George A. Romero’s 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead, wasn’t the big screen’s first run-in with zombies but that’s the film that introduced us to those shambling, undead creatures that we think of when the word ‘zombie’ is mentioned.
While Romero’s film introduced this new generation of zombies, an actor by the name of Bill Hinzman had the honor of being the first undead flesh-eater that was encountered in the movie. Referred to simply as ‘graveyard zombie,’ Hinzman was the zombie in the suit that lumbered after Barbara and Johnny in the early part of the film. After Johnny spoke the now iconic line, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara,” he had the honor (?) of becoming the graveyard zombie’s victim.
The latest news from MSNBC is that Hinzman passed away on Sunday night from cancer at the age of 75.
In addition to appearing in many other films, including There’s Always Vanilla and The Crazies, he also directed Majorettes and FleshEater, where he almost seemed to be reprising the role of the graveyard zombie.
Rest in peace, Mr. Hinzman. You deserve it after helping to introduce the world to “real” zombies.