The winner of this week's zombie kill(s) is Ben from George A Romero's, Night of the Living Dead. Ben is calm and assertive under p...

Zombie Kill of the Week: Night of the Living Dead

The winner of this week's zombie kill(s) is Ben from George A Romero's, Night of the Living Dead. Ben is calm and assertive under pressure and takes charge when Barbara, traumatized from a zombie attack remains comatose dead weight.

Before boarding up the house he beats two zombies to death with a crow bar, and when a zombie wanders into the house and tries to attack a dazed Barbara, Ben bludgeons the corpse and later sets it on fire in the back yard.


Ben continues to do more than his fair share of zombie killing and with a shotgun takes out 5-10 more of the undead as he and Tom make a break for the gas pump beside the barn.

After the escape attempt fails and the zombies breach the house, Ben takes shelter in the cellar where the zombified Karen Cooper has finished dining on her recently deceased parents. Ben refrains from dispatching the child zombie and pushes her aside, but when he finds himself alone with the newly risen corpses of Harry and Helen Cooper he plugs them both.

Ben is the only character of Romero's film to make it through the zombie apocalypse. But even after surviving the night of the living dead, Ben gets shot between the eyes by a pack of rednecks on a zombie hunt who mistake him for one of the undead.

3 comments:

  1. You know, it was only about a year ago that I realized that Mr. Cooper (that bastard) was right, they should have all gone to the basement...I mean even Ben ends up there. Also, whether it was meant that way or not, the shooting of Ben seems to have so many racist overtones to it.

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  2. Pax,

    I think that was the entire point to the ending. Ben survives the zombie invasion only to be killed by a bunch of crackers that look like a subsidiary of the Ku Klux Klan. The imagery of the posse with thier German shepherds also hearkens to the Civil Rights struggle when police officers were sicking dogs on protesters and blasting them with hoses. The ending is heartwrenching as the men don't even want to touch Ben's body and use hooks to throw his corpse on the bonfire. I think it underscores how blacks were treated as a non-human threat to white supremacy in the 60s and 70s.

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  3. Actually, that's a tire iron. It's kinda obvious it looks nothing like a crowbar. Though in the 1990 remake, he uses a crowbar. Just thought i'd point those things out.

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