On July 16th, the horror community took a heavy hit. Canadian Filmmaker and Horror Icon, George Romero passed away at the age of 77. Known for his zombie satirical horror films, George created the zombie genre which has influenced filmmakers and horror addicts alike. He stood amongst the best of the best, and he will always be remembered as one of the most creative filmmakers of all time.
I'm going to be honest with you--I had a hard time writing this. I mean--what could I say? George Romero is a hero in this genre but I feel like the word hero is an understatement. I know it may seem weird, (or relatable) but I quickly hopped on YouTube and began looking at all the behind the scenes clips of his 1985 classic Day of the Dead. Even though I may have been crying on the inside, watching all those clips made his farewell even more bittersweet...
George Romero was born on February 4th, 1940 in New York City. Attending the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, he graduated in 1961 from the College of Fine Arts. In the late 1960’s, Romero assembled Image Ten Productions and went on to co-write the 1968 classic; ‘Night of the Living Dead’. The film was completed on a $114,000.00 budget. The film was noted for it’s extreme gore, but nonetheless recognized for its profound significance in the genre.
As his career progressed, he went on to create Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. His take on a new found zombie culture was innovative. I don’t think George himself knew that his creation of the zombie would catapult the genre to new heights. His take on the popular monster no doubt influenced further monster making films.
After Grandfather of the Undead lost the battle to lung cancer. His family sat alongside him during his final hours while listening to the score from the Quiet Man. George will always be reminded as the man who influenced so many horror enthusiasts and collectors. He provided us with the zombie virus. His mastery will always be infectious and inspiring.
“What I’m trying to show,” he said, “is how the monster, the evil, is not something lurking in the distance, but something actually inside all of us.”
February 4th 1940 - July 16 1970