Meet ‘Em, Don’t Burn ‘Em
Living Dead Festival 2013,
August 30, Evan City PA, Day 2 of the Ghoul Plague…
Ed. Note– It kills me that circumstances prevented me from being at the Living Dead Fest last month. Fortunately for NOTLD fans and DE’s readership, intrepid attendee Rich Borden was kind enough to share pictures and write a report for us! Thanks, Rich.– P.F.
The ‘Barbara and Johnny’ Reunion Meet & Greet, Evans City Cemetery
Russell Streiner, who played Johnny in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and spoke the movie’s most memorable line – “They’re coming to get you Barbara” – returned to the exact site he said that, and for the first Fest ever, Barbra was there to hear it, with the spirited and lovely Judith O’Dea in attendance. Fans could be part of this Meet & Greet for a fee. One was held Friday, a second one was held Saturday.
The coolest part of this was the great energy and humor Judith and Russell brought to the event. They made jokes, they posed for pictures when asked, they took ANY questions from the Meet & Greet fan base. Second coolest part? The same model 1967 Pontiac was there for them to drive up in and park right outside the chapel. Cameras and phones were wearing out battery life in a big way.
Both Russell and Judy told their own stories and offered some ‘first ever’ answers to the crowd’s questions. Russell revealed the driving gloves – Johnny’s affectation — was his idea. He just thought it would be interesting for Johnny’s character. Judith revealed she fell down unintentionally twice, while filming Barbra’s running scenes for George Romero. She said Romero included one of her unplanned falls in the final cut of the film. Both said doing their own stunts never resulted in any injuries during the filming.
Judith was asked what her favorite scene is, in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and she said it was definitely when Barbra, still in shock early in the film, finds the music box for in the farm house where she and Ben (the late Duane Jones.) She said Romero’s way to show that on film was brilliant and is an example of his creative approach to filmmaking.
It’s one thing to be able to see these original cast members and maybe get a photo of them or with them. That’s pretty much expected at a Meet & Greet. It’s quite another thing when both of these actors show the passion, energy and emotion for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD that can’t be faked or mailed in. Even after 45 years.
— Rich Borden
Cranberry Township, PA