Max is in the living room right now watching the original Night of the Living Dead.
As it was startingrecalled reading a very critical article of the movie in Readers Digest when she was a child and asked me try and find it online. Of course the all-knowing GoogleBot found a scanned version of it as the first result.
Surprisingly it turns out that it was a condensed version of a story that Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times in January 1967. Ebert's piece was less a review of the movie, which he actually liked than a criticism of the hypocrisy of censorship and ratings systems. Even in January 1967, Ebert was believed censorship was a bad idea but was more troubled by the dichotomy in attitudes toward nudity and violence.
"Censorship isn't the answer to something like this. Censorship is never the answer. For that matter, "Night of the Living Dead" was passed for general audiences by the Chicago Police Censor Board. Since it had no nudity in it, it was all right for kids, I guess. This is another example, and there have been a lot of them, of the incompetence and stupidity of the censorship system that Chicago stubbornly maintains under political patronage."
Unfortunately, that same divergent sentiment continues to exist in the ratings to this day as the appearance of a penis or pubic hair can trigger an NC-17 while violence much more extreme than anything seen in George Romero's horror classic passes by with a PG-13.
Why is violence so much more acceptable than a hint of sexuality?
The Night of the Living Dead :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews
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