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Posted on August 26, 2015

Barbra’s Androgyny in Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Elizabeth Erwin

In a previous post, I wrote about how Barbra’s ability to see in Night of the Living Dead (1990) aligns her with the monster. Upon rewatching Tom Savini’s remake, I was struck by how the characters as a whole disrupt the audience’s expectation of behavior attributed to females. To understand how Barbra employs a uniquely androgynous form of killing, we must consider her in relation to the other women who occupy the house. Unlike Helen who has Harry, and Judy Rose who has Johnny, Barbra is not sexually linked to any male in the house. This sexual independence marks her, like a monster, as abnormal. Also entering the equation is how each female is situated to represent an aspect of the feminine.

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