Hip Hip Horroray! The Demise Of Barbara In ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ (1968)

They’re coming to get you, Barbara!”  If only they had come to get her ass sooner.  Quick fun fact:  Her name was misspelled as ‘Barbra’ in the closing credits .  But anyway, yes – I’m talking about none other than the character of Barbara from 1968’s, Night Of The Living Dead.  And when she was taken away from us towards the end of the movie, I think a few of you rejoiced with me and gave a high five or two.

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To be fair, and before I start bashing her character in the movie, I need to let it be known that this is not a slam against actress Judith O’Dea.  She worked with what she was given.  And I also need to let it be known that I hold Night Of The Living Dead very high up on the pedestal of zombie movies and horror movies in general.  Ok, now that all of that’s out of the way, let’s start the character bashing.

I was fine with how Barbara escaped our lanky zombie friend in the cemetery after her brother Johnny got his head smashed in.  And I was even fine with how she went into shutdown mode at the farmhouse soon after our hero Ben arrived.  But my God!  The moping just went on and on and Barbara was pretty much useless for most of the black-and-white screen time.  Her face however, was not useless to Ben’s hand:

(uncomfortable silence)

So anyway – that happened.  And unfortunately, it barely snapped Barbara out of her funk.  Sure she helped board up some doors and windows, but that was far and between from her yelling about her brother Johnny and how she wanted to go outside and find him.  Give it up lady, he’s a walking corpse. Deal with it.  We all have, so why can’t you?  In the end, irony sets in and it’s indeed walking corpse Johnny that drags Barbara’s annoying ass away as Ben hightails it to the basement.  I felt a bit unfulfilled though because after Ben is dead and the credits roll, I wondered if Barbara would be an annoying zombie too?  Just one of many unanswered stupid questions that I’ll have to learn to live with.

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