Night of the Living Dead
Securing the Farm House. What did they do right? What would you have done differently?
The most famous, quintessential representative of securing your home against the undead. Night of the Living Dead. This movie scared the crap out of me and I still can’t rewatch it at night.
As everyone who has ever watched this movie knows, there were two parts of the house that different characters secured – the main floor and the basement.
Ben and Barbara were taking care of the first floor. Well, mainly Ben, with a tiny bit of help from the “zombified” Barbara. Could you move any less? The married couple, Harry & Helen, their injured daughter, and the cute young couple were in the basement.
The main floor was a nightmare to secure. Let’s face reality -there were tons of windows and all within easy reach of undead hands. Ben didn’t see any other choice at hand. I don’t think he was aware of the basement, and even if he were, he was not cool about shutting himself down there.
He was lucky there were nails and a hammer in the house. He was smart, using the dining room table top and inside doors after he’d exhausted all the lumber he could find. Ben knew the zombies were weak, so I wonder if he thought they weren’t strong enough to pull the boards off the windows and doors.
Ben also planned on escaping in the truck, so he probably considered the boarding up a temporary measure only.
The basement on the other hand had one good point; access only at the basement door. The bad part of that was the door seemed awfully flimsy. I guess enough boards could be nailed in to make it fairly secure.
But then there was Ben’s points – no escape if the door were breached, and no way to see outside. As it turned out, there was something really scary about the basement.
So, did he do things right? I think based on what he knew at the time, he did. IF the trapped folks had known the zombies would wander off once things got quiet, I think hiding in the basement would have been better. Also, in this version of Romero’s undead, they are very weak, often lying around during the daytime. So, the people may have been able to push their way past them once escaping the basement, even if the zombies still hung around the door.
Would you have done things differently? Christy and I have discussed these type scenarios and one area we feel is very neglected is the 2nd floor. Only one access point; the stairs. You could block them with furniture and hopefully fight off the zombies one at a time if they got through. Or as they attempted to get through.
IF there were a way to cut the stairs loose that would be ideal. Would need a chainsaw I guess. Would you have time to cut through all that wood. I dunno.
You would have access from all the windows upstairs so you could see what was going on around the whole house. Hopefully there would be an escape route you could take if the zombies got upstairs, like climbing out a window onto a tree limb and down to the ground. Heck, even the roof would be preferable to staying inside with a pack of hungry zombies.
Anyhoo, those were my thoughts on the subject. I’d love to hear from you – what would you do differently if anything?
An aside: As I was searching for images, I ran across the woman with her nude backside. It probably depends on which channel is showing the movie, but I’ve seen her before. I thought this was pretty risque for 1968. But I had never seen her front nude shot, which is in images. I guess that ended up on the editing floor. Gotta say the woman was nice looking for a zombie. LOL.