'George A. Romero' saw very little profit from the film when thanks to his lack of knowledge regarding distribution deals, the distributors walked away with practically all of the profits.
'George A. Romero' smashed a butterfly on set to prepare everyone for a difficult scene, much to they're shock. It was such an unpleasant moment in an otherwise pleasant shoot.
'George A. Romero''s feature debut.
Tom Savini was originally hired by George A. Romero to do the makeup effects for this film. The two were first introduced to each other when Savini auditioned for an acting role in an earlier film that never got off the ground. Romero, remembering that Savini was also a makeup artist (he had brought his makeup portfolio to show to Romero at the audition), called Savini to the set of his horror movie. However, Savini was unable to do the effects because he was called to duty by the US Army to serve as a combat photographer in Vietnam.
Duane Jones, in his final interview before his death admitted he had never seen any of the other "Dead" movies, nor any other George A. Romero movie.
Judith Ridley read for Barbara originally but she felt out of her depth in the role.
Judith Ridley still has her outfit from the film. The pants became her painting pants. And her shirt became a dishrag.
Judith Ridley worked as a receptionist for Karl Hardman and Marilyn Eastman, which led to her getting the part in the movie.
S. William Hinzman and Karl Hardman, two of the original $300 investors had small roles due to a shortage of available talent. Another investor was a butcher, who provided some blood and guts.
S. William Hinzman based his characteristic saunter (and, subsequently, that of each other zombie) on a film with Boris Karloff, the title of which he could not remember. In that film, Karloff played a man risen from the dead, and walks with a characteristic ungainly saunter.
George A. Romero has readily admitted that Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls was a big influence in his making of this film.
George A. Romero was the one operating the camera when S. William Hinzman (the cemetery zombie) attacks Barbara in her car by smashing the window with a rock. When Hinzman shattered the window, the rock barely missed Romero.
Bill 'Chilly Billy' Cardille, who played the television reporter, was indeed a local Pittsburgh TV celebrity. Known as "Chilly Billy" Cardille, he hosted a horror movie program on Channel 11 and occasionally reported the news.
200 extras were cast in the parts of townspeople and zombies.
According to George A. Romero, the film was originally ten minutes longer but the distributor pressured him to cut it down.
According to the George A. Romero commentary track on the Elite laserdisc and DVD version of the film, the original working print and working elements and materials for the film no longer exist - they were destroyed as a result of a flood that filled the basement where the materials were stored (which was the same basement used in the movie).
Actor/co-producer Karl Hardman (Harry Cooper, the father in the basement), also served as makeup artist, electronic sound effects engineer, and took the still photos used for the closing credits.
Allegedly 'George A. Romero' never did his own laundry during filming. He just bought new clothes instead.
As George A. Romero explains it on "The Directors: The Films of George A. Romero", the day the final editing and voice-over dubbing was complete (4/4/1968), he and John A. Russo literally "threw" the film into the trunk of their car and drove to New York to see if anyone wanted to show it. While driving through New York on the night of April 4th, 1968, Romero and Russo heard news on the radio that Martin Luther King had been assassinated.
Assuming the movie takes place on the spring time change (according to the dialog at the beginning) after the date (December 1966) on the calendar in the house (a reasonable assumption from the condition of the body in the house), the movie begins on the night of 30 April 1967 and ends the next morning, which is May Day. However, for the sequels, Romero has treated the timeline of the Dead saga with a bit of malleability; in the movie novelization of Dawn of the Dead he notes "The stock market had plummeted way below the lowest point of the Carter administration" and refers to an upcoming election. Day of the Dead features a copy of the novel Salem's Lot, published in 1975, after Night of the Living Dead came out; it seems peculiar that this publish still saw publication in a world where "ghouls" actually exist. Diary of the Dead takes place isochronally with Night of the Living Dead yet features modern computers. Of course, even Night of the Living Dead references technology far advanced than that available at the time of the film's release (i.e. the Venus probe).