Father of Zombie Movies, George A. Romero, Passes Away In His Sleep At 77
The man behind Night of the Living Dead passed away on Sunday following a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer.
Considered by many cinephiles as the father of the modern-day zombie movie, filmmaker George A. Romero died in his sleep on Sunday following an aggressive battle with lung cancer, according to a statement provided by his longtime producing partner Peter Grunwald.
Best known for his 1968 black-and-white indie zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead, Romero created complex, diverse characters, while freaking people out of their seats with moments that would redefine the horror genre. Despite critics panning the film, fans of the project would help it to become one of the most profitable horror films ever made outside of a traditional studio, grossing $30 million internationally.
Romero’s film even made it into the Library of Congress, as Night of the Living Dead was added to the National Film Registry as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” back in 1999. Romero’s franchise continued with Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead) (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009).
Having influenced everyone from Stephen King to James Gunn to Eli Roth to Jordan Peele — George A. Romero’s life and legacy will never be forgotten. Friend and admirer, Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), posted a touching memorial to Romero about his admiration for the late cinematic legend on his website. “It’s fair to say that without George A. Romero, I would not have the career I have now,” Wright wrote. “A lot of people owe George a huge debt of gratitude for the inspiration. I am just one of many.”
Romero portrayed zombies and apocalyptic moments that seemed ripped righto ut of our nightmares. He addressed civil rights by making his lead character / hero in Night of the Living Dead an African American actor, who was clearly the one making the moves.
Romero was an institution, a force with a vision that changed how we interpreted horror, and responsible for every croak and groan that emerge from the rooted soil. While famous fans like director John Carpenter, Robert Kirkman, Rahul Kohli, Greg Mottola, Patton Oswalt and Scott Derrickson pay their respects to George A. Romero on social media — grab some of his rare gems, press play and salute a real creative for being an original.
Source: New York Times