Next time you decide to watch a horror movie (especially if it has anything to do with zombies), be sure to mumble a silent ode to Night Of The Living Dead, a true cult classic that’s probably single-handedly responsible for the birth of the modern horror genre.

George A. Romero’s famed feature 1968 film set the very foundation upon which the beloved genre is built, and raised the bar incredibly high for all “scary movies” that came after it.

The groundbreaking movie (still pretty terrifying to this day), told the story of a growing epidemic of zombies, and one group of survivors’ battle against them.

It starred Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, and Judith Riley.

With its (at the time) yet untold plot, and Romero’s amazing talent, the Night Of The Living Dead forced people into taking the genre seriously and thus gave birth to the 1970’s “golden age of horror.”

Often called “the quintessential zombie flick,” Night Of The Living Dead helped establish the myth surrounding the “flesh-eating living dead.” Without it, you probably wouldn’t be watching The Walking Dead. Before Romero created his horror work of art, the zombie issue was dealt with by voodoo as a primary way of keeping the dead “alive.”

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Those zombies often served their human masters and had no interest in someone unless the masters ordered them. Nigh Of The Living Dead was the first time that zombies were depicted as real monsters, who acted upon their instincts (which was to eat human flesh).

The formula proved to be more than successful, as zombies spread across the whole entertainment industry like, well, an epidemic. You could even say that they eventually succeeded in taking over the living human kind (issue suspense music).