• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”

Monsters: Night of the Living Dead (1968) Movie

I am not a big fan of horror movies, but this semester we have six movies to watch. I’ve not seen any of them despite that they are horror classics. Digging into the movies-first stop Night of The Living Dead.

My first impression was I was never going to get through this black and white, very boring, very cheesy movie. And it did indeed take me three tries. The first because I couldn’t keep my focus on the screen, the second because the kids took over the TV when I walked away for a minute, and the third because toward the end there were some truly disturbing scenes and I caught little guy standing in the corner staring at the screen.

The movie did have a bunch of really cheesy zombies stumbling toward their victims with their arm’s reached forward so the first horror scene was quite funny—that changed quickly. Another funny part, which i really want to note is the opening scene. A brother and sister drive three hours each way in order to put a wreath of flowers on their father’s grave. The brother, Johnny, talked about not really even remembering the man, but his mother wants to remember so they drive six hours round trip so Mother can remember, while Mother stays home. I laughed out loud at this part because I can definitely see that being me and my brother AND my mother insisting we go while she stays home.

I mention this first scene in the movie because it depicted a universality to the story. Reminds me that no matter time or place, there are something things that relatable to all people. This scene made the characters instantly relatable. But—that is where the relating to the characters ended.

I hated the way woman in the story was portrayed. She is creepier walking around the old house with a knife in hand than the zombies are—and she is catatonic, and hysterical. Perhaps she is in shock but holy hell woman be useful somehow. Then she attacks the man who is trying to save them because he thinks her brother is out there still alive and she hits him. He flat out punches her and then the cheesy fainting scene. Now I don’t know about anyone else, but there was a really awkward really creepy unbutton and rearrange the woman’s coat at this point, which I just found well—disturbing. Then back to catatonic. Really? Ugh. Feed to the Zombies already!

The leading man is boarding up the house, and cleaning up the bodies seems very adapt, but I wondered how in the world he knew what to do and is staying so calm. Listening to the radio, they learn that this phenomena is having all over the country, and the government is blaming it on some kind of radioactive materials—or something or other—they don’t know. All they do know for sure is that these killers are eating the flesh of the people they killed.

I loved when the men came up from the basement, and the guy who was helping the woman and boarding up the house is yelling at them for not coming to her aid. He says “how can you not know what a woman screaming sounds like?”

Why??? Are they fighting over whether or not to stay upstairs or the cellar? Seems like only one man in the whole bunch has a brain he can use. Good grief.

The horror is not about the Zombies, but the people turning on each other.

The movie did have some horrific, albeit predictable, parts. Unfortunately, the little girl dying in the basement and becoming a zombie was no surprise. You can see that coming a mile away! But the worst most gruesome scene in the movie is when her mother goes down and finds the daughter literally eating the dead father. Awful.

And the gruesome and very freaking horrifying thing that comes next where the girl brutally stabs her mother to death. This movies needed to be turned off at this point because I didn’t want the kids accidentally walking in any longer. The scene with the little looked like a crazed series killer scene instead of a zombie movie. The little girl was brutal and didn’t “act” like a zombie! Psycho scene.

Although, I can see why this is a classic horror movie, but I did not enjoy it. And in the end SPOILER ALERT, the only survive—the guy who used the brain he possessed—was killed. No, not by zombies. Killed by the men who came to the rescue in the morning. So I watched the this whole only to see everyone and eaten by the zombies and the only guy to survive killed by humans. Figures.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert , contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, three of which are on the autism spectrum.
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