Canadian-American filmmaker, George A Romero, best-known for being the pioneer of satirical horror films such as Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978), died of lung cancer on Sunday. He was 77.
Having begun his career with commercials and shorts, Romero – with a group of friends – filmed Night of the Living Dead, which ended up becoming a cult horror classic, and one of the most successful independent films ever made, shot on a budget of $114,000. The film brought him fame and made around $30 million at the box office.
Born in The Bronx, New York, on February 4, 1940, Romero was always a film buff, and would frequently ride the subway into Manhattan to rent film reels to view at his house.
Soon after The Night of the Living Dead, Romero made his only romantic comedy, There’s Always Vanilla, before returning to horror, where he earned the name – “the Godfather of the Dead”. Some of his fans included other cult filmmakers such as Edgar Wright, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and Quentin Tarantino.
Romero’s other zombie genre films include Dawn of the Dead, followed by Day of the Dead in 1985, focusing on life in a post-apocalyptic world.
Incidentally, while he was known for his contribution to the horror-zombie genre, Romero in an interview once said that his Top 10 favourite films include The Brothers Karamazov, Casablanca, Dr. Strangelove, High Noon, King Solomon’s Mines, North by Northwest, The Quiet Man, Repulsion, Touch of Evil and The Tales of Hoffmann.
Apart from his well-known films, Romero directed the 1981 film Knightriders starring Ed Harris, the 1988 movie Monkey Shines, and Two Evil Eyes, a 1990 horror film he made with Italian filmmaker Dario Argento inspired by Edgar Allan Poe short stories. His last credit as a writer was for his characters’ appearance in 2017’s Day of the Dead by director Hèctor Hernández Vicens.
George Romero is survived by wife, Suzanne Desrocher, two sons, and a daughter.
Tribute has been pouring in for the late director.
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) July 17, 2017
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) July 17, 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
R.I.P. George Romero (for now) pic.twitter.com/JQvDS08VyV
— ˗ˏˋ ᴀᴅᴀᴍ ᴇʟʟɪs ˊˎ˗ (@moby_dickhead) July 16, 2017
I just wrote this on Facebook concerning the passing of George Romero, but I thought I’d share it here as well. ? pic.twitter.com/r1qKM6GSka
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 16, 2017