Night of the Living Dead, cult classic, not rated, The Screen, 4 chiles
Before Night of the Living Dead, zombie movies had a lot more to do with voodoo than with the unexplained. Films like White Zombie (1932) and Jacques Tourneur’s I Walked With a Zombie (1943) followed the premise that potions, not supernatural forces, caused the dead to walk among the living. Zombie films played second fiddle to the more successful Universal horror franchises Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and The Wolf Man. Even as late as the 1960s, Dracula was still a dominant villain in the horror genre, thanks to a series of revamped vamp pictures by Hammer Film Productions that began in the late ’50s and starred Christopher Lee as the famous bloodsucker. But horror was marketed mostly to young people then, and it wasn’t taken too seriously as intelligent, thoughtful cinema.