Legendary filmmaker and father to the modern zombie movie, George A. Romero, has passed away at 77, his family has said.
Romero is reported to have died in his sleep Sunday following a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a statement to The Times provided by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald. Romero is an icon in the world of horror cinema having directed the landmark 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. In this writer's opinion, two of his greatest works came later, in the form of 1978's Martin – and the 1982 anthology Creepshow. His theatrical accolades include sequels to the hit zombie film, including 1978's Dawn of the Dead, 1985's Day of the Dead, and 2005's Land of the Dead. Over five decades he entertained with such additional feature films as Monkey Shines, The Crazies, Knightriders, Two Evil Eyes, The Dark Half, Bruiser, and his final two zombie-themed indies – Diary and Survival of the Dead.
The staff at HorrorHound Magazine grew up with George Romero's influence always on our lives. Creepshow was the first horror film I personally ever remember seeing – and zombie outbreaks (to this day) are among my most recurring dream. We were lucky enough to have met, interview, and (even if briefly at times) spent time with this legend. When looking over photo archives prior to writing this piece, I discovered this photo taken from a HHW convention back in 2009 when Romero and Clive Barker both had a moment to reconnect. I felt it a fitting image for this unfortunate write-up. George Romero will be missed, but he leaves us so many memories and reminders of his impact on this world as a whole.
George Romero .... 1940-2017