW so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, it's simply a case of launching the channel via the 'Go to channel' option and navigating the on-screen menu to "Movies" > "Horror" > "Night of the Living Dead" then pressing "OK" to select and 'Play' the movie which, for the record, runs to 1h 35mins.
Whilst this film was originally shot / released in monochrome... I appreciate that there may be some of you out there who "don't do black & white" so, for your benefit, there is a colourized version available, FOUND HERE, which can then be streamed on Roku via the 'YouTube' channel.
Meanwhile, for that full cinema experience, here's a few of the other cinema posters that movie-goers in 1968 would have encountered depending on their particular location around the world:-
AUSTRALIAN ONE SHEET CINEMA POSTER............IMAGE SOURCE: Cine Masterpieces
USA ONE SHEET CINEMA POSTER.....................IMAGE SOURCE: Wrong Side Of The Art
ITALIAN ONE SHEET CINEMA POSTER...............IMAGE SOURCE: Wrong Side Of The Art
For further insight into the movie, I thoroughly recommend your watching "Birth of the Living Dead" which is a 2014 documentary (RUN TIME: 1hr 16mins) that tells the story of how George A. Romero gathered together an unlikely team (incl. Pittsburgh policemen, iron workers, housewives & the owner of a local roller rink) and managed to pull-off what was (probably) the greatest "guerilla shoot" to-date. You can rent it from 'Blinkbox', VIA THIS LINK, and (if you're a new sign-up) you can watch it for just £1.00 (yes, ONLY ONE POUND) thanks to a £3.49 credit towards your first movie when you create an account with Blinkbox and deposit one pound. Sadly, there's (still) no 'Blinkbox' channel on UK Roku players but, if you have any kind of access to the service (which you probably do, if you're reading this), then I would not hesitate in urging fans of "Night of the Living Dead" to rent or buy it !!
Finally, to round-off this first instalment of "Wicked Watch Wednesday" on 'Day One' of the annual 'Countdown To Halloween', comes a FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACT for you... among the cast of characters for "Night of the Living Dead" was a WIIC-TV, Channel 11 news reporter, played by Bill Cardille [aka 'Chilly Billy Cardilly']. Now, aside from WIIC-TV being an actual Pittsburgh TV Station, Bill Cardille (himself) was also well-known locally as a Pittsburgh TV man with his own horror movie show, "Chiller Theater", which aired late on Saturday nights throughout the 60's & 70's !!
Anyway, that's all for today... just remember to come back in 24-hours for 'Day Two' and more Horror / Hallowe'en-themed content, courtesy of "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" when I will reveal another "themed" day for every Thursday throughout the month of October as we continue our "Countdown To Hallowe'en" for 2014...
Fangs (as always) for reading !!