Night of the Living Dead” is an American horror classic. But some of it’s “curators” need to fuck off. The local drive in here, Autorama, announced that it’s running all three films, Night, Dawn and Day in one show. A friend posted the event on one of the dead groups on Facebook. Instead of getting the word spread, he was ripped a new asshole. 

The group moderator told him that the print of “Night” was not the authorized print and fans should boycott that show. The moderator also represents most of the surviving cast at conventions. Sorry, bro, that’s a bullshit call that just rips the joy out of being a fan. This is not the fans fault that the film wasn’t copywritten back then. The film makers dropped the ball. 

First was a title “Night of the Aninbus” or something, the Egyptian god of death or some shit that would make little sense to a potential viewer. Then they changed it to “Night of the Flesh Eaters”. That got them a cease and desist from Mike Ripps, the distributor of “The Flesh Eaters”. Then it was changed to “Night of the Living Dead” with no copyright. 

I had met most of the surviving cast over my 30 years in conventions. They were cool people but I was soon to learn that most felt slighted that they weren’t getting any revenue from the film. It launched George Romero’s career, but the others, well they became well know but didn’t do much. John Russo did a film or two. Duane Jones did “Ganja and Hess” before he died.

Two of the nicest people in the film, Kyra Shon and Bill Hinzman , became the face of the film without any compensation except what they made at cons. Bill also parlayed his character into a feature film in 1988 called “Flesh Eater”. Supposedly this didn’t sit well with other cast members. Bill would do conventions dressed as his zombie character. He never charged for a picture with him in costume, he was having fun with the fans. Sadly he is no longer with us. 

Then there was a push to restore the chapel at the cemetery where the film was shot. I helped with my radio show and did an auction for them. When they had the reopening ceremonies, I was not invited. Nor was I invited to any of the Living Dead Weekends. Yeah, it’s a given that I don’t like to travel, but an invite would have been appreciated.

Then the film was restored and put on Blu ray and in the MOMA. Of course I bought a copy. Then I started reading some of the nonsense posted in the Facebook groups. There was a question as to how a truck that was out of gas exploded. I said it was the fumes still in the tank. I got shouted down. Hey, fuck you people, I was a mechanic for 15 years, I know what I’m talking about. After being insulted, because that’s what real fans do, insult anyone who doesn’t buy into their shit, I left the groups.

So back to the drive in post. How many fans would get to see all three films in a cool setting like a drive in? Not many, but here’s a great opportunity to do so, but you have a guy shitting all over it because they aren’t using an “authorized” print. I say go to the show and celebrate Romero’s legacy. This is for the fans, not for a group moderator who makes a living booking the casts of all three films into conventions. 

Stay a fan, embrace the genre. Above all, stay in front of the table because once you get behind it, like I did, your illusions will be shattered. 

2 Thoughts on “Night of the Living Douche Bags”

  • Rick and Ziggy went to that show and had a blast, from what I understand. Keep telling it like it is, Pete.

  • The local college used to loan me their 16mm copy of it to show when I was trying to raise funds to make my own film, but I didn’t even get to attend the showing, I was too sick to go. I didn’t receive any of the money for the showing, I think one of my buddies absconded with it.

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