There’s no doubt that horror fans around the world are saddened by the loss of the “Godfather of the Dead.” Unfortunately, George A. Romero, pioneer of the zombie film, passed away Sunday after a brief battle with lung cancer. His longtime production partner, Peter Grunwald, claims that Romero died while listening to the score of one of his favorite films, 1952’s The Quiet Man, with his wife and daughter by his side.
For those unfamiliar with his work, Romero forged the path for the modern zombie style. His feature length directorial debut came with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. It’s an absolute cult classic and is one of the horror genre’s defining titles right along with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. He continued his Dead series with five additional films. 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, 1985’s Day of the Dead, 2005’s Land of the Dead, 2007’s Diary of the Dead, and 2009’s Survival of the Dead are all loose sequels to the original 1968 film. There have been countless remakes of a number of these films but the Romero originals remain the cream of the crop.
Romero also worked on a number of other horror titles. He directed The Crazies and his personal favorite, Martin, in between the releases of his first two Dead movies. He also collaborated with Stephen King on another cult classic film in 1982’s Creepshow, an anthology of five different short stories in homage to horror comics of the 1950’s. King wrote the screenplay while Romero manned the director’s chair. In addition to everything he has done within the horror genre, the director will also be remembered for his iconic look that includes his big, black rimmed glasses.
All respects go to the family and friends of George A. Romero.