Zombie lovers and scary movie goers have lost their leader this week with the passing of George A. Romero at the age of 77. The genius behind “Night of the Living Dead” and a host of other zombie movies died in Los Angeles after a brief battle with lung cancer.
The Cuban-American horror icon is often credited with creating the modern concept of the zombie apocalypse and the horror film genre – thanks to movies like “Dawn of the Dead” and “Day of the Dead”. But it all started in 1968 with the now cult classic “Night of the Living Dead” that was filmed in Pittsburgh on a $114,000 budget. He thrilled audiences with ghouls eating people even the good guys and showing every bit of gory human remains possible.
Romero a committed film buff did try his hand at other types of films but always came back to what he knew best – zombies. His final “dead” themed movies came in 2010 titled “Survival of the Dead”. More recently Empire of the Dead, was released by Marvel Comics, the 15-issue miniseries was written by Romero featuring zombies and vampires.
The AV Club aptly captured Romero’s contribution to the horror film genre: “By relocating his “ghouls” to present-day America and giving them an appetite for brains, Romero created a new kind of monster, one that reflected uniquely modern anxieties in the wake of the senseless carnage of the Vietnam War. There would be no zombie conventions, no zombie pub crawls, no Walking Dead, and no World War Z without him”
The Bronx native graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and leaves behind a wife, two sons and of course a film legacy.
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