Bill Hinzman the famed ‘Night of the Living Dead’ cemetery zombie died February 5th. He was 75. Bill was a beloved star here in my hometown of South Beaver Twp. Pennsylvania. He was a cameraman on George Romero’s cult movie ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and George just grabbed him from behind the camera to appear in the opening scene as the cemetery zombie. Bill’s portrayal helped make this film a classic cult movie. Bill went on to become a popular director and cinematographer. Daughter Heidi followed in his footsteps and became an assistant Director for Hallmark Channel and Fox’s ‘House’. She also appeared in a later movie in the series, ‘The Children of the Dead’.
I have fond memories of watching ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and being scared to death! It was filmed in and around Youngstown Ohio and South Beaver Twp., area’s I grew up in. I was born in Youngstown Ohio. That just made it that much more cool. After my youngest son, Paul, saw the movie as a little guy he would duck down in the car whenever we passed a cemetery and wouldn’t get out and hide in the car when we went to the cemetery to my grandma’s grave. Couldn’t figure it out for a while but brother Lee filled us in, ‘Night of the Living Dead’ mom, you know zombies!’. We have a good laugh over that now.
It’s interesting that years later the director of another spin off of this cult movie, ‘Children of the Living Dead’, drove past and saw my son’s Volkswagen bus sitting in the yard and stopped and asked if they could use it in the filming of this movie. So Paul’s bus and Paul and his wife ended up in the movie. (It was not Paul’s bus that eventually goes over a cliff!). Paul and Stephanie are walk on zombies at the end of the movie. It’s very hard to see them, but they are the only zombies with dreadlocks! (It was a phase they went thru:)) So I guess you could say we have a soft spot now for zombies!
I am including YouTube links from the ‘Children of the Living Dead’. The first one includes Paul’s orange bus, starting about 7:00 minute mark and the second is Paul as a zombie in his death scene!
Click on the post title to watch the original ‘Night of the Living Dead’ in its entirety on Youtube!
Zombie Paul come’s in from the left and leans over the car…
Is anyone watching the series on AMC, ‘The Walking Dead’? I just started watching it and is pretty good. A bit gory, but good.
Update 2/8: I have given up on ‘The Walking Dead’. Too gory and noisy for me!