If it wasn’t for George A. Romero, we might not have the zombie as we know it. That means no Zombieland, no Shaun Of The Dead, no Braindead, no Resident Evil, no, erm, Cockneys vs. Zombies. Back in 1968, when he wrote and directed Night Of The Living Dead, he essentially invented the zombie movie – sure, there’d been films about reanimated corpses before, but none featuring the zombie that we all know and love today.
From thereon in, Romero went on to create a total of six more zombie movies (if we include Creepshow, which I am), his legacy forming an entire sub-genre of horror cinema. How many zombie movies are made each year? It’s not worth thinking about – they’re probably the most common type of horror flick – we’re drowning in them, and for better (Shaun Of The Dead) or worse (Redneck Zombies), we’ve got George to thank.
As such, it’s terrible news to announce that he passed away yesterday following a short battle with lung cancer, aged 77. Fans and contemporaries have taken to Twitter to show their respect – here’s a selection from some of his famous friends:
Sad to hear my favorite collaborator--and good old friend--George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 16, 2017
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.— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) July 16, 2017
George Romero made a film where the levelheaded Black hero survives zombies only to be killed by scared whites. Almost unfathomable in 1968.— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) July 17, 2017
Farewell, George Romero. What a sad loss. Your influence is too great to articulate.— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) July 17, 2017
RIP George Romero. Zombies, yes. But...go watch MARTIN. Teenage isolation mutated into vampirism. Online culture as plague.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) July 16, 2017
Most horror directors work IN the genre. George Romero created a genre. Every zombie show / movie you know owes Romero some credit.— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) July 16, 2017
RIP George. I'm off to watch Dawn Of The Dead on repeat for the rest of the day.