Watch Night of the Living Dead, the Seminal Zombie Movie, Free Online

Hal­loween has long since passed, grant­ed. But giv­en the over­abun­dance of Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions even now aris­ing all around us, a brac­ing splash of hor­ror won’t go amiss. This goes dou­ble when the splash comes from George A. Romero’s Night of the Liv­ing Dead, urtext of the mod­ern zom­bie movie. It goes triple when you can watch it free online. (It’s been uploaded in high-def­i­n­i­tion video, no less, an absolute essen­tial for lo-fi, low-bud­get gorefests.) Though only released in 1968, the movie appears on the inter­net legal­ly due to its dis­trib­u­tor not indi­cat­ing their copy­right on the film prints. They removed the orig­i­nal title cards, which dis­played the con­sid­er­ably less catchy orig­i­nal title Night of the Flesh Eaters, but for­got to put the copy­right state­ment back in with the new ones.

If Night of the Liv­ing Dead strikes you as some­what déclassé for a site like Open Cul­ture, ask your­self whether you’ve actu­al­ly seen the movie. If you haven’t, then it seems you suf­fer from a vast gap — a vast, zom­bie filled gap — in your aware­ness of twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry cin­e­ma cul­ture. The film has even won insti­tu­tion­al val­i­da­tion. Just read the titles of these real arti­cles: “Rewrit­ing the Dead: The Ten­sion between Nos­tal­gia and Per­ver­sion in George A. Romero’s Night of the Liv­ing Dead,” “Inner-City Exhi­bi­tion and the Genre Film: Dis­trib­ut­ing Night of the Liv­ing Dead,” “Greek Gifts: Vision and Revi­sion in Two Ver­sions of Night of the Liv­ing Dead,” “A Mod­ern Med­i­ta­tion on Death: Iden­ti­fy­ing Bud­dhist Teach­ings in George A. Romero’s Night of the Liv­ing Dead.” If you’re look­ing for a PhD. the­sis top­ic, you may have turned up too late to this par­tic­u­lar movie. But it’ll cer­tain­ly take your mind off gift shop­ping.

You can always find Night of the Liv­ing Dead in our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More. Look in the Noir, Thriller, Hor­ror and Hitch­cock sec­tion.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed con­tent:

Watch the Quin­tes­sen­tial Vam­pire Film Nos­fer­atu Free Online as Hal­loween Approach­es

Where Hor­ror Film Began: The Cab­i­net of Dr. Cali­gari

The First Unin­tend­ed Hor­ror Film (1895)?

Tro­ma Enter­tain­ment, the Mak­er of Acclaimed B‑Movies, Puts 150 Free Films on YouTube

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.