Thursday, February 4, 2010
It is February 4th, 2010 a very special day to all horror fans alike. Today marks the 70th birthday of George A. Romero: The father of modern zombie movies. Rather than to go on a lecture about this man’s history and what he accomplished, I want to talk about what his movies have meant for me and how they have inspired me to become the person that I am. Every movie from his cult classic Night of the Living Dead to the more recent Diary of the Dead has inspired and opened my eyes to a whole new world of filmmaking.
Night of the Living Dead was the first horror movie that I saw and because of it I began my infatuation with zombie movies. I rented out all the classic zombie films and I loved each and every one of them. When I saw Dawn of the Dead, I noticed how bloody zombies movies could be and though I was disgusted seeing people getting devoured, I was strangely captivated by it. I could not take my eyes off of it. I had then skipped to Land of the Dead and saw it in theaters and it blew my mind away… I was so enthralled in the movie that I was in my own little world. To me, Land of the Dead reassured me that George A. Romero was one of my personal favorite horror movie directors. Then, I finally saw Day of the Dead and just the way that the whole movie played out sent shivers down my spine. It’s my favorite movie in the whole series because of one thing: Bub the zombie. Yes, in this movie he turned the tables on us and made us sympathize for zombies and made us into the villains. It didn’t hit me until freshman year high school that I was a die hard zombie fan and my teacher/mentor told me this, “If you haven’t seen Day of the Dead, rent it, give it a shot, you seem like the person who is a great Romero zombie fan.” It was an awakening.
As for his other work, I have not seen the original Crazies in a long time and since then I forgot what the experience was for me. However, I absolutely loved Martin and how awkward the whole movie seems. Then, two of my personal favorite horror movie superstars came together to deliver one of the best anthology horror movies ever… Stephen King and George Romero for Creepshow. I fell in love. And Monkey Shines, a lot of people laugh at the concept but in all honesty, it is a pretty terrifying movie and for me to showed me that you can take any funny concept and turn it into an original and frightening horror movie.
Simply put, this man has revolutionized cinema and revolutionized the idea of the modern zombie and provided inspiration for horror filmmakers alike. He has given all of us what a zombie should do, how a zombie should act and what it should even look like… he developed a cult following the is equal to that of the fan-base of Star Wars or Star Trek. Books have been written about him, film specialists all over the world study his films and he changed the face of racism in film. He has been there since the beginning of my horror film quest and he has given me inspiration to go out there and make my dreams possible. For that, I wish you, George A. Romero, a happy 70th birthday!!!! You truly are a master.
“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.”
- George A. Romero