While we'll pretty much make up any reason to watch a zombie any time day or night, much less one written and directed by the de facto creator of the genre, George Romero, the release of Zombieland gave our appetite for undead entertainment some legitimacy this week. And while Zack Snyder's 2004 reimagining of Dawn of the Dead might be the more obvious candidate for a "Shelf Life" column given Snyder's status as an emerging auteur himself, not to mention the fact it's the best American zombie movie in the last decade, we elected to go back to Romero's 1979 original and see if its classic status is still deserved.

The Facts: Also known as Zombi, George Romero's follow-up to the 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead was released May 24, 1979 after premiering in Italy almost a year before. With an estimated budget of $650,000, Romero's film grossed $55 million to date worldwide (equal to $181 million in 2009 dollars), and is widely acknowledged as the best zombie movie of all time – even if its predecessor likely remains the most influential.
categories Cinematical