Passing of a Horror Genre Pioneer
By: Justin Hopkins
On July 16th, the world lost a true Hollywood Legend. George Andrew Romero, past away at the age of 77, after a battle with lung cancer. Looking back through movie history, can mark several important moments, but perhaps none bigger then the one started by the Godfather of Zombies himself, but before we get to that. Lets go a little further back.
Born in February 4, 1940, in New York City, New York. Found his love behind the camera at an early age. Attending Carnage-Mellon Institute, filming commercials and short films for Mister Rogers Neighborhood. From there he’d launch his career to a much larger stage.
Going into 1968, zombies had been around for quite awhile. Coming back to life through Voodoo or other mystical forms. George took this idea, turned it on its head, and gave us something terrifying.
The original Trilogy of the Dead (Night, Day, and Dawn) are still considered amongst the best horror movies of all-time. Style and pacing were perfect. Creating a sense of fear and paranoia, that are still almost unrivaled. Using a diverse cast, weaved social commentary and phobias into each.
His Zombies didn’t stop here though. Think about all zombies we’ve come to see and love. All the various movies, TV Shows, Comics, and Video Games. All of which are routed right back to his vision of how they should be portrayed.
Outside the trilogy, and his return to the genre with Land of the Dead, gave us classics, with The Crazies, Monkey Shines, and Creepshow. Along with perhaps the best shakey cam flick, Diary of the Dead.
Hollywood lost one of its greatest pioneers to the Horror Genre. Leaving an impact that had reverberated for decades since, and will continue far into the future. Our deepest condolences to the entire Romero Family, during their time of grieving.