Happy Birthday George A. Romero!
Today marks the birth of George Andrew Romero (born February 4th, 1940), an American filmmaker who is also known as the "Godfather of Zombies". Romero is best known for his cult classic Night of the Living Dead (1968) as well as its successors Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005) and Diary of the Dead (2008). Romero is known for defining modern day horror cinema. He inspired a medley of successful current day filmmakers including Peter Jackson, Edgar Wright, Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth and Guillermo Del Toro.
George A. Romero was born in New York City and attended school in Pittsburg, the town in which many of his works would be set. Upon graduating from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, Romero sustained himself by working on commercials and shorts. He was hired to make a segment for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and the experience sparked Romero's interest in horror. He started a production company with his friends and in 1968 he released his first film Night of the Living Dead, which quickly became a cult classic and a staple of the genre.
For a few years Romero experimented with ideas but his next few films weren't as successful as his zombie hit. In 1978 Romero wrote and directed Dawn of the Dead on a measly budget of $500,000. Just like the previous one, it became a huge success and made over $55 million dollars worldwide. George Romero would continue this tradition and currently has a series of six "Dead" films.
Trailer for Dawn of the Dead
In the 1980s and '90s Romero directed Knightriders (1981), Stephen King's Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988), Two Evil Eyes (1990) which was an Edgar Allan Poe adaptation and Bruiser (2000). Director Tom Savini was given the rights to remake Night of the Living Dead and Romero helped with the script updates. The film was released in 1990.
Resident Evil 2 Commercial
By the late 1990s Romero was a horror household name. He was approached to direct a live action commercial for video game Resident Evil 2. The game had been heavily influenced by Romero's zombie work. Jonathan Demme asked Romero to make a cameo in his academy-award winning Silence of the Lambs (1991). While Universal remade Dawn of the Dead, Romero did not get involved and spent his efforts working on a DC comic called The Death of Death. The fourth installment of his "Dead" series surfaced in 2005 and was called Land of the Dead. The film was about a zombie attack in Pittsburg. The city continued to be made victim in most of Romero's work.
In 2006, Romero worked on a web-based project called Zombisodes. His 2007 horror film Diary of the Dead was a documentary-style zombie movie. It followed a group of people who were trying to document a zombie outbreak. The Zombisodes featured some behind-the-scenes captures from the film shoot. Survival of the Dead (2010) was Romero's final "Dead" film.
10 Questions for George A. Romero from Time Magazine
Romero announced that he has plans for future films and while they will be rooted in the horror genre, they will not involve zombies. George A. Romero now lives in Toronto with his family. Quentin Tarantino once spoke of his love for Romero's work, stating that the "A" in his name stood for "A fucking genius."
- Birthday Date: Tuesday, 04 February 2014