Nationally, it was shown as a Saturday afternoon matinée — as was typical for horror films at the time — and attracted an audience consisting of pre-teens and adolescents. The MPAA film rating system was not in place until November 1968, so even young children were not prohibited from purchasing tickets. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times chided theater owners and parents who allowed children access to the film. "I don't think the younger kids really knew what hit them," he said. "They were used to going to movies, sure, and they'd seen some horror movies before, sure, but this was something else." According to Ebert, the film affected the audience immediately: “ The kids in the audience were stunned. There was almost complete silence. The movie had stopped being delightfully scary about halfway through, and had become unexpectedly terrifying. There was a little girl across the aisle from me, maybe nine years old, who was sitting very still in her seat and crying...The embed is full-length and has a 1080p option in the control bar, to allow fullscreen viewing.
More than 40 years after its release, the film enjoys a reputation as a classic and still receives positive reviews; Night of the Living Dead currently holds a 96% "Certified Fresh" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes
27 January 2011
"Night of the Living Dead"
This is the original (noncolorized) 1968 version by George Romero, "selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed 'culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.'"