Often imitated, rarely bettered; George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead is the film that kickstarted the zombie genre and influenced many of the horror genre's most successful directors. Made on a miniscule budget of $115,000, Romero and his small crew stretch every dollar to make a film whose cheap-looking visuals actually work in it's favour. It's stark black and white look is beautiful, with deep shadows creating an instant atmosphere of unease. The music and sound design are brilliant, adding to the tension. Romero also brought a political subtext to the film, using a black man as the lead who ends up with more to fear from the living than he does from the undead. Many of the conventions we see in horror films were established right here, with this small independent film that transcended it's roots to become a landmark of the genre. Romero would make a career out of the zombie film (with Dawn, Day, Land, Diary and an as-yet untitled 6th installment), while this film would be remade (by Tom Savini in 1990) as well as parodied and ripped off more times than I can count. Great horror film and independent film-making at it's best.