They’re coming to get you, Barbara — all over again!
EW can exclusively reveal that George Romero’s 1968 horror classic Night of the Living Dead has been digitally restored by New York’s Museum of Modern Art and The Film Foundation. The 4K restoration will receive its world premiere at MoMA as part of this year’s To Save and Project Festival, which is dedicated to celebrating newly preserved and restored films. Romero himself will introduce the film at the premiere.
“It’s an honor and a thrill to have MoMA restore and present a horror movie that I and a group of Pittsburgh friends created nearly 50 years ago,” the director said in a statement. “After working closely with MoMA and the Film Foundation on this restoration, I know the meticulous work that has gone into creating this new restoration and I am excited to terrify new audiences and devoted fans with a version that returns our film to the quality we originally intended.”
Night of the Living Dead is one of the most influential horror films ever made: The unsparing tone of Romero’s tale of undead cannibals would help usher in a new wave of more realistic — and graphic — genre films, like Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes.
More directly, it reimagined the concept of the zombie and inspired a huge amount of subsequent films and, of course, The Walking Dead, AMC’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comic book. When EW spoke with makeup effects legend and Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero back in 2010, he revealed that the show’s creator Frank Darabont had “used the original Night of the Living Dead as the holy grail of reference in terms of zombie performances.”
Tickets for the premiere of the restored Night of the Living Dead go on sale Oct. 22.