George A. Romero: 1940-2017

U.S. filmmaker Romero poses for the media during the Hallowfest news conference in Mexico City

George A. Romero, the “Night of the Living Dead” inventor of the modern zombie movie, godfather of “The Living Dead” (which he wasn’t crazy about–“a soap opera” with zombies, bingo), loved those filmmaker photographer’s vests he was often photographed in, and didn’t mind his place in film history. To his credit, he never ever ran away from it.

He made a no-budget black and white chiller in Pittsburgh, and more than few movies of that genre as follow-ups. None were remotely as effective as that ground-breaking/genre-inventing classic.

A charming man, generous with his time, I got to interview him on a few occasions and remember wandering through a tour of Winter Park, Florida’s for-profit/pricey/well-equipped Full Sail University with him a few years back. He kept rubbing his chin and marveling at “the movies you could make with all this stuff.”

He lost his battle with lung cancer this weekend. George A. Romero was 77, and if he doesn’t turn up in homages in every zombie movie or TV show over the next year, those making their Romero knock-offs should be ashamed. Dead, but his legend lives on. RIP.

 

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