In some tragic news, we’re sad to report that George A. Romero has passed away after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer”. He was 77 years old.
These days, the term legend is somewhat thrown around far too casually. Where Romero is concerned, he was and is a true legend of the horror genre and of filmmaking in genre. Simply put, if it wasn’t for his work then the horror landscape as we know it may well be very different.
Famously, Romero essentially created the zombie genre with 1968’s iconic Night of the Living Dead. Not only did that movie give a whole new meaning to the zombie tag – which at that point was largely associated more with voodoo – but it would prove to be a huge inspiration to aspiring young directors such as John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper, highlighting that you didn’t necessarily need a big budget to deliver huge scares, nail-gnawing tension, and explore themes of social commentary. While that picture also happened to spawn a whole host of copycat movies, it also led to sequels in the shape of 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, 1985’s Day of the Dead, 1990’s Land of the Dead, 2007’s Diary of the Dead, and 2009’s Survival of the Dead. In fact, Romero had recently been developing the next entry in the franchise, the Matt Birman-directed Road of the Dead. But while it’s his zombie work for which he’s most famous, George also gave us so many other delights; delights such as 1973’s The Crazies, 1978’s Martin, 1981’s Knightriders, and the 1982’s classic Creepshow.
According to longtime producing partner Peter Grunwald, George passed away in his sleep while listening to the score from one of his favourite films, 1952’s The Quiet Man. His wife Suzanne and daughter Tina were at his side.
The thoughts of all here at STARBUST go out to the family, friends, and fans of the truly legendary Godfather of the Dead, the one and only George A. Romero. Rest in peace, fine sir, and thanks for the memories.SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG
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