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‘Living Dead’ movie will feed local craving for zombie realm

The stars from 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' will playfully hurl funny zingers classic zombie film when 'RiffTrax Live: Night Living

The stars from "Mystery Science Theater 3000" will playfully hurl funny zingers at a classic zombie film when "RiffTrax Live: Night of the Living Dead" is presented 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at hundreds of movie theaters throughout the country, including Northwest Indiana. Released in 1968, "Night of the Living Dead" pioneered the harder-edged genre of zombie cinema. | Photo provided

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If you go

What: “RiffTrax Live: Night of the Living Dead”

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24

Where: Portage 16 IMAX, 6550 U.S. 6; tickets are $14.50. This cinematic event also will be presented at Cinemark, 700 Porter’s Vale Blvd., Valparaiso; adult tickets are $12.50, tickets for senior citizens and college students with IDs are $11.50, and child tickets are $10.50.

More details: www.fathomevents.com

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Zombies are a lively bunch right now in pop culture.

Casey Hahney of Hammond said she likes how they capture our attention by “roaming around ... just devouring everything in their path.”

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” — with its relentless “walkers” — has ably fed the public’s appetite for these carnivorous ghouls.

Hahney is a 24-year-old Hammond resident who is gladly along for the ride.

She’s even gone the zombie-tattoo route.

To further celebrate the undead’s popularity, the granddaddy of graphic zombie films will be shown on Thursday, Oct. 24, in more than 600 movie theaters in the United States.

“Night of the Living Dead” (1968) is being rolled out to the accompaniment of comedic zingers, courtesy of Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett — the jesters from “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” an Emmy-nominated television show which peppered ill-fated movies with wisecracking commentary.

George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” ranks as quality horror-genre cinema, but there will be room for well-placed mockery when “RiffTrax Live: Night of the Living Dead” is shown at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Portage 16 IMAX and Cinemark in Valparaiso.

The “RiffTrax Live” series will be riffing on a stark, black-and-white tale that begins when a brother and sister visit a cemetery.

The plot of “Night of the Living Dead” then carries the action to a remote farmhouse, where survivors are holed up against the onslaught of flesh-eating people from the netherworld.

“The Walking Dead” — which notched record-breaking viewership with its season premiere this month — has helped hook Hahney on zombie culture.

“I do like the TV series,” Hahney said, although adding that she believes the companion comic books are “a million times better.”

At Creative Comics in Griffith, fans of the ghoulish cable-TV series and its offshoot products are able to buy “Walking Dead” comic books and T-shirts.

Action figures can likewise be purchased locally.

“I have a lot of female customers who buy ‘Walking Dead,’” noted Creative Comics owner Jim Rhone, 42.

He feels he knows at least part of the reason that females gravitate toward the horror franchise: “They don’t find it so kid-ish, like the superhero comic books.”

Hahney cited one element of zombie adventures that appeals to girls and women: “We love our drama.”

Zombie-infused video games have only added to the allure of such creatures.

Wade Jessie, owner of Otaku Hobbies in Schererville, contends zombies are a hot commodity as a pop-culture monster because it’s enticing to fight back against them.

“Humans hunt zombies; it’s OK to kill them,” said Jessie, a 51-year-old Chesterton resident. “We can hunt them as much as they hunt us. With a vampire or werewolf, the odds are against us, but with zombies, we have a chance to fight back. We want to watch the zombies get it in the end.”

TV ratings indicate that a lot of Americans do, indeed, relish apocalyptic matchups between humans and those who returned from the grave.

The entertainment-industry publication Variety reported that “The Walking Dead” ranks as “basic cable’s biggest series of all time.”

Meanwhile, Colorado-based National CineMedia is showing “RiffTrax Live: Night of the Living Dead” through its digital content network. Rated R, the low-budget “Night of the Living Dead” was considered shockingly violent for its time when released 45 years ago. The Restricted rating requires anyone younger than 17 to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.



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