Russ Streiner Celebrates The 50th Anniversary Of The Night Of The Living Dead

"Little did we know, 50 years later, you guys would be talking with any of us"

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - This year marks the 50th anniversary of the movie, Night of the Living Dead.

There will be a celebration for the anniversary at EDCO Park in Evans City beginning at 12:00 p.m. on October 5th, and will last the entire weekend.

Russ Streiner, producer and actor in Night of the Living Dead, joined KDKA Radio to talk about the movie and its success.

Did you have any inkling what the Night of the Living Dead would turn it into?

“We had absolutely no idea. What we wanted to do, was do the scariest film that we could do,” Streiner said.

“Little did we know, 50 years later, you guys would be talking with any of us. We thought we would have been in the old DVD bin some place.”

How does it feel to be in an all-time classic film?

“That part of the phenomenon is surreal. We never expected that kind of reaction,” Streiner added.

“You don’t wake up one morning and decide that you’re going to make a classic film. It is the fans who have been attracted to this film who have made it the classic that it is.”

Where is the strangest place you’ve ever been recognized?

“After one of the Pirates world championship seasons,” Streiner explains.

“I happened to be in the locker room with the Pirates and a young 14-year old girl came up to me after the game. I said, ‘I don’t think you want my autograph, I’m not a baseball player.’  She said, ‘I know, but you were in Night of the Living Dead.’”

Tomorrow night is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Night of the Living Dead at the Byham Theater. Is it the same theater where it debuted 50 years ago, except it was the Fulton Theater back then?

“Same theater, 50 years later. Except, this is the new 4k, restoration of Night of the Living Dead,” Streiner tells KDKA Radio.

“It’s going to be a historic event. All of the cast will be there, and some of the crew members. It’s a way of helping us mark down a rather significant event in Pittsburgh movie history.”

Who has recognized this film?

“The Museum of Modern Art has judged it as a classic. The National Film Registry and the Library of Congress have viewed it as a classic,” said Streiner.

 

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