George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) redefined the zombie movie for all time. This tale of the recently dead coming back to life and graphically (especially for its time) making picnic basket lunches out of the living was like nothing anyone had ever seen before. It was also something we’d see again — a lot. The Romero zombie became the prevailing notion of what a zombie should be, and it remains so to this day. (Oddly enough, Romero himself isn’t all that keen on horror movies — something that hasn’t stopped him from making a cottage industry out of zombies.) The film was made for very little money, which may well have been in its favor — at least in all areas except the film’s music. Very little money meant that the film’s musical selections were limited to the cheapest public domain recordings that could be found. While this cheesy canned music carries a certain charm, the results of its application to the film often feel like random needle-drop selections. Well, here’s a new approach to the film’s musical track by local musicians Silver Machine. They’ve replaced Romero’s music with music of their own, imbuing the film with a less melodramatic sound by replacing it with something that generates something more like ever-increasing dread. It may not entirely work (and I freely admit that the musical style isn’t exactly my dish of tea), but it mostly does. It undeniably gives the film a different feel and is worth giving a try — especially, if you’re a fan of the movie.
Night of the Living Dead with the new music track by Silver Machine plays for one show on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 9:30 p.m. at the Fine Arts Theatre.