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Living Dead and Dr. Who Citywide (1969)

1969-01-10 Los Angeles Times.jpg

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"Night of the Living Dead" and "Dr. Who and the Daleks" (in multiples) prove you can no more judge movies by their titles and ad campaigns than you can books by their covers.

The first is a genuinely scary little horror picture for adults and the second, a diverting science fiction fantasy for all ages. Both were made with far more imagination than money. For once an exploitation double bill gives the customer his money's worth.

The initial venture of Pittsburgh's Image Ten Productions. "Night of the Living Dead" wrings maximum effects from an absolute minimum of means.

'Living Dead'

Virtually the whole film takes place in a Western Pennsylvania farmhouse in which a group of people have sought refuge from the rapidly-multiplying legions of the "living dead," those who have recently died only to conic alive minutes later as remorseless flesh-eating ghouls. Apparently they have been revived by radiation from a satellite that exploded during a probe of the planet Venus. They can be stopped only by a bullet through the brain or by being consumed by fire.

Inside the farmhouse are an assortment of seven people, organized by a comparatively calm and resourceful Negro (Duane Jones). From TV and radio they learn the eastern third of the United States is overrun by the living dead. Civil defense units are mobilizing, however. Will help arrive in time? Will these seven pull together or let I:themselves be defeated by internal dissent?

From this classically simple situation director George A. Romero and writer John A. Russo build an amazing amount of suspense. Romero keeps things constantly happening and directs with limitless energy. Indeed, countless far more ambitious movies could benefit from such drive and vitality. Although too gruesome for the kiddies, "Night of the Living Dead" is taut and uncompromising, ending on a note of bitter irony. Performances are adequate and often better, especially in the case of Jones, who clearly has what it takes to go on to bigger things.

Based on TV

Based on a popular BBC television series, "Dr. Who and the Daleks" also deals with the adverse effects of radiation. An accidental shove of the starter in Dr: Who's time-space cubicle takes the kindly old scientist (Peter Cushing), his granddaughters (Jennie Linden and Roberta Tovey) and a friend (Roy Castle) to a mysterious petrified planet run by the Daleks, web-footed creatures, victims of radiation, who cannot exist outside their "iron maidens" that allow them to function in robot-like fashion. The Thalls, a handsome mutant people, come from afar to the Dalek fortress in search of food, but the Daleks want only to destroy them.

When little Miss Tovey asks Cushing why the Daleks want to do this to the Thalls he explains it's simply because they're different from them — that we fear the different so much we want to destroy it. Not only has this movie a sound moral but also a quaint Flash Gordon charm because of its fanciful sets. Cushing, Hammer's reliable Baron Frankenstein, is properly whimsical, and Gordon Flemyng's amiable direction wisely avoids camp.


'DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS'

A Continental (Walter Reade Organization) release of an Aru productibon presented by Regal Films International. Ltd. Director: Gordon Flemyng. Screenplay: Milton Subotsky. With Peter Cushing, Roy Castle, Jennie Linden, Roberta Tovey. Techniscope. Technicolor. 83 minutes.

For family audiences.

Spelling corrections: Thals

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  • APA 6th ed.: Timmar, Kevin (1969-01-10). Living Dead and Dr. Who Citywide. Los Angeles Times p. G11.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Timmar, Kevin. "Living Dead and Dr. Who Citywide." Los Angeles Times [add city] 1969-01-10, G11. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Timmar, Kevin. "Living Dead and Dr. Who Citywide." Los Angeles Times, edition, sec., 1969-01-10
  • Turabian: Timmar, Kevin. "Living Dead and Dr. Who Citywide." Los Angeles Times, 1969-01-10, section, G11 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Living Dead and Dr. Who Citywide | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Living_Dead_and_Dr._Who_Citywide | work=Los Angeles Times | pages=G11 | date=1969-01-10 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Living Dead and Dr. Who Citywide | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Living_Dead_and_Dr._Who_Citywide | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 November 2017}}</ref>