Does Ben From ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ Deserve A Better Collector’s Figure?

Easily one of my favorite and most influential horror movies of all time is George Romero’s 1968 undisputed zombie classic, Night Of The Living Dead.  And one of the reasons why I love it so much is because of the character of Ben, played by the late Duane Jones.  He doesn’t take any shit.  He punches Mr. Cooper.  He slaps the shit out of Barbara.  And he can board up a house like nobody’s business.

Now, I love collecting horror figures.  So imagine my excitement when I read that there was not one, but two figures built around one of my favorite horror characters of all time!  Before I unveil what the figures look like, here’s a refresher pic of Ben from the original Night Of The Living Dead:


Alright.  Now that you have that image fresh in your mind, let’s take a look at our first figure based around the character of Ben from Night Of The Living Dead:


Funny….I didn’t know they had tanning beds back in the 60’s.  So, I guess I should be happy that they attempted to make this figure, but it probably would have been better if the figure was actually black.  Not to shock anybody or bring race into this, but Ben was black in the movie.  And this figure to me looks more like George Hamilton.  I’ve seen some great, accurate horror figures made over the years and unfortunately, this isn’t one of them.  But good news!  Because there’s one more from a different company that we can take a look at and see if they got it right:


Slight improvement!  At least the skin tone is on the right track.  Not sure what’s going on with that collar though because it’s kind of out of control.  This version is based off of the old school Mego Corporation figures, which I can appreciate.  But it’s still lacking that the detail and ‘wow factor’ that other horror figures have given us.  So unfortunately, it’s back to the drawing board for the Ben figure from Night Of The Living Dead.  I have faith though.  And I guess these two previously released attempts are good news for fans of George Hamilton and crazy out of control shirt collars.

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.


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.