Acclaimed filmmaker and horror icon George Romero has passed away at the age of 77, leaving behind an incredible film legacy that will always be remembered. Romero created the zombie genre with his cult classic Night of the Living Dead, which influenced a number of films and television shows like The Walking Dead and 28 Days Later. Ironically, the zombie genre is still alive and kicking, which can be credited to Romero’s work.
Once Night of the Living Dead became a success, Romero made additional installments like Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, the former of which got a remake from Zack Snyder. Romero never really stopped making zombie movies, since he also worked on Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead, the latter of which is an independent film. He also wrote some zombie comic books for Marvel called Empire of the Dead, all of which are available in graphic novel form.
Since many consider him the father of zombie movies, it’s not really surprising to know that he loves the undead creatures. “I have a soft spot in my heart for the zombies,” he told NPR in a rare interview. “They are multipurpose, you can’t really get angry at them, they have no hidden agendas, they are what they are. I sympathize with them.”
Funnily enough, Romero wasn’t too fond of vampires, creatures that are arguably more sympathetic than zombies, though the late director would disagree. “I grew up on the famous monsters of film land, so to me they’ve just been the villains all along. There are a few sort of ‘O.K.’ vampires in the story, but most of them are the oppressors,” he said.
The New York Times has confirmed that Romero died after a brief, but aggressive battle with lung cancer, which was stated by his family.