In Memoriam – George A. Romero 1940-2017
Why is it that George A. Romero never was considered to be one of the great directors of our time? Sure, among fans of horror he was considered a God but I don’t think that general movie goers knew anything about him. Yet he almost single-handed created a whole sub-genre! The Zombie films wouldn’t have been what they are if it weren’t for his vision.
What George A. Romero did was to take a creature with origin in the voodoo religion and bring purpose to it. I mean, in the voodoo sense a zombie is a person that is controlled by a witch doctor. Romero took it one step further. A Zombie in Romero’s world was a dead person driven by primal instincts – to feed! The only thing good enough to feed on was human flesh.
There’s no real explanation to why the dead walk the earth in Romero’s universe. There are vague explanations like “when there’s no more room in hell, the dead walk the earth”. And, if I may be so bold, his films aren’t really about the zombies. It’s about the survivors, the non-zombies. Think about it. In his most famous films, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, there’s some kind of siege going on in all of them. In night of the living dead there’s a cabin where the survivors gathers and get on each others nerves. After that the siege gets bigger and bigger. In Land of the Dead an entire city is that same cabin.
I won’t go into the other films George A. Romero made. I will keep it at that and just state that his contribution to the subgenre cannot be under estimated. George A. Romero was a true visionary in my mind!
George A. Romero was 77 years old. Rest in Peace!