Into the night..
July 16, 2017 3:21 PM   Subscribe

George A. Romero is dead George Andrew Romero was an American-Canadian filmmaker and editor, best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about an imagined zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead and notably continuing on with Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.[1] His other works contributed include The Crazies, Creepshow, Martin, Monkey Shines, and The Dark Half.

His death was confirmed by his manager Chris Roe, who released the following statement on behalf of the family:


“Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero passed away on Sunday July 16, listening to the score of ‘The Quiet Man,’ one of his all-time favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero at his side. He died peacefully in his sleep, following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer, and leaves behind a loving family, many friends, and a filmmaking legacy that has endured, and will continue to endure, the test of time.”
posted by shockingbluamp (97 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sigh.

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posted by crush at 3:23 PM on July 16


He'll be back.
posted by Splunge at 3:23 PM on July 16 [87 favorites]


Amazing career both in terms of the subgenre he created and outside of it. Off the top of my head I would recommend Martin and The Crazies as films to watch if you've not seen any of his non-zombie work.

(I also like Knightriders a lot but that might be a more oddball choice)

He will be missed.
posted by Artw at 3:24 PM on July 16 [9 favorites]


RIP, great one.

*checks grave for emerging claw*
posted by jonmc at 3:24 PM on July 16 [5 favorites]


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The Quiet Man was one of George Romero's all-time favorite films? That's hard for me to square!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:26 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


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He gave us a lot of entertainment and no small number of imitators, both good and bad.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:29 PM on July 16


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posted by Chichibio at 3:29 PM on July 16


He created an entire movie genre.

While I appreciate that, it's a genre I hate.
posted by mephron at 3:30 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


77 is a good run, RIP.
💀
posted by Bee'sWing at 3:31 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Aiieee!

He shaped my young years probably way too much.

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posted by lumpenprole at 3:32 PM on July 16


Damn. Hats off, George, for leaving one motherfucker of a stamp on the cultural and cinematic landscape and on my late teens.

I once saw several years back a student theater adaptation of Night of the Living Dead and it worked very well; the film for all its fulcrum of influence in launching the zombie canon operates very much like a stage play to begin with, more bottle episode than zombie apocalypse, and the constrained, semi-figurative set of the theatrical production made good use of that. I'd expected to go and enjoy it based just on the premise, even if the production were campy and rickety; instead, the relatively humble staging brought out the humanistic core of the film that has been at the heart of, if not so clearly or earnestly exposed in, most of the zombie fiction that has come along in the following decades.
posted by cortex at 3:33 PM on July 16 [18 favorites]


I'm not much of a horror fan, especially blood and gore. But George Romero's films are much more thoughtful than they appear on the surface. In ways, he transcends the genre that he created.

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posted by Loudmax at 3:33 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


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posted by Pendragon at 3:35 PM on July 16


Horror is probably my least favourite genre, but zombie movies are my favourite subgenre of horror - so I am very grateful to Mr Romero for giving me films that I can actually enjoy with my horror loving friends.
posted by howfar at 3:35 PM on July 16


While I appreciate that, it's a genre I hate.

Sturgeon's law applies to everything. FWIW when it comes to zombies that good 1/10th at the top is mostly him.
posted by Artw at 3:36 PM on July 16 [11 favorites]


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posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:38 PM on July 16


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posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:40 PM on July 16


Artw: Zombie movies hit a part of my brain and give me night terrors. I cannot watch them.
posted by mephron at 3:40 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


RIP Uncle George.
Please honor him by watching 1981's Knightriders.
Its possibly his most personal film and an absolute blast to watch. It's about a traveling RenFaire whose centerpiece is a motorcycle-mounted jousting tourney. They are trying to exist on their own outside the grid of showbizness in the late 70s (echoes of George's own indie world) and keep it together without outside money and the influence of burgeoning fame.
It's an intense Ed Harris in one of his earliest roles and he commands the screen and while some of the other performances have a smaller-scale shoestring quality to them I think you'll be surprised at how great legendary FX artist/stuntman Tom Savini is in it as rival to the crown Morgan the Black Knight. He absolutely holds his own against Harris and probably could have had a career as a genre action actor if he decided to go that route.
It's one of my favorite films of all time and really digs in and rises above its grindhousey premise, even though it delivers on that premise in spades.
Here is one of the best scenes from it.


posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:43 PM on July 16 [29 favorites]


We should destroy his brain.

To make sure.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:45 PM on July 16 [11 favorites]


Ah, fair enough.

If it's the actual zombies that are the problem I'd recommend The Crazies, which is pretty much the best of the zombie-movies-wothout-zombies sub-subgenre, though if it's the everything else all those elements are pretty much there.
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on July 16


TheWhiteSkull - I just assumed that was what the "confirmation" was.
posted by Artw at 3:46 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 3:47 PM on July 16


"The're coming to get you, Barbara!"... Oh yeah, they really were

The Crazies proper fucked me up when I saw it at too young an age... RIP George (unless there's a passing comet)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:49 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Was just watching Fear the Walking Dead and thinking that every single interesting part of every zombie show/movie was pretty much directly lifted from his movies. RIP, sir.
posted by Huck500 at 3:50 PM on July 16


The Archer's 1951 version of The Tales of Hoffmann was also one of his favourite films. He made a longer and more detailed commentary about it on the DVD extras of the Criterion reissue.
posted by ovvl at 3:51 PM on July 16 [5 favorites]


💀
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:52 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Please honor him by watching 1981's Knightriders. Its possibly his most personal film and an absolute blast to watch.

I haven't thought about this movie for years, but I remember being utterly inspired by it as a D&D loving 10 year old. I watched it with Kieran Goulding, in my parents' caravan, one cold, wet summer afternoon.

I will definitely watch it again. Although right now I'm playing Left 4 Dead 2 and slicing up a few of those undead suckers in memory of George A. Romero
posted by howfar at 3:57 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


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Oh man, easily on of my top ten favorite filmmakers and one of the most misunderstood. If you thought that his "... Dead" films were really about zombies then you're missing a whole lot of pretty blatant subtext.
posted by octothorpe at 4:00 PM on July 16 [5 favorites]


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posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:04 PM on July 16


💀
posted by grumpybear69 at 4:05 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


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posted by Lynsey at 4:06 PM on July 16


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posted by Bringer Tom at 4:06 PM on July 16


Romero, more than anyone, understood that zombie movies aren't about zombies; they're about how we humans fuck things up and get fucked up by our things.

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posted by Etrigan at 4:07 PM on July 16 [11 favorites]


Oh yeah and it was nice to have horror films that actually said something about life and society instead of the mainly machine tooled jump scare / shock -fests we have now.

A film trilogy where the leads are all either black men or women... not too many of them.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:08 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


We should destroy his brain.

No, we should feed it to Liz on iZombie.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:11 PM on July 16 [13 favorites]


I can't fucking stand this news and keep pushing it back, but it keeps surfacing in people's discussions of him online, which I feel compelled to read, because they are so full of the same love and respect I felt for the man.
posted by maxsparber at 4:15 PM on July 16


Stephen King on Romero, on Twitter. The two of them collaborated on Creepshow and The Dark Half, and King has a cameo in Knightriders.

💀
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:19 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


I'm sorry to see him go, there never will be another like him.

One thing, in regards to the genre he helped create, I wish his successors and imitators had an ounce of his thoughtfulness, politics and interest in the human condition. It is that which makes his Zombie films (in fact all of his films) more interesting then the majority of the poorly constructed, overly gory zombie movies of today.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:25 PM on July 16 [6 favorites]


I've been in the Monroeville Mall many times and remembering scenes from Dawn while I was shopping always improved the experience for me. I even bought my wedding ring in the J. C. Penneys there, right at the bottom of that escalator.
posted by octothorpe at 4:25 PM on July 16 [11 favorites]


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posted by skycrashesdown at 4:25 PM on July 16


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posted by drezdn at 4:28 PM on July 16


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posted by moons in june at 4:32 PM on July 16


Please honor him by watching 1981's Knightriders.

Thanks.

I have one first cousin who is not 20 years older than me and we used to spend alternate weeks at each other's houses in the summer. There were commercials all day for the first television airing of Night and we were going to watch it. Creep down the stairs and keep the volume low. My mom wakes up anyway and watches it with us. She cried at the end. She got it on a level we did not.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:33 PM on July 16 [12 favorites]


Damn . . . RIP.
posted by anansi at 4:35 PM on July 16


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posted by brujita at 4:39 PM on July 16


Unrest in peace.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:44 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]




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posted by Token Meme at 5:02 PM on July 16


Not a zombie or horror fan at all, except that one of my favorite books is World War Z, whose author Max Brooks was hugely inspired by Romero. It's pretty awesome that he created a genre fertile enough that people could come along and do so many different things with it.

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posted by officer_fred at 5:14 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


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posted by OolooKitty at 5:18 PM on July 16


🧟

(This is from Emoji 5.0. If you can't see it now, check back in a few months.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:22 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Romero changed cinema. There's very few directors out the you can say that about, and even fewer who chose to work within a subgenre that didn't get much critical respect while doing that.

I'll include a link to Martin (FullMovieYT), one of my favorite works of his.

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posted by KingEdRa at 5:28 PM on July 16 [6 favorites]


Birth of the Living Dead is an excellent documentary on the making of NotLD.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:31 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


I was going to try to sum up my feelings about Dawn but as usual Ebert wrote it better than I could.
"Dawn of the Dead" is one of the best horror films ever made -- and, as an inescapable result, one of the most horrifying. It is gruesome, sickening, disgusting, violent, brutal and appalling. It is also (excuse me for a second while I find my other list) brilliantly crafted, funny, droll, and savagely merciless in its satiric view of the American consumer society. Nobody ever said art had to be in good taste
posted by octothorpe at 5:35 PM on July 16 [14 favorites]


Long live the king.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 5:50 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


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He will be missed...
Until the inevitable return.
posted by evilDoug at 5:59 PM on July 16




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Would that more creators working in his genre would bring the same humane ethos to it that he did.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:27 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


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posted by pjmoy at 6:29 PM on July 16


I still remember watching Night of the Living Dead sleeping over at my friend's house on Halloween night, in 1986. Such a compelling movie.
posted by My Dad at 6:34 PM on July 16


I've seen more "...of the Living Dead" films (originals, remakes, and inspired-by) more times than I can count. Not only did George Romero basically create the modern zombie film, he provided me with a huge number of hours of entertainment over the last few decades for which I'll always be thankful. May he rest in peace and not eat our brains...or at least very much of them.

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posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:37 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


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posted by cazoo at 7:20 PM on July 16


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posted by Jade Dragon at 7:27 PM on July 16


Well! I guess he's going to be a fast zombie then

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posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 7:27 PM on July 16


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posted by darchildre at 7:37 PM on July 16


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I liked Monkey Shines, kind of.
posted by dannyboybell at 7:38 PM on July 16




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posted by kestralwing at 8:08 PM on July 16


What if we think of George Romero closer to ken loach than herschell Gordon Lewis
posted by PinkMoose at 8:12 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


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posted by Sphinx at 8:13 PM on July 16


What if we think of George Romero closer to ken loach than herschell Gordon Lewis

Oh shit
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:18 PM on July 16


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posted by Chrysostom at 8:19 PM on July 16


His zombie movies were never really about zombies. That's what separated his work from all his imitators.

He had a good run, and the world is richer (and more creepy) for his having been here.

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posted by hippybear at 8:25 PM on July 16


ivan ivanych samovar: ""[Mr Rogers Neighborhood] was my first job, man. Fred was the first guy who trusted me enough to hire me to actually shoot film.""

If you live in Pittsburgh, the connection's not really that surprising. It's a tiny town and anyone involved in film or TV production is likely to know everyone else in the business and WQED studios where Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was shot is practically across the street from CMU where Romero went to film school.
posted by octothorpe at 8:57 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Remember, it's always the other survivors you have to look out for.
posted by Artw at 9:03 PM on July 16




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posted by Fizz at 9:18 PM on July 16


George A. Romero is dead

For now.

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posted by Going To Maine at 10:06 PM on July 16


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:13 PM on July 16


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posted by SonInLawOfSam at 10:46 PM on July 16


; (?)
posted by On the Corner at 12:12 AM on July 17


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"They're coming to get you Barbara."

So simple yet so chilling.
posted by Faintdreams at 12:50 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


The best horror movies were always about something much more than the horror at hand and my gosh he did that as well as anyone else in the whole history of the genre.
Day of the Dead is one of the greatest satires on consumerism ever made.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 1:26 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


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posted by SageLeVoid at 2:53 AM on July 17


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posted by mikelieman at 4:03 AM on July 17


Not a zombie or horror fan at all, except that one of my favorite books is World War Z, whose author Max Brooks was hugely inspired by Romero. It's pretty awesome that he created a genre fertile enough that people could come along and do so many different things with it.

You want to get the audiobook. Max leveraged his show-biz legacy and put together a cast of stars.
posted by mikelieman at 4:07 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


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posted by Joey Michaels at 4:12 AM on July 17


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posted by filtergik at 4:24 AM on July 17


💀
posted by Gelatin at 5:03 AM on July 17


Seconding mention of Martin - real dark movie but you certainly won't forget it.

"There's no real magic ever."
posted by atoxyl at 5:06 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


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posted by radwolf76 at 5:26 AM on July 17


(Be aware it contains a strong theme of sexual violation - specifically and, uh, metaphorically.)
posted by atoxyl at 5:26 AM on July 17


The first time I saw Night of the Living Dead, I did not sleep that night. And I wasn't a small child, I was a grown-up lady. For me, it was so much the zombies, but the social commentary of the ending.
posted by 1smartcookie at 8:24 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


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posted by eclectist at 8:25 AM on July 17


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posted by mfoight at 9:17 AM on July 17




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