Horror fans all over the world are waking up to the news that iconic director George A. Romero has passed away. His family announced yesterday that he had sadly died after a brief battle with lung cancer.
Mr Romero, when co-writing and directing Night of the Living Dead, ushered in the modern zombie horror genre. Although his pioneering film doesn’t actually mention the word ‘zombie’, the image of slow, shambling undead figures was born with the low-budget independent film. The innovative 1968 movie, made for just $114,000, would go on to gross over $30 million and inspire generations of horror filmmakers from it’s release until the present day.
It’s sequel, Dawn of the Dead, arguably surpassed it’s predecessor and showcased Romero’s zombies in gory color – as well as introducing the concept of blending zombie horror with comedy. The franchise continued throughout Romero’s career, with him revealing plans for the latest installment Road of the Dead just a few weeks before his death.
Romero didn’t limit himself to just zombie movies. His favorite of his own films was gothic horror Martin – which followed a teenage boy who may, or may not, be a vampire.
Tributes to Mr. Romero came from all over the horror industry. John Carpenter tweeted “George Romero was a great director, the father of modern horror movies. He was my friend and I will miss him. Rest in peace, George.”
Stephen King also paid tribute, “Sad to hear my favorite collaborator–and good old friend–George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.”
Rest in Peace to the Godfather of zombies, and an icon of independent horror film-making, George A. Romero.