At the moment I have three movie posters in my room. One is KING KONG (1933). One is THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY (1966). And one is DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978). Not that I’m a special case; this, I’d wager, is indicative of genre film enthusiasts and how widely revered is the work of George A. Romero. He’s one of the reasons we do what we do, one of the reasons we watch what we watch.
Romero is a titan of the horror genre. He and his many collaborators didn’t technically create zombies, but they sure did define the monster for the twentieth century. Pretty much every zombie story that has followed is feeding greedily off the ideas and tropes Romero’s films established.
[Read Daily Grindhouse’s take on NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD!]
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, and DAY OF THE DEAD are most likely the trio of films that George Romero is and will always be loved and remembered for making, but there’s much more to celebrate and enjoy in his filmography. His subsequent zombie films, in particular 2005’s LAND OF THE DEAD, have many interesting sociological notions to chew on. His many collaborations with Stephen King feature many moments of wild midnight-movie fun. And KNIGHTRIDERS is quite possibly the most unfairly undervalued feature by any major filmmaker anywhere. It’s raucously entertaining and bawdy, with unforgettable performances by special-effects madman Tom Savini and a young Ed Harris, and it remains, with no exaggeration, one of the great disguised films-about-filmmaking ever made.
He’s also one of the most good-natured, insightful, ingratiating interviews around. A recommendation: Spend the day with his movies, but also seek out any clips you can find about George Romero talking about movies. He’s like your favorite uncle, who explodes eyeballs and ribcages.
Happy Birthday George Romero, with love from your pals at Daily Grindhouse.
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Tags: George A. Romero