For many, George A. Romero is simply, if one can use the term, the director who shifted the world of horror on its head and created a scarier cinematic world for us all to enjoy. The director and writer passed away at the age of 77 after a short but aggressive battle with lung cancer.
Romero is best known for his zombie films, including the undisputed classic Night of the Living Dead, as well as a number of sequels, including Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead. He also worked on Tales from the Darkside: The Movie and Creepshow. He was always known for having diverse casts, and built a new genre for a generation of movie buffs. He is remember by many as a true artist, whose dedication to his work came before praise and fame. One of his most fascinating quotes, to me, is one he gave to The Times in 2005 about the state of zombie horror and how he chooses to place these monsters in a very particular context:
“In [the remake] they’re just dervishes, you don’t recognize any of them, there’s nothing to characterize them…. [But] I like to give even incidental zombies a bit of identification. I just think it’s a nice reminder that they’re us. They walked out of one life and into this.”
Romero’s work has served to frighten and inspire some of the biggest names in pop culture including directors Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, James Gunn and Guillermo del Toro. It is hard not to notice his influence on a lot of works of horror in the modern age, and in my humble opinion, the world is sadder now that a horror visionary has gone off to join the legion of the potentially-rising undead.
Romero is survived by his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, sons Andrew and Cameron Romero, and daughter Tina Romero.