Horror legend George A. Romero sadly passed away overnight at 77. It was with sadness that this morning pouring over social media and entertainment news that Romero had passed away in his sleep from a brief battle with lung cancer. A legend as big and recognisable as the thick brimmed glasses on his face.Regardless of how his last few outings were received (even by his own fans), and his heartbreakingly long hiatus from filmmaking, Romero’s influence was unquestionable his talent was undeniable and he was aptly called the “Godfather of Zombies”. With Night Of The Living Dead (1968) as his debut feature film, it is not surprising the impact he made on the genre filled with larger than life characters. Without using the ‘z’ word once, he created the idea of what cinema zombies looked like and how to kill them… spoiler alert, you shoot them in the head! Not only a great horror film Night Of The Living Dead was a political statement on race, gender, and violence in the late 60’s. It one of the most successful independent movies of all time, unfortunately, Romero’s greenness in the industry meant that the distributors took most of this profit.
Even though he was known for his zombie romps Romero made some of my all time favourite horror movies, The Crazies (1973) a classic virus horror, Martin (1978) in my opinion one of the top 10 vampire movies of all time. In 1981, Romero offered a change of pace with Ed Harris dressed as a knight riding a motorcycle in Knightriders, before segueing into an adaption of Stephen King’s Creepshow (1982) and the underrated Monkey Shines (1988). In later years he returned to the Dead series that made him famous, but none of the later sequels hold a candle to his originals.There is no doubt that his name will continue to hold weight in a genre over flowing with re-imaginings, remakes and sequels, in a genre that made me afraid to sit in a mall and watch all the people slowly and mindlessly lumber to which ever shop they are heading to needlessly. George A. Romero will be remembered by his fans as a horror heavyweight. We have one final Dead sequel involving Romero to look forward to in Road Of The Dead, co-written by the man, and I personally will always fear a horde of zombies approaching slowly, because “when there’s no room in hell, the dead shall walk the earth”.