Night of the Living Dead

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Night of the Living Dead  (1968) 
by George Andrew Romero

Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent horror film directed, photographed, and edited by George A. Romero, with a screenplay by John Russo and Romero, and starring Duane Jones and Judith O'Dea. The story follows seven people who are trapped in a rural farmhouse in western Pennsylvania, which is under assault by an enlarging group of cannibalistic, undead ghouls.

It is worth noting that Night of the Living Dead is perhaps the most famous example of a film that went out of copyright by accident, because it did not include a copyright notice in the final print, which was a legal requirement at the time in the United States to obtain a copyright.
Key (info)
Dialogue
In scene
Storyline
Video Camera Icon.svg The following is a transcription of a film. The contents below represent text or spoken dialogue that are transcribed directly from the video of the film provided above. On certain screen sizes, each line is represented by a timestamp next to it which shows when the text appears on the video. For more information, see Help:Film.

AN
IMAGE TEN
PRODUCTION

night OF THE
LIVING DEAD

Screenplay by
JOHN RUSSO
GEORGE ROMERO

Production Director: VINCENT SURVINSKI
Production Manager: GEORGE KOSANA
Photographed by THE LATENT IMAGE, INC.

Sound Engineers: GARY R. STREINER
MARSHALL BOOTH
Special Effects: REGIS SURVINSKI
TONY PANTANELLO
Make-up: HARDMAN ASSOC., INC.
Props: CHARLES O'DATO

Title Sequence: THE ANIMATORS
Script Coordination: JACQUELINE STREINER
Continuity: BETTY ELLEN HAUGHEY
Hair Styles: BRUCE CAPRISTO

Lighting Supervisor: JOSEPH UNITAS
Laboratory: W.R.S. MOTION PICTURE LAB

Produced through the facilities of:
THE LATENT IMAGE, INC.
and HARDMAN ASSOCIATES, INC.

PITTSBURGH, PA.

CEMETERY
ENTRANCE

Produced by
RUSSELL W. STREINER
KARL HARDMAN

Directed by
GEORGE A. ROMERO

Barbra
They ought to make the day the time changes the first day of summer.

Johnny
What?

Barbra
Well, it's eight o'clock and it's still light.

Johnny
A lot of good the extra daylight does us. Now we've still got a three-hour drive back. We're not going to be home until after midnight.

Barbra
Well, if it really bugged you, Johnny, you wouldn't do it.

Johnny
You think I wanna blow Sunday on a scene like this? You know, I figure we're either gonna have to move Mother out here, or move the grave into Pittsburgh.

Barbra
She can't make a trip like this.

Johnny
I don't know that she can't. Is there any of that candy left?

Barbra
No.

Johnny
Look at this thing. "We still remember." I don't. You know, I don't even remember what the man looks like.

Barbra
Johnny, it takes you five minutes.

Johnny
Yeah, five minutes to put the wreath on the grave and six hours to drive back and forth. Mother wants to remember, so we trot 200 miles into the country and she stays at home.

Barbra
Well, we're here, John, all right?

Radio announcer
Testing... Back on? Oh... Uh, ladies and gentlemen, we're coming back on the air after an interruption due to technical probl-

PONTIAC

Johnny
There's nothing wrong with the radio. Must've been the station.

Barbra
Which row is it in?

Johnny
Well, there's no one around.

Barbra
Well, it's late. If you'd gotten up earlier...

Johnny
Oh, look, I already lost an hour's sleep when the time changed.

Barbra
I think you complain just to hear yourself talk. There it is.

Johnny
I wonder what happened to the one from last year. Each year we spend good money on these things. We come out here, and the one from last year is gone.

Barbra
Well, the flowers die, and the caretaker or somebody takes them away.

Johnny
Yeah, a little spit and polish, he can clean this up—sell it next year. Wonder how many times we bought the same one.

Johnny
Hey, come on, Barb, church was this morning, huh?

Johnny
Hey, I mean, praying's for church, huh? Come on.

Barbra
I haven't seen you in church lately.

Johnny
Hehe, well... There's not much sense in my going to church. Do you remember one time when we were small, we were out here? It was from right over there—I jumped out at you from behind the tree, and Grandpa got all excited, and he shook his fist at me, and he said, "Boy, you'll be damned to hell." Haha. Remember that? Right over there. Well, you used to really be scared here.

Barbra
Johnny!

Johnny
You're still afraid.

Barbra
Stop it now, I mean it!

Johnny
They're coming to get you, Barbra.

Barbra
Stop it! You're ignorant!

Johnny
They're coming for you, Barbra.

Barbra
Stop it! You're acting like a child!

Johnny
They're coming for you. Look! There comes one of them now.

Barbra
He'll hear you!

Johnny
Here he comes now. I'm getting out of here.

Barbra
Johnny!

Barbra
Ahh! No! Johnny! Help me!

Ben
It's all right. Don't worry about him. I can handle him. There'll probably be a lot more of them as soon as they find out about us.

Ben
The truck is out of gas. This pump out here is locked. Is there a key?

Ben
We can try to get out of here if we can get some gas. Is there a key?

Ben
I suppose you've tried this.

Ben
Do you live here?

Ben
Jesus!

Ben
We've gotta get out of here. We have to get where there are some other people.

Ben
Maybe we'd better take some food. I'll see if I can find some food.

Barbra
What's happening?

Ben
I'll be just a second.

Barbra
What's happening?

Ben
Two of them.

Ben
There are two of them out there. Have you seen any more around here? I can take care of those two.

Barbra
I don't know. I don't know.

Ben
I know you're afraid, but we have to...

Barbra
I don't know! I don't know! What's happening?

Ben
They know we're in here now.

Ben
Don't look at it!

Ben
Get some more lights on in this house.

Ben
Why don't you see if you can find some wood, some boards, something there by the fireplace, something we can nail this place up?

Ben
Well, goddamn-

Ben
Look. I know you're afraid. I'm afraid too. But we have to try to board the house up together. Now, I'm going to board up the windows and the doors. Do you understand? We'll be all right here. We'll be all right here until someone comes to rescue us. But we have to work together. You'll have to help me. Now I want you to go in and get some wood so I can board the place up. Do you understand? Okay? Okay?

Ben
They're not that strong. Here, I want you to pick out some nails. Pick out the biggest ones you can find.

Ben
There, this room looks pretty secure.

Ben
If we have to, we can run in here and board up the doors.

Ben
Won't be long before those things'll be back, pounding their way in here. They're afraid now.

Ben
They're afraid of fire—I found that out.

Ben
You know a place back down the road called Beekman's—Beekman's Diner? Anyhow, that's where I found that truck I have out there. There's a radio in the truck. I had jumped in to listen to it, when a big gasoline truck came screaming right across the road. Well, there must have been ten-fifteen of those things chasing after it—grabbing and holding on. Now, I didn't see them at first. I could just see that the truck was moving in a funny way. And those things were catching up to it. The truck went right across the road. I slammed on my brakes to keep from hitting it myself. It went right through the guard rail. I guess...I guess the driver must have cut off the road, into that gas station by Beekman's Diner. It went right through the billboard, ripped over a gas pump, and never stopped moving. By now it was like a moving bonfire. Didn't know if the truck was going to explode or what. I could still hear the man, screaming. This thing is just backing away from it. I looked back at the diner to see if there was anyone there who could help me. That was when I noticed that the entire place had been encircled. There wasn't a sign of life left, except... By now, there were no more screams. I realized that...I was alone, with 50 or 60 of those things, just...standing there, staring at me. I started to drive. I...just plowed right through them. They didn't move. They didn't run, or... Just stood there, staring at me. I just wanted to crush them. They...scattered through the air, like bugs.

Barbra
We were riding in the cemetery—Johnny and me...Johnny! We... We came to put a wreath on my father's grave. Johnny, and... And he said, "Can I have some candy, Barbra?" And we didn't have any. And... Oh, it's hot in here. Hot! And he said, "Oh, it's late. Why did we start so late?" And I said, "Johnny, if you'd gotten up earlier, we wouldn't be late." Johnny asked me if I were afraid. And I said, "I'm not afraid, Johnny." And then, this man started walking up the road. He came slowly, and Johnny kept teasing me and saying, "He's coming to get you, Barbra." And I laughed at him, and said, "Johnny, stop it!" And then Johnny ran away. And I went up to this man, and I was going to apologize.

Ben
Why don't you just keep calm?

Barbra
And I looked up, and I said, "Good eve..." And he grabbed me! He grabbed me! And he ripped at me! He held me and he ripped at my clothes!

Ben
I think you should just calm down.

Barbra
Oh! Oh, I screamed, "Johnny! Johnny, help me! Oh, help me!" And he wouldn't let me go. He ripped... And then Johnny came and he ran and he had... he fought this man. And I got so afraid I ran. I ran... I ran... And...and Johnny didn't come. We've got... we have to wait for Johnny. Maybe...we'd better go out and get him. We have to go out and get Johnny. He's out there. Please, don't you hear me? We've got to go out and get him. Please! We have got to go get Johnny! Please help me! Please!

Ben
Look, don't you know what's going on out there? This is no Sunday school picnic.

Barbra
Don't you understand? My brother is alone!

Ben
Your brother is dead.

Barbra
No! My brother is not dead!

Radio announcer
Because of the obvious threat to untold numbers of citizens, and because of the crisis which is even now developing, this radio station will remain on the air, day and night. This station and hundreds of other radio and TV stations throughout this part of the country are pooling their resources through an emergency network hookup to keep you informed of all developments. At this hour, we repeat, these are the facts as we know them. There is an epidemic of mass murder being committed by a virtual army of unidentified assassins. The murders are taking place in villages, cities, rural homes, and suburbs with no apparent pattern or reason for the slayings. It seems to be a sudden, general explosion of mass homicide. We have some descriptions of the assassins. Eyewitnesses say they are ordinary looking people. Some say they appear to be in a kind of trance. Others describe them as being...

Radio announcer
So, at this point there is no really authentic way for us to say who or what to look for and guard yourself against—misshapen monsters. Reaction of law enforcement officials is one of complete bewilderment at this hour. So far we have...been...unable to determine that any kind of organized investigation is yet underway. Police, sheriffs' deputies, and emergency ambulances are literally deluged with calls for help. The scene can best be described as mayhem. Mayors of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Miami, along with the governors of several Eastern and Midwestern states, have indicated the national guard may be mobilized at any moment, but that has not happened as yet. The only advice our reporters have been able to get from official sources is for private citizens to stay in their homes behind locked doors. Do not venture outside, for any reason, until the nature of this crisis has been determined and until we can advise what course of action to take. Keep listening to radio and TV for any special instructions as this crisis develops further. Thousands of office and factory workers are being urged to stay at their places of employment, not to make any attempt to get to their homes. However, in spite of this urging and warning, streets and highways are packed with frantic people trying to reach their families, or apparently to flee just anywhere. To repeat, the safest course of action at this time is simply to stay where you...

Radio announcer
Ladies and gentlemen, we've just received word that the President has called a meeting of his Cabinet to deal with the sudden epidemic of murder which has seized the eastern third of this nation. The meeting is scheduled to convene within the hour. Members of the presidential Cabinet will be joined by officials of the FBI and the Joint Chiefs behind closed doors. A White House spokesman, in announcing this conference, says there will be an official announcement as soon as possible following that meeting. This is the latest dispatch just received in our newsroom.

Radio announcer
Latest word also from national press services in Washington, D.C., now tells us that the emergency presidential conference which we've just mentioned will include high-ranking scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. That's the extent of this latest bulletin. Repeating, the President and members of his Cabinet, the FBI, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the scientists from NASA will meet within the hour. All radio and TV stations across the eastern part of the country, including the one to which you are listening, have joined their facilities in an emergency network to bring you this news as it develops. We urge you to stay tuned to radio and TV and to stay indoors at all costs. Late reports reaching this newsroom tell of frightened people seeking refuge in churches, schools, and government buildings, demanding shelter and protection from the wholesale murder which apparently is engulfing much of the nation. Law enforcement officials are at a loss to explain or, even at this hour, even to theorize about the reasons for this wave of murder. So far, [...] are able to give the public [...] Chief T.K. Dunmore of Camden, North Carolina, is quoted as saying, quote—"Tell the people, for God's sake, to get off the streets. Tell them to go home and lock their doors and windows up tight. We don't know what kind of murder-happy characters we have here,"—end quote. That's Chief Dunmore, of Camden, North Carolina.

Radio announcer
So far the only descriptions—the only clues—anyone has of the killers, come from frightened witnesses of some of the slayings. These eyewitness accounts variously describe the murderers as "ordinary-looking people," "misshapen monsters," "people who look like they're in a trance," and "things that look like people but act like animals." Some eyewitnesses tell of seeing victims who look as though they had been "torn apart." This whole ghastly story began developing two days ago with the report of the slaying of a family of seven, in their rural home near North Carolina. Since then, reports of such senseless killings began snowballing in a reign of terror which has hopscotched in an erratic [...] Efforts to keep track of the murder reports, by the placing of markers on a map, seem to indicate a general spreading from the extreme southeastern United States, north and west. Our newsmen, who have been on the telephone talking with officials of other cities, have determined that none of this kind of mass murder has yet been reported west of the Mississippi River, except in the extreme southeastern portion of Texas. Similar killings have been reported around the Houston and Galveston areas, but nothing like the...

Ben
I found a gun and some bullets out there.

Radio announcer
It was only late yesterday...

Ben
Oh, and these.

Radio announcer
...that word became clear we were facing some kind of national emergency. When first reports began filtering in, newsmen and law enforcement agencies were of the opinion...

Ben
This place is boarded up pretty solid now.

Radio announcer
...in nature. However, as these...

Ben
We ought to be all right here for a while.

Radio announcer
...reports have been increasing dramatically, it was soon apparent that we were seeing more than the average run of lawlessness.

Ben
We have a gun and bullets, food and the radio.

Radio announcer
And some officials began to suspect an obscure kind of conspiracy.

Ben
Sooner or later, someone's bound to come and get us out.

Radio announcer
...creatures from outer space. So, again, we join with law enforcement agencies encouraging you to seek shelter in a building. Lock the doors and windows securely...

Ben
Hey, that's us. We're doing all right.

Radio announcer
...be cautious of any suspicious strangers, and keep tuned to your radio and television for survival instructions and further details of this continuing story.

Ben
Look, I don't know if you're hearing me. But I'm going upstairs now. If anything should try to break in here, I can hear it from up there, and I'll be down to take care of it. Everything is all right for now. I'll be back to reinforce the windows and doors later. But you'll be all right for now, okay?

Ben
Okay?

Radio announcer
Civil defense officials in Cumberland have told newsmen that murder victims show evidence of having been partially devoured by their murderers.

Radio announcer
Consistent reports from witnesses to the effect that people who acted as though they were in a kind of trance were killing and eating their victims prompted authorities to examine the bodies of some of the victims. Medical authorities in Cumberland have concluded that in all cases the killers are eating the flesh of the people they murdered. Repeating this latest bulletin just received moments ago from Cumberland, Maryland, civil defense authorities have told newsmen that murder victims show evidence of having been partially devoured by their murderers. Medical examination of victims' bodies shows conclusively that the killers are eating the flesh of the people they kill. And so this incredible story becomes more ghastly with each report. It's difficult to imagine such a thing actually happening, but these are the reports we have been receiving and passing on to you, reports which have been verified as completely as is possible in this confused situation. It is happening. It would appear that no one is safe from this wave of mass murder...

Barbra
Ahh! Ahh!

Tom
Hold it! Don't shoot! We're from town!

Harry
A radio!

Radio announcer
...Butler County, Pennsylvania, the Butler County Sheriff has verified that reports of murder victims being partially eaten by their slayers is true. No further details available at this time, however...

Ben
How long have you guys been down there? I could've used some help up here.

Harry
That's the cellar. It's the safest place.

Ben
You mean you didn't hear the racket we were making up here?

Harry
How were we supposed to know what was going on? Could've been those things for all we knew.

Ben
That girl was screaming. Surely you must know what a girl screaming sounds like. Those things don't make any noise. Anybody would know somebody who needed help!

Tom
Look, it's kind of hard to hear what's going on from down there.

Harry
We thought we could hear screams, but for all we knew, that could have meant those things were in the house after her.

Ben
And you wouldn't come up and help?

Tom
Well, if there were more...

Harry
The racket sounded like the place was being ripped apart. How were we supposed to know what was going on?

Ben
Now wait a minute. You just got finished saying you couldn't hear it from down there. Now you say it sounded like the place was being ripped apart. It would be nice if you'd get your story straight, man.

Harry
All right, now you tell me! I'm not going to take that kind of a chance when we've got a safe place. We luck into a safe place, and you're telling us we've gotta risk our lives just because somebody might need help, huh?

Ben
Yeah. Something like that.

Tom
All right, why don't we settle this...

Harry
Look, mister! We came up, okay? We're here! Now I suggest we all go back downstairs before any of those things find out we're in here!

Ben
They can't get in here.

Tom
You got the whole place boarded up?

Ben
Yeah, most of it. All but a few spots upstairs. They won't be hard to fix.

Harry
You're insane! The cellar's the safest place!

Ben
I'm telling you, they can't get in here.

Harry
And I'm telling you, those things turned over our car! We were damned lucky to get away at all! Now you tell me those...those things can't get through this lousy pile of wood?

Tom
His wife and kid's downstairs. The kid's hurt.

Ben
Well, I still think we're better off up here.

Tom
We could strengthen everything up, Mr. Cooper.

Ben
With all of us working, we could fix this place up in no time. We have everything we need up here.

Harry
We can take all that stuff downstairs with us. Man, you're really crazy, you know that? You've got a million windows up here. All these windows—you're gonna...you're gonna make them strong enough to keep these things out, huh?

Ben
I told you, those things don't have any strength. I smashed three of them and pushed another one out the door!

Harry
Did you hear me when I told you they turned over our car?

Ben
Oh hell, any good five men can do that.

Harry
That's my point! Only there's not going to be five, or even ten. There's gonna be twenty, thirty, maybe a hundred of those things. And as soon as they know we're here, this place is gonna be crawling with them!

Ben
Well, if there're that many, they'll probably get us wherever we are.

Harry
Look, the cellar. The cellar—there's only one door, right? Just one door—that's all we have to protect. Tom and I fixed it so it locks and boards from the inside. But up here—all these windows—why, we'd never know where they were gonna hit us next!

Tom
You've got a point, Mr. Cooper. But down in the cellar, there's no place to run to. I mean, if they did get in, there'd be no back exit. We'd be done for!

Harry
Ah!

Tom
We can get out of here if we have to. And we've got windows to see what's going on outside. But down there, with no windows, if a rescue party did come, we wouldn't even know it.

Harry
But the cellar is the strongest place!

Ben
The cellar is a death trap.

Tom
I don't know, Mr. Cooper. I think he's right. You know how many's out there?

Ben
I don't know, I figure maybe six or seven.

Harry
Look. You two can do whatever you like. I'm going back down to the cellar, and you better decide, because I'm gonna board up that door, and I'm not gonna unlock it again no matter what happens!

Tom
Now, wait a minute, Mr. Cooper.

Harry
No, I'm not gonna wait! I've made my decision, now you make yours.

Tom
Now wait a minute! Let's think about this! We can make it to the cellar if we have to! And if we do decide to stay down there, we'll need some things from up here! So let's at least consider this a while!

Ben
If you box yourself in the cellar and those things get in the house, you've had it. At least up here, you have a fighting chance.

Tom
Yeah, it looks like about eight or ten of them now.

Ben
That's more than there were. There are a lot out back, too.

Helen
Harry?

Harry
It's all right.

Helen
Harry, what's happening?

Harry
It's...it's all right!

Ben
Now take it.

Ben
We've gotta fix these boards.

Harry
You're crazy! Those things are gonna be at every window and door in this place! We've got to get down into the cellar!

Ben
Go down into your damn cellar and get out of here!

Harry
I'm...I'm taking the girl with me.

Ben
You leave her here. You keep your hands off her, and everything else that's up here too! Because if I stay up here, I'm fighting for everything up here, and the radio and the food is part of what I'm fighting for! Now if you're going down in the cellar, get!

Harry
The man's insane. He's insane! We've...we've got to have food down there! We've got a right!

Ben
This your house?

Harry
We've got a right!

Ben
You going down there with him?

Tom
Well...

Ben
Yes or no? This is your last chance! No beating around the bush!

Harry
Listen, I got a kid down there. She can't possib- I couldn't bring her up here. She can't possibly take all the racket from those...those things smashing through the windows.

Ben
Well, you're her father. If you're stupid enough to go die in that trap, that's your business. However, I am not stupid enough to follow you. It is tough for the kid that her old man is so stupid. Now, get the hell down in the cellar. You can be the boss down there. I'm boss up here.

Harry
You bastards!

Harry
You know, I won't open this door again. I mean it.

Tom
Mr. Cooper, with your help, we could...

Harry
With my help!

Ben
Let him go, man! His mind is made up. Just let him go!

Tom
Wait a minute! Judy? Come on up here, honey.

Harry
You're gonna let them get her too, huh?

Tom
It's all right, honey. Go ahead.

Tom
If we stick together, man, we can fix it up real good. There's lots of places we can run to up here. Mr. Cooper? We'd all be a lot better off if all three of us were working together.

Ben
Hey. Hey, kid.

Ben
He's wrong, you know. I'm not boxing myself in down there.

Harry
Well, we're safe now. It's boarded up tight.

Helen
What about Tom and Judy?

Harry
They wanna stay up there, let them.

Harry
There are...two other people upstairs, a man and a girl.

Helen
We heard the screaming.

Harry
Yeah, but I didn't know who they were, and I wasn't about to take any unnecessary chances.

Helen
Of course not, Harry.

Harry
Is she all right?

Helen
I don't know what it is. She feels warm. Maybe it's shock.

Harry
Where'd you get the bandage?

Helen
Some laundry in the basket. I tore a sheet.

Harry
Let them stay upstairs. Let them. Too many ways those monsters can get in up there. We'll see who's right. We'll see, when they come begging me to let them in down here.

Helen
That's important, isn't it?

Harry
What?

Helen
To be right—everybody else to be wrong.

Harry
What do you mean by that?

Helen
Does anyone up there know why we're being attacked?

Harry
Whatever it is, it isn't just happening here. It's some kind of mass murder. It's going on everywhere. The radio said to stay inside...

Helen
Radio?

Harry
Radio, upstairs, I heard a news bulletin.

Helen
There's a radio upstairs, and you boarded us in down here?

Harry
I know what I'm doing.

Helen
What did it say?

Harry
Nothing! Nothing! They don't know anything yet. There's mass murder everywhere, and...and people are supposed to look for a safe place to hide.

Helen
Take the boards off that door!

Harry
We are staying down here, Helen!

Helen
Harry, that radio is at least some kind of communication. If the authorities know what's happening, well, they'll send people for us, or they'll tell us what to do. How are we going to know what's going on, if we lock ourselves in this dungeon?

Helen
We may not enjoy living together, but dying together isn't going to solve anything. Those people aren't our enemies!

Tom
Mr. Cooper! Mr. Cooper? Ben found a television set upstairs!

Helen
Let's go up. Tom?

Tom
Yes?

Helen
If Judy would come downstairs for a few minutes, Harry and I could come upstairs!

Tom
Okay! Yeah! Right away!

Tom
Will you do it?

Judy
Do I have to?

Tom
Look, honey. Nothing's gonna get done with them down there and us up here. Do this, for me.

Judy
Okay.

Tom
Okay, open up!

Judy
I'll take good care of her, Helen.

Helen
She's all I have.

Judy
Why don't you go upstairs now?

Tom
Her brother was killed.

Ben
Hey, give me a hand with this thing.

Tom
I gotta go help Ben with the television.

Helen
Don't be afraid of me. I'm Helen Cooper, Harry's wife.

Harry
This place is ridiculous! Look at this! There's a million weak spots up here! Give me one of those.

Helen
Her brother was killed!

Harry
And they talk about these windows. I can't see a damned thing! There could be fifteen million of those things out there! That's how much good these windows are.

Helen
Why don't you do something to help somebody?

Ben
Here, I have it. Drag a couple of those chairs together.

Tom
There's a socket over here.

Harry
Now, you'd better watch this and try to understand what's going on.

Harry
I don't want anyone's life on my hands!

Helen
Is there anything I can do to help?

Ben
I don't want to hear any more from you, mister! If you stay up here, you take orders from me! And that includes leaving the girl alone!

Tom
It's on! It's on!

Harry
There's no sound. Play with the rabbit ears!

Television announcer
Reports, incredible as they seem, are not the results of mass hysteria.

Harry
"Mass hysteria!" What do they think, we're imagining all this?

Ben
Shut up!

Television announcer
...in all parts of the country. The wave of murder which is sweeping the eastern third of the nation is being committed by creatures who feast upon the flesh of their victims. First eyewitness accounts of this grisly development came from people who were understandably frightened and almost incoherent. Officials and newsmen at first discounted those eyewitness descriptions as being beyond belief. However, the reports persisted. Medical examinations of some of the victims bore out the fact that they had been partially devoured.

Television announcer
I think we have some late word just arriving and we interrupt to bring this to you. This is the latest disclosure in a report from National Civil Defense headquarters in Washington: "It has been established that persons who have recently died have been returning to life and committing acts of murder. A widespread investigation of reports from funeral homes, morgues and hospitals has concluded that the unburied dead are coming back to life and seeking human victims." It's hard for us here to believe what we're reporting to you, but it does seem to be a fact.

Television announcer
When this emergency first began, radio and television was advising people to stay inside, behind locked doors, for safety. Well, that situation has now changed. We're able to report a definite course of action for you. Civil defense machinery has been organized to provide rescue stations with food, shelter, medical treatment and protection by armed National Guardsmen. Stay tuned to the broadcasting stations in your local area for this list of rescue stations. This list will be repeated throughout our news coverage. Look for the name of the rescue station nearest you, and make your way to that location as soon as possible.

YOUNGSTOWN
TOWNSHIP MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL

SHARON
CENTRAL FIRE DEPARTMENT

Ben
So we have that truck. If we can get some gas, we can get outta here.

Tom
There's a pump out by the shed.

Ben
I know, that's why I pulled in here, but it's locked.

Television announcer
...called this afternoon by the President. Since convening, this conference of the presidential Cabinet, the FBI, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA has not produced any public information. Why are space experts being consulted about an earthbound emergency? So far, all the betting on the answer to that question centers on the recent explorer satellite shot to Venus. That satellite, you'll recall, started back to Earth, but never got here. That's the space vehicle which orbited Venus and then was purposely destroyed by NASA, when scientists discovered it was carrying a mysterious, high-level radiation with it. Could that radiation be somehow responsible for the wholesale murders we're now suffering? Newsman Don Quinn in Washington has posed those questions...

MERCER
MUNICIPAL BUILDING

BUTLER
COOK MEDICAL CENTER

FORD CITY
MAIN POST OFFICE

INDIANA
FAIRHOPE HIGH SCHOOL

Ben
It's obvious. Our best move is to try to get out of here.

Harry
How're you gonna get over to that pump?

Tom
Look!

Television interviewer
You're coming from a meeting regarding the explosion of the Venus probe, is that right?

President
Yes, yes, that was the subject of the meeting.

Television interviewer
Do you feel there is a connection between this and the phenomenon that...

Scientist
There's a definite connection.

Television interviewer
A definite connection. In other words, you feel that the radiation on the Venus probe is enough to cause these mutations?

Scientist
It was a very high degree of radiation.

President
Well, just a minute. I'm not sure that that's certain at all. I don't think that has been...

Scientist 2
It's the only logical explanation that we have at this time.

Television interviewer
In other words, it is the military's viewpoint that the radiation is not the cause of the mutation.

President
I can't speak for the entire military at this time, gentlemen.

President
I must disagree with these gentlemen presently, until we, uh...until this is irrefutably proved.

Scientist 2
Everything is being done that can be done.

President
We'll have to hurry for our next meeting.

Television interviewer
Professor, you feel that there is a definite connection between...

Scientist 2
A definite connection as far as Dr. Keller and myself...

President
Doctor, please. I thought we decided that is not proved yet.

Television interviewer
Was it... Was the satellite... When the satellite was exploded...

Scientist
It was an unusual amount of radiation, enough to cause mutation under certain circumstances.

President
Could have happened to have a bearing on it.

Scientist
It does seem to have a bearing on it.

Television interviewer
Will...will there be a...will there be a reply for the...

Scientist
Later.

Television interviewer
There will be a reply?

President
Yes.

Television interviewer
Later this afternoon?

Television interviewer
Will there... There will be a...there will be a report this afternoon, sir?

Scientist
Perhaps there will be a report later...

President
Will you close the window?

Scientist 2
We are doing everything possible to solve this problem.

Television interviewer
We hope we can get some further explanation of this...

Ben
We've heard all we need to know. We have to try to get out of here.

Helen
He said the rescue stations have doctors and medical supplies. If we can get Karen there, we can get help for her.

Television announcer
...is one of the world's foremost authorities on space science and technology.

BLAIRSVILLE
COMMUNITY CENTER

WILLARD
WILLARD MEDICAL CENTER

Ben
Willard—I saw a sign that said Willard.

Tom
It's only about seventeen miles from here.

Ben
You know this area. Are you from around here?

Tom
Judy and I are both from around here. We were on our way up to the lake to go swimming. Judy had a radio, and we heard the first reports about this. So we knew the old house was here and we came in, and found the lady upstairs dead. Then these other people came. We went down into the basement and put a bar across the door, and it is pretty strong.

Harry
How could we possibly get away from here? We've got a sick child, two women, one woman out of her head, three men, and the place is surrounded with these things.

Television announcer
...being conducted for review for NASA. Dr. Grimes, your entire staff, I know, has been working very hard to find some solution to these things that are happening. Do you have any answers at this time?

LATROBE
COUNTY FIRE HALL

GREENSBURG
GREEN HOSPITAL

Dr. Grimes
Yes, we have some answers. But first let me stress the importance of seeking medical attention for anyone who's been injured in any way. We don't know yet what complications might result from such injuries.

BEAVER FALLS
WBTF TELEVISION STATION

Ben
How bad has your kid been hurt?

Helen
Um...

Ben
Look. You go down there and tell... Is it Judy? Yeah, you tell Judy to come up here, and you stay with the kid, alright?

Dr. Grimes
...destructive action taken with regard to the Venus probe. In the cold room at the university, we had a cadaver—a cadaver from which all four limbs had been amputated. Sometime early this morning, it opened its eyes and began to move its trunk. It was dead, but it opened its eyes and tried to move.

FOXBURG
FOXBURG HALL

EAST BRADY
BRADY RECREATION CENTER

Helen
They want you upstairs. Did she ask for me?

Judy
She hasn't said anything.

Helen
I don't understand. Baby, it's Mommy.

Karen
I hurt.

Judy
I'll come back down as soon as I find out what they want.

Helen
Thank you, Judy.

Dr. Grimes
...and the bodies should be disposed of at once, preferably by cremation.

HARRISVILLE
MIDDLE AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Television announcer
Well, how long after death, then, does the body become reactivated?

Dr. Grimes
It's only a matter of minutes.

Television announcer
Minutes? Well, that doesn't give people time to make any arrangements...

PITTSBURGH
OAKLAND MEDICAL CENTER

Dr. Grimes
No, you're right. It doesn't give them time to make funeral arrangements. The bodies must be carried to the street and...and...and burned. They must be burned immediately. Soak them with gasoline and burn them. The bereaved will have to forgo the dubious comforts that a funeral service will give. They're just dead flesh, and dangerous.

McKEESPORT
ORMSBY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPT.

Ben
Judy, I need you to find some bedspreads or sheets to tear up into small strips, okay? Is there a fruit cellar here?

Tom
Yes.

Ben
We need some bottles or jars to make Molotov cocktails to hold them off while we try to escape.

Tom
Hey! There's a big can of kerosene down there!

Judy
I'll see what I can find.

Tom
I'll look for the bottles.

Harry
There's a big key ring down there. There may be a key to the gas pump on it.

Tom
I'll check.

Ben
We can toss the cocktails from a window upstairs. In the meantime, a couple of us can go out and try to get the gas, then we can come back for the rest of the people.

Harry
But that'll leave a door open someplace.

Ben
Yeah, that's right. It better be this door. It's closer to the truck. Before we go out, we'll put some supplies behind the cellar door. While we're gone, the rest of you can hold up in there.

Tom
I found some fruit jars in the cellar. And there's a key on here that's labelled for the gas pump out back.

Ben
I'm not really that used to the truck. I found it abandoned.

Tom
I can handle the truck, no sweat.

Ben
You're it, then. You and I'll go.

Ben
We'll put whatever lumber we find behind the cellar door. You can go upstairs and toss the cocktails from a window. Tom, you and I will have to unboard this door. After you toss the cocktails, you hustle back down here and lock this door. It's no good to board it up because we'll have to get back in quickly. After we get the gas and get back into the house, then we'll worry about getting everybody into the truck. Now, let's move it.

Television announcer
...no place to flee for safety, except for the rescue stations which have been set up. Indications are that before this emergency is over, we will need many, many more such rescue stations.

NEW CASTLE
WESTERN HOSPITAL

Tom
You always have a smile for me. How can you smile like that all the time?

Tom
How many do you have done?

Tom
Come on, honey, we gotta move.

Judy
Tom, are you sure about the phone?

Tom
The phone is dead out. All you get is a recorded message.

Judy
If I could only call the folks. They're going to be so worried about us.

Tom
Everything'll be all right. As soon as we get to Willard, we'll call them. They might even be there.

Judy
I know. Tom... Are you sure we're doing the right thing, Tom?

Tom
What, about getting outta here?

Judy
Yeah.

Tom
Well, the television said that's the right thing to do. We've got to get to a rescue station.

Judy
I don't know.

Tom
Come on, honey. You're starting to sound like Mr. Cooper now.

Judy
But why do you have to go out there?

Tom
Look, I know how to handle that truck. And I can handle the pump. Ben doesn't know anything about that stuff.

Judy
But we're safe in here.

Tom
For how long, honey? We're safe now, but there's gonna be more and more of those things.

Judy
I know. I know all that.

Tom
And, yeah, listen. Remember, when we had the big flood? Remember how difficult it was, for us to convince you that it was right to leave? Remember? Remember we had to go to Willard then? This isn't a passing thing, honey. It's not like just a wind passing through. We've got to do something, and fast.

Judy
I just don't want you to go out there, that's all.

Tom
Hey, smile, honey. Where's that big smile for me? Why, you...you sure are no use at all, are you? We've got work to do, honey. And you...you...

Harry
We'd better get her downstairs.

Judy
We have to go downstairs now, Barbra.

Ben
She's right. You have to go downstairs now. Just for a little while, until we get back. Then we can all leave.

Barbra
Oh, I'd like to leave. Yes.

Ben
Good luck.

Tom
Yeah.

Ben
You ready upstairs?

Harry
Yeah!

Ben
Okay, toss 'em!

Harry
Go ahead! Go on!

Judy
I'm going with him!

Harry
Get back in the cellar!

Judy
I'm going!

Harry
It's too late! It's too late!

Ben
Well, is she coming? Come on!

Ben
Get in!

Ben
Come on!

Tom
This key won't work!

Ben
Watch it!

Ben
Watch the torch!

Tom
We've gotta get away from the pump!

Tom
Hang on!

Ben
Stop! I'm telling you guys to get outta the truck!

Tom
Let's get outta here! Come on, come on!

Judy
My jacket's caught!

Ben
Let me in! Let me in! Cooper! Cooper!

Ben
I ought to drag you out there and feed you to those things!

Helen
Isn't it three o'clock yet? There's supposed to be another broadcast at three o'clock.

Harry
Ten minutes.

Barbra
Oh. Only ten more minutes? We don't have very long to wait. We can leave. Or we'd better leave soon. It's ten minutes to three.

Ben
You know anything about this area at all? I mean, is Willard the nearest town?

Helen
I don't know. We were...just trying to get to a motel before dark.

Ben
You said those things turned your car over. Do you think we can get it back on its wheels and drive it? Where is it?

Helen
Seems like it was pretty far away. Seems like we ran.

Harry
Forget it. It's at least a mile.

Barbra
Johnny has the keys.

Harry
You're going to carry that child a mile? Through that army of things out there?

Ben
I can carry the kid. What's wrong with her? How'd she get hurt?

Helen
One of those things grabbed her.

Harry
Bit her on the arm.

Helen
What's wrong?

Ben
Who knows what kind of disease those things carry! Is she conscious?

Helen
Barely.

Harry
She can't walk. She's too weak.

Ben
Well, one of us could try to get to the car!

Harry
You gonna turn it over by yourself?

Barbra
You can't start the car. Johnny has the keys.

Ben
You have a car? Where? Where is it?

Barbra
You won't be able to start it.

Ben
Yeah. Yeah, I know. But where is it?

Harry
Good Lord!

Television announcer
...being monitored closely by scientists at all the radiation detection stations. At this hour, they report the level of the mysterious radiation continues to increase steadily. So long as this situation remains, government spokesmen warn that dead bodies will continue to be transformed into the flesh-eating ghouls. All persons who die during this crisis, from whatever cause, will come back to life to seek human victims, unless their bodies are first disposed of by cremation.

CLAIRTON
FELLOWS MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Television announcer
Our news cameras have just returned from covering such a search-and-destroy operation against the ghouls, this one conducted by Sheriff Conan McClelland in Butler County, Pennsylvania. So now let's go to that film report.

CANONSBURG
CIVIC AUDITORIUM

CONNELLSVILLE
HAROLD HALL

Television announcer
All law enforcement agencies and the military have been organized to search out and destroy the marauding ghouls. The survival command center at the Pentagon has disclosed that a ghoul can be killed by a shot in the head or a heavy blow to the skull. Officials are quoted as explaining that since the brain of a ghoul has been activated by the radiation, the plan is, kill the brain and you kill the ghoul.

Police officer
Want anything from the supply wagon, Gus?

Chief McClelland
Uh, no, we're all right.

Chief McClelland
Hey, Cass, put that thing all the way in the fire! We don't want it getting up again!

Cass
All right, I gotcha!

Bill Cardille
Chief, Chief McClelland, how's everything going?

Chief McClelland
Oh, things aren't going too bad. Men are taking it pretty good. You want to get on the other side of the road over there!

Bill Cardille
Chief, do you think we'll be able to defeat these things?

Chief McClelland
Well, we killed nineteen of them today, right in this area. Those last three we caught trying to claw their way into an abandoned shed. They must have thought somebody was in there. There wasn't, though. We heard 'em making all kind of noise. We came over and beat 'em off, blasted 'em down.

Police officer 2
Chief, as soon as you're finished, can I see you here?

Chief McClelland
Yeah, okay.

Bill Cardille
Chief, if I were surrounded by six or eight of these things, would I stand a chance with them?

Chief McClelland
Well, there's no problem. If you had a gun, shoot 'em in the head. That's a sure way to kill 'em. If you don't, get yourself a club or a torch. Beat 'em or burn 'em. They go up pretty easy.

Bill Cardille
Well, Chief McClelland, how long do you think it will take you until you get the situation under control?

Chief McClelland
Well, that's pretty hard to say. We don't know how many of 'em there are. We know when we find 'em, we can kill 'em.

Bill Cardille
Are they slow-moving, Chief?

Chief McClelland
Yeah, they're dead. They're...all messed up.

Bill Cardille
Well, in time, would you say you ought to be able to wrap this up in twenty-four hours?

Chief McClelland
Well, we don't really know. We know we'll be into it most of the night, probably into the early morning. We're working our way toward Willard, and we'll team up with the National Guard over there, and then we'll be able to give a more definite view.

Bill Cardille
Thank you very much, Chief McClelland.

Bill Cardille
This is Bill Cardille, WIIC-TV 11 news.

Television announcer
Thank you, Bill, for that report. Official spokesmen declined to speculate just how long it may take to kill off all the flesh-eaters so long as the heavy ra-

CONNELLSVILLE
HAROLD HALL

Ben
Is the fuse box in the cellar?

Harry
I don't know. I... Is...isn't the fuse... The power lines are down.

Harry
Helen? I have to get that gun!

Helen
Haven't you had enough?

Harry
Two people are dead already, on account of that guy! Take a look out that window! Look at...

Ben
Get over here, man! Come on!

Harry
Go ahead! Go ahead! You wanna stay up here now? Helen, get in the cellar.

Harry
Get in the cellar now! Move!

Helen
Karen? Karen? No.

Helen
Oh, baby! Baby!

Helen
No! No! No!

Barbra
No! No! Help! No! No! No! No! Get out! No! No! Johnny! No! No! No! Oh, help me! Help me! Help...

Chief McClelland
Hey, Vince, now, you wanna get about four or five men and a couple dogs? There's a house over here behind those trees. We wanna go check it out.

Chief McClelland
Oh, you're still here, Bill.

Bill Cardille
Yeah, Chief, we're going to stay with it till we meet up with the National Guard.

Chief McClelland
Where'd you get the coffee?

Bill Cardille
One of the volunteers. You're doing all the work. You take it.

Chief McClelland
Thank you. We should be wrapped up here—about three or four more hours, we'll probably get into Willard's End. I guess you can go over there and meet the National Guard. Nick, you and the rest of these men wanna come with me?

Steve
Well, Bill, I'm checking the office to see what's happening.

Bill Cardille
Alright, Steve, tell them we're going to stay with it and everything appears to be under control.

Chief McClelland
They need you down there by the barn.

Driver
Okay.

Chief McClelland
A couple of you guys can follow the wagon down. I only need a few men to check out the house.

Chief McClelland
Somebody had a cookout here, Vince.

Vince
Yeah, it sure looks like it, Con.

Chief McClelland
He's a dead one. Get up here! Nick! Tony! Steve! You wanna get out in that field and build me a bonfire?

Chief McClelland
You—drag that out of here and throw it on the fire.

Man
There's nothing down here.

Chief McClelland
Alright. Go ahead down and give 'em a hand. Let's go check out the house.

Vince
There's something in there. I heard a noise.

Chief McClelland
Alright, Vince. Hit him in the head. Right between the eyes.

Chief McClelland
Good shot. Okay, he's dead. Let's go get him. That's another one for the fire.

Chief McClelland
Alright, send a wagon through, uh...

BEN: DUANE JONES
BARBRA: JUDITH O'DEA

Chief McClelland
There's more to burn!

HARRY: KARL HARDMAN
HELEN: MARILYN EASTMAN

Chief McClelland
Keep those dogs back off of those things!

TOM: KEITH WAYNE
JUDY: JUDITH RIDLEY

with KYRA SCHON
CHARLES CRAIG
BILL HEINZMAN
GEORGE KOSANA
FRANK DOAK
and BILL "Chilly Billy" CARDILLE
A.C. McDONALD
SAMUEL R. SOLITO
MARK RICCI
LEE HARTMAN
JACK GIVENS
R.J. RICCI
PAULA RICHARDS
JOHN SIMPSON
HERBERT SUMMER
RICHARD RICCI
WILLIAM BURCHINAL
ROSS HARRIS
AL CROFT
JASON RICHARDS
DAVE JAMES
SHARON CARROLL
WILLIAM MOGUSH
STEVE HUTSKO
JOANN MICHAELS
PHILLIP SMITH
ELLA MAE SMITH
RANDY BURR

Chief McClelland
Come ahead with the motorcycle, please. Let's go...

SPECIAL THANKS
to WIIC-TV, Pittsburgh
KQV-Radio, Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Police Department

Chief McClelland
Hey Randy, light these torches over here.

The END


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) between 1927 and 1977 (inclusive) without a copyright notice.


The author died in 2017, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 4 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.