Happy B-Day, George A. Romero

Posted: February 5, 2012 in cinema, movies
Tags: , , ,

George Andrew Romero was born February 4, 1940, and is a Canadian-American film director, screenwriter and editor, best known for his gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. He is nicknamed “Godfather of all Zombies.”

At first I didn’t think of them as zombies, I thought of them as flesh-eaters or ghouls and never called them zombies in the first film. Then people started to write about them, calling them zombies, and all of a sudden that’s what they were: the new zombies. I guess I invented a few rules, like kill the brain and you kill the ghoul, and eventually I surrendered to the idea and called them zombies in Dawn of the Dead (1978), but it was never that important to me what they were. Just that they existed.

After graduation, he began shooting mostly short films and commercials. He and his friends formed “Image Ten Productions” in the late 1960s and they all chipped in roughly US$10,000 a piece to produce what became one of the most celebrated American horror films of all time: “The Night of the Living Dead” (1968).

Shot in black-and-white on a budget of just over US$100,000, Romero’s vision, combined with a solid script written by him and his “Image” co-founder John A. Russo (along with what was then considered an excess of gore) enabled the film to earn back far more than what it cost, became a cult classic by the early 1970s and was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress of the United States in 1999.

Read more about George A. Romero:
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_A._Romero
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001681/bio

My zombie films have been so far apart that I’ve been able to reflect the socio-political climates of the different decades. I have this conceit that they’re a little bit of a chronicle, a cinematic diary of what’s going on.

Yeah, I’m seen by the studios as a genre guy. I’ve made several non-genre films, but nobody went to see them. I guess I’ll never be a member of that club.

I don’t think you need to spend $40 million to be creepy. The best horror films are the ones that are much less endowed.

I don’t try to answer any questions or preach. My personality and my opinions come through in the satire of the films, but I think of them as a snapshot of the time. I have this device, or conceit, where something happens in the world and I can say, ‘Ooo, I’ll talk about that, and I can throw zombies in it! And get it made!’ You know, it’s kind of my ticket to ride.

I’ll never get sick of zombies. I just get sick of producers.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
There’s Always Vanilla (1971)
Season of the Witch (1972)
The Crazies (1973)
Martin (1977)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Knightriders (1981)
Creepshow (1982)
Day of the Dead (1985)
Monkey Shines (1988)
Two Evil Eyes (1990)
The Dark Half (1993)
Bruiser (2000)
Land of the Dead (2005)
Diary of the Dead (2007)
Survival of the Dead (2009)


  1. rwhyan says:

    Great post! Night of the Living Dead is the very first movie I can actually ever remember watching as a kid, after that I was hooked on horror films! It’s too bad Romero could never really get away from the zombie genre.

  2. You have to love his movies. Great entry. 🙂

    • mkenobi says:

      Romero is able to make several social and political criticisms and well conducted satires to the consumer society in a (aparently) innocent horror zombie movie… By the way, my favourite movie is Land of the Dead. Thanks for all comments.

  3. […] Happy B-Day, George A. Romero (marciokenobi.wordpress.com) […]

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