Hey Tightwads, by now you’ve probably heard the news that horror icon George A. Romero has passed away. This week’s batch of free movies is dedicated to the master.
Note: Most of these have already been covered over the years in Tightwad Terror Tuesday, but here they are again with updated links.
Night of the Living Dead
This one is a no-brainer, as it has been in the public domain for decades and is readily available online, but Night of the Living Dead is THE seminal modern zombie movie. Romero’s classic is the gold standard by which all walking dead movies since have been measured. There’s really nothing more that needs to be said about this 1968 classic – you either know it or you don’t. If you don’t, learn it right here at DailyMotion. Or, if you’re feeling artsy, dive into the art experiment tribute Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated here at Snagfilms.
Two Evil Eyes
Two Evil Eyes is a 1990 Dario Argento/George Romero teamup in which each filmmaker tackled an Edgar Allan Poe story (Argento does “The Black Cat” while Romero takes on “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”). In addition to be directed by two of the most influential figures in modern horror, Two Evil Eyes also boasts a big-name cast which includes Adrienne Barbeau, Harvey Keitel, Tom Atkins, Julie Benz, Sally Kirkland, and Martin Balsam – there’s even a cameo from Romero pal/effects legend Tom Savini. Two Evil Eyes can be found right here at Shout Factory TV.
Day of the Dead
The last film of Romero’s initial Trilogy of the Dead series, Day of the Dead is the most nihilistic and dystopian of the bunch. The 1985 movie is about a group of soldiers and doctors who are hunkered down in a fortified military base, spending their days trying to determine the root cause of the zombie apocalypse. The finished film is not exactly what Romero had intended it to be, as budgetary restrictions forced him to scale back his vision, but it remains a classic of the genre. It also introduced the world to Bub, the most recognizable Romero zombie of the series. Day of the Dead can be seen here at Shout Factory TV, and if you’re in the mood for a commentary with Romero, effects man Tom Savini, production designer Cletus Anderson, and actress Lori Cardille, that’s right here.
Next we have Knightriders, Romero’s 1981 action fantasy movie about the trials and tribulations of a group of medieval reenactors who roll around the countryside entertaining people with their motorcycle jousting. It’s not technically a horror movie, but it’s an interesting showing of what Romero could do outside of the genre. Knightriders is a wild flick with a fun cast that includes Ed Harris, Ken Foree, Martin Ferrero, John Hostetter, and, once again, Tom Savini. If you want to see Romero spread his wings a little bit, Knightriders is right here on ShoutFactoryTV, and again, if you’d like an audio commentary with Romero, Savini, actor John Amplas, and film historian Chris “The Greek” Stavrakis, that’s right here.
Again straying away from his zombie movie roots, Monkey Shines is Romero’s animal horror movie about a quadriplegic man who gets a helper monkey. The problem is that said helper monkey is an experimental lab animal who has been injected with an intelligence boosting drug, and she forms an intense bond with her master, becoming jealous of anyone else in his life. This 1988 movie is not a typical Romero flick, but it came at a post-Day of the Dead time when Romero was trying to break out of his zombie mold. It’s basically a slasher movie with a monkey for a killer. In other words, it’s awesome. You can see Monkey Shines here at 80sHorror.net.
Want more free movies? Check out previous Tightwad Terror Tuesdays right here.